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Old 05-13-2021, 08:41 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
"Life is empty and meaningless. And it is empty and meaningless that life is empty and meaningless."

We invent our own meaning. One doesn't find a purpose. One creates a purpose. And one can choose to not create a purpose or a meaning. But just go and smell the roses and enjoy the sunshine.

For me, that is the reason for FIRE. To not have someone else's purpose in life forced onto my life. To choose my own meanings, day by day, moment by moment.
I've often wondered does everything matter or does nothing matter.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:46 AM   #62
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bolds mine.
I think this is true for a lot of professional people. I certainly was for me. It took me over 2 years to 'be me' and not some inner image of how I was 'supposed' be/act/react.
Yes, although just to clarify, with the bolded bit, I was referring to things I want to keep as a part of who I am, not to "some inner image of how I was supposed to be/act." For instance, my work taught me a lot about myself and other people. It made me a better, wiser, more open and aware person. I don't want those aspects to go away.

As for the "image of how I was supposed to be," yes, I relate to that. I mentioned that when I talked about shucking off the constraints of the professional role -- all the role requirements about how you're supposed to Be Professional -- think, speak, feel, and act in a certain way.

I gladly and rapidly threw all that off. In fact, I started throwing it off before my actual retirement date arrived, which probably got under the skin of some of my colleagues. I took some joy in expressing my freedom, maybe flaunting it a bit. I was like a man wearing a three-piece suit, wanting to get out of it, stripping down to his skivvies but unable to wait until he's out the door to do it...
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:59 AM   #63
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Sorry to disappoint most planners here.. but life has no purpose and no meaning. At least no more purpose than ants digging holes and moving dirt from one spot to another on earth.

Human life on earth is like a microscopic dot on timelines of earth and universe. It's fairy-tale and make-believe to put purpose in life.

Having said that.. one should try to stay physically active as much as possible. It keeps mind off of the reality of universe.
This is an interesting post. While objectively true, it's a bit like saying that your feelings and mood are nothing but chemical reactions of atoms and molecules inside your brain. This is also true - however it doesn't take away from the fact that said feelings and mood are very real, significant and impactful to you (and others around you).
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:18 PM   #64
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This is an interesting post. While objectively true, it's a bit like saying that your feelings and mood are nothing but chemical reactions of atoms and molecules inside your brain. This is also true - however it doesn't take away from the fact that said feelings and mood are very real, significant and impactful to you (and others around you).
Well, neither of those statements are "objectively true." They come out of philosophical positions or worldviews. They are expressions of materialism -- the idea that we are nothing but the constituent physical parts of our bodies, which are the result of random chance, existing in a universe devoid or meaning or purpose. It goes hand in hand with atheism, moral relativism and subjectivism.

But materialism is just one possible philosophy or worldview. In my opinion, it's not a good philosophy, nor is it true or even particularly coherent.

Everyone is entitled to their own worldview, though, of course. I don't think this is the place to debate it, so I'll stop there. But I had to at least voice an objection to the notion that these things are "objectively true." I think they're false.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:02 PM   #65
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I've often wondered does everything matter or does nothing matter.
I think the answer to that question is: Yes.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:44 PM   #66
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I think the answer to that question is: Yes.
Nah, it's 42.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:58 PM   #67
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Nah, it's 42.

Plastics.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:00 PM   #68
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:44 PM   #69
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Couple of my favorite books about life's meaning and purpose: The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope and Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin. Deep dives if you're inclined to go there.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:25 PM   #70
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Dear community,

What mission/purpose have you found after reaching FIRE? I'm hoping to find inspiration and advice from you.


I think I need to find a new life purpose or at least a goal to strive for - and I could imagine that some of you might have been in the same position as me, feeling a bit lost on what to do next.

Looking forward to to hear from you all.

Thanks.

Find the love of your life, get married, and have kids. Life will become richer than you ever imagined. And then you can look forward to having grandkids.
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Old 05-14-2021, 01:10 AM   #71
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30 is far too young to retire just because you have struck lucky with the financial aspects. It would not be a surprise if the OP returned to work at some stage in the near future. Retirement is more about leaving work after a long shift to enjoy your golden years with “me time”.
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:55 AM   #72
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Yeah, 30 is awfully young, and I'm not surprised he's asking the meaning/purpose question.

It's a good question, though. We focus a lot on money here, but it's wise to focus on the Big Questions from time to time.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:28 AM   #73
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My purpose is to enjoy every day. My mission is to have the money needed to do that.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:34 AM   #74
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30 is far too young to retire just because you have struck lucky with the financial aspects. It would not be a surprise if the OP returned to work at some stage in the near future.
Nothing wrong with taking time away to travel, work on personal projects, or just sit on a beach and returning to work later.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:38 AM   #75
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My purpose is to enjoy every day. My mission is to have the money needed to do that.

Simply and beautifully said
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:03 AM   #76
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I'm 59, retired for two years now, and unlike the others, I don't foresee a time when I'll ever not want to have some kind of purpose in life. I don't think having purpose is a matter of age; it's a matter of personality, outlook, values, and philosophy.

However, it's also a matter of definition. I suspect many people just equate "purpose" with career and raising a family, and that's as far as their thinking goes.

My conception of "purpose" has changed through the years. In my early years, it was more defined in terms of work and career. By the time I reached 35, it had become redefined internally -- in terms of who I was becoming as a person, my learning and growth. That links to relationships. Later in life, I started to understand that following any of your values is a purpose, and I started to identify my values more explicitly, finding that I had quite a number of them. I understood that even something as simple as appreciating nature can be a part of purpose.

A central theme for me is learning and growth. The learning could be psychological, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, relational, or spiritual. Anything that takes me forward in any of those regards is "on purpose," as far as I'm concerned.

Anything that supports that is also "on purpose." For example, anything I do that supports my physical health is part of that purpose. Anything that supports my mental health is part of that purpose. Anything I do to take care of myself is part of that purpose.

Broadly speaking, my purpose is to have a happy, satisfying, fulfilling life. (When I say "happy," I don't just mean passing pleasures, although those are fine; I'm talking about enduring happiness or contentment). Anything that leads me there is on purpose. In general, that means trying to focus on what I value, what I think matters, and to avoid spending too much time/energy on things that don't.

However, having a happy, enjoyable life also means (especially in retirement) plenty of time for resting, relaxing, farting around, doing nothing in particular, staring out the window, playing games, whatever. All of that is also part of purpose. "All work and no play..."

So just to hammer that point home (because people invariably misunderstand) -- none of my purposes feels like "work" to me ("work" in the sense of drudgery, obligation, duty, something you're doing for external rewards). If something starts to feel like a duty or a chore, I just stop and move on to something else. I've already achieved enough in my life; I don't need to do anything more. I don't need to "prove" anything to anyone or myself. Anything beyond what I've done already is just icing on the cake, and I only pursue it if I enjoy it.

I like the positive psychology concept of using your specific strengths in an area that produces "flow." I do that through writing. Over the past year or so, I've created a blog and then written a book. I enjoy the process of writing, and I am proud of the work I do, although it is small potatoes in the grand scheme. It helps other people and honors what I think is important, and that feels good.

Since retiring, I've found the "frog on a lily pad" image useful. Instead of setting one big goal, I jump from interest to interest, just based on how I feel. I try to carve out small, manageable projects, rather than bite off more than I can chew. As long as it's interesting and enjoyable, I continue. When it starts to get old or boring, or I feel like I've said all I need to say, I hop to the next lily pad.

I could ramble on some more, but that's probably enough.
This is really great thank you.
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Old 05-14-2021, 02:10 PM   #77
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My purpose is to enjoy every day. My mission is to have the money needed to do that.
True - You always nail it. Nice job.
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Old 05-14-2021, 02:22 PM   #78
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I was reminded of an old Spanish saying, translated it is:
Health, Love, and Money, and the time to enjoy it
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