Finding Purpose in Life When Going Your Own Way

On my other blog, there was a discussion in the comments section on going your own way, with the key observation that if you stay single and don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses, you should be able to retire relatively early. I claimed that late 30s or early 40s are doable even on an average income. Of course, this leads to the question of what to do with the rest of your life. I think that this is a bit of an odd question to begin with as it seems to imply that your life is valuable only insofar as you provide value for others. Sure, if you do the regular 9-to-5, you may find your work meaningful, but if you don’t produce significantly more than you cost your employer, you’ll soon find yourself out of a job. This rule does not apply to diversity hires, but you’re not part of that protected class, with that sizeable penis of yours.

Having a wife and kids is what traditionalism tells you to do. Ignoring the issue of nagging wives, sexless marriages, and divorce court, it seems dubious that adding a bunch of other people to your life will fill that festering spiritual hole you seem to be suffering from. Kids will keep you busy, but they won’t be around forever. Thus, you will merely buy some extra time. Once they are 18, they can be expected to leave the nest. Maybe you have two or three kids. If you space them apart in a reasonable manner, it will take around 25 years until they are all gone, dropping by only once in a blue moon afterwards. How will you spend your time then? Your wife is still around, hopefully.

Well, as pleasant as it can be to have a great girlfriend or wife — good luck finding one! — it not the case that you will spend all your spare time with her. Let’s say your job takes care of the issue of giving meaning to your life during the day. Your girlfriend also helps you with not getting bored in the evening and on the weekend. That may seem like a great deal, but what if your girlfriend has a mind on her own and some interests she wants to pursue? No, I’m not alluding to chasing after Jamal and Tyrone. In the end, you won’t escape having to find your own meaning.

In my case, I spend part of my spare time writing under a few different names, which is fun and intellectually engaging. I also have a few intellectual interests I pursue, and a long to-do list of books I want to read and topics I want to study. For instance, later this year I intend to spend some time on studying non-standard calculus, based on hyperreal numbers. (Yup, that is a real panty-dropper.) Apart from that, I exercise, and I make sure I eat healthily. The field I work in is pretty interesting, but should I chose to retire early, I don’t think I would have any problem at all finding things to do with my time. I furthermore enjoy the company of my girlfriend. We want to start a family, but this will not happen with the purpose of giving myself something to do.

Pursuing a minimalist lifestyle is a good foundation for happiness. Once your material needs are taken care of, what else is there you need? Well, if it’s hookers and blows, fast cars and luxury vacations, then all your enjoyment is external. Instead, find ways to enjoy your own company. The more you are able to enjoy your own company, the less will you depend on other people as well as material possessions. I do not want to give you the impression that only intellectual pursuits are worthwhile. There is a countless number of skills you can attempt to master. Pick a dance, a martial art, some sport. As you get older, this will change, too, but you can certainly fill a few hours a day just taking care of your health. Then, educate yourself about food and become a great cook. This alone could take care of half your day. Some years ago I had a neighbor, a pretty old guy, who had a big dog to take care of, a Great Dane. If I’m not mistaken, his wife died. He seemed pretty happy, though (I’ll keep my wisecrack for myself). I’d guess that his dog filled at least four hours of his day.

I think the upshot of all of this is that a good way of finding a purpose in life, or just something to do to occupy yourself with is to think about how you would spend your last one or two decades on Earth. Your kids will no longer be around. Chances that your wife has been estranged or divorced from you will be high. You won’t care about getting laid either because your testosterone levels will be about the same as a millennial soyboy’s. So, what would you do? (Don’t tell me you’d watch TV and read the news.) With early retirement, you simply bring the time horizon forward. In any case, starting with yourself and your health seems to be a very good first step. Then you think of what you want to add. What I have observed among the few men who went their own way I know — there are some who retired early on a minimalist budget, others chose to work part-time — companionship seems to have a great value. They don’t like the companionship of women. Instead, they may have a few friends whom they stay in contact with, or they have a dog. I think that is not a bad outcome.

Did you enjoy this article? Excellent! If you want to support what I am doing, then please consider buying my amazing books or donating to the upkeep of this site. If you want tailored advice, I am available for one-on-one consultation sessions.

28 thoughts on “Finding Purpose in Life When Going Your Own Way

  1. WoW Aaron, there is more gold in the above post than anything else you wrote before. I mean it in a good way though and don’t intend to discredit everything else you wrote before. You literally spoke my own words.

    When I was very young, I had this feeling of being void of something and I thought it was due to many things and different things on different times. But as I see it now, if I can say to myself when I am in my last days that I really lived as opposed to saying I wish I could’ve lived is the greatest happiness.

    At the end (literally the end) and in between, all that matters is that I am reasonably satisfied. Not that, I worked for the same big corporation for ages not, my family not, my children not, my taxes paid to society (which surprisingly thinks it fair) and definitely not, a wife and etc. I think the best gauge one can use to know if they are reasonably satisfied is to ask themselves the question, if I die today right now, would I be happy about the life I have lived as of yet? If you can be reasonably satisfied about yourself even though you may have not beaten Steve Jobs and many others to the punch in developing the self-actualisation, you should be golden.

    There is a reason why I didn’t work a 9-to-5 ever in my life. That is not life. There is a reason why I didn’t settle down with a bitch/cunt in marriage. That is not life. Basically, I didn’t grew up dreaming about working 9-to-5 or fucking the same old cunt over and over again if possible. I had grandeur dreams. Well, if you are dreaming anyway why not dream big?

    I wish I could meet you in person and chat but that is not going to happen ever but even over the internet, I can see the genius of your ideas. I won’t massage your ego too much here but the above is just great.

    1. By the way, I didn’t disregard the self satisfaction I get from the people (women and men) around me at all. Most of my friends are in fact women. I don’t know how much of a bitch they are to their boyfriends and husbands but I get along. As I say always, women can be great.

      1. I’m curious about your friendships with women. Are the dynamics truly platonic? I ask because Aaron and I have discussed whether genuine male-female friendships where nobody wants to get with anybody are really possible. Based on my limited personal experience, I think these are only possible if it’s known that either or both of us in the friendship are committed to our respective partners and thus not looking.

      2. I expect to keep my boundaries.

        As for being platonic, it’s really easy if you are not attracted to her. I don’t believe that I am highly attractive to women although Aaron and many others say so. (because of success and money) Because I have many flaws. Yet, women who I have platonic relationships could be attracted to me and in fact, I know that some are and that some are vocal about it when they hint it many times over and without a hint of attention seeking. Although I could be wrong since homo-sapien females don’t overtly advertise their DTFness.

        As for the women I am friends with and are sexually attracted to, I tend to do less of the lets be friends stuff with them. And, focus on getting laid. So, definitely no dates, inviting her to parties with friends and the lot. I know what you are thinking here. (most probably) That is I should get escorts for that. In fact, I’ll consider getting one who looks like a attractive women who I am friends with if she said no and that I am very horny. Since, it takes about an hour of advanced booking for an escort, I may have lost my erection I had for my female friend by the time the escort arrives. Which is what have been keeping me at bay from calling one. But most of the time, my female friends are very happy to have sex with me. I don’t promise commitment although, I would get lucky more often if I did, I think. I try to keep it on a primal level.

        I suppose a man with both a six pack and six figures is irresistible in comparison to the competition. IMHO. And, sorta early retired also which means I have time on my hands for women. And, typing long replies for internet blog posts of the blogger’s girlfriend. But hey, Aaron’s stuff is what got me here in the first place.

    2. Don, even though I know you´re a troll, I will entertain your question because the answer could be helpful to others. You say that you felt an emptiness. I say that is because you lacked human connections, we humans are social animals. And the best connection there is, is actually committing to one person 1000%, which means accept any risk that happens to be present. Because although it could not work out 100%, if it does work out it will be incredibly rewarding and euphoric when you look back on your life. It´s taking a gamble and winning a huge payoff. it will feel better than having it be easy and for free without any risk, because of the way human brains are wired with the neurotransmitters.
      It is what I refer to as part of the hero´s journey, where you commit and try to help out as many ppl as possible. So you are doing it completely wrong if you state your goal is some kind of harem. Then you will never have that unique connection and always feel empty.

      Its also the reason why I try to save ppl from fascism. Altruism really gives a good feeling inside, I recommend everybody to try it once in a while, instead of being selfish.

  2. This is a great post for women too. The message that we should all be able to enjoy our own company and seek internal validation is gender-neutral. Thankfully I don’t seem to have an issue with that for now. My goal is to not fall into the housewife trap of feeling empty and depressed when my grown children leave the nest at 18. And also when my husband departs this earth before me.

    1. NO. Lord Buddha said that women are second rate people more or less (stressing on the more or less part) and that they cannot attain Nirvana until they are born as a human male in a another future reincarnation. Good luck though.

      On more serious note, I think women will have a easier time in life if they understand that true security comes from within themselves and not a husband. Ok, it is hard imagine a woman who won’t be protected from a crime by her husband say while walking in a city during the night, even ignoring the high chance that she won’t have a husband after that crime has taken place, it is a bad reason for having a husband in the first place. It is stupid as in the following comparison. Lets say, Jesus cured the blind, was born of a virgin and did what ever crap he did, (walking on water anyone) that doesn’t conclude that he is the son of god. It’s just bad logic if think that. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to have a legal contract with a third party (basically government) to enforce your security, life expenses being paid for and the rest of it while making the man who is now a party bound to a contract legally unfree. (sexually) How great is that for you/her? (remember you are unfree legally as well, funny no?)

      If a woman have sex for her own reasons and purely because it made sense to her and she at least liked having it, she has no self-respect and is a slut? While if she got permission to have sex form her relations including parents and signs a contract she is a wife. Try and process that for a moment. You won’t however. It’s bullshit. Tell me what is the bad word now, wife or slut? Who is more similar to the whore where she charges for sex. A slut doesn’t charge anything.

      Now on the same note, it is great to have a boyfriend(s) whether you have sex with them or otherwise. And, if you are attractive and that you like sex for what it is, you’ll have a great time.

  3. Great post indeed Aaron, I’ve started focusing more on my health and personal well being, clearly it’s one’s biggest asset and I don’t understand why it is not pushed more by society. I’ve taken 3 months off for this, and when I would answer this to people asking me why, I always get the, “ok but, what else are you going to do ?” as if my health was unimportant.

    Now I’ll just keep my personal projects and strategies for myself and for the few people I know are capable of understanding the purpose and projecting themselves into different perspectives than their own.

    1. I think a good strategy is to keep your cards close to your chest. Far too many people have internalized the crab mentality. The worst of those people even try to downplay your achievements after you’ve succeeded, while they have done little more than getting fat while sitting on their couch.

    2. @Zero, Interesting that you took 3 months off for this. The fact that you can take months off for your health is in it self an achievement. Most people wish to take time off of work that they can not ever do. I feel like you really start living when you retire early. That is as opposed to when you retire old. You know that even though you may have a lifetime of savings when you are old, you may not have your legs working as well as they did when you were young. Heck you may be dead when you are old. I admire people for taking care of themselves. Although I feel like everyone should be on to it.

      @Aaron Sleazy, What else is there to do than to keep your cards to yourself? I as you know live in a culturally backward country that is plagued by that fact in every facet of it. Here, it is very evident to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that you should keep your cards to yourself. If not, there are plenty of donkeys to sabotage you.

      1. Thanks for the replies guys.

        Indeed I’m extremely grateful that at 31 years old, I have the possibility to take literally months off every year because my income and my job market allows it for me. Of course if I was spending all my money endlessly like some coworkers/friends do, I wouldn’t be able to do it, so I owe it to discipline partly, but also to my education and for making a couple of good choices 10 years ago. Also if I were not MGTOW that would be totally impossible to even consider that.

        The truth is that I realized that my entire body is aching, I have a pretty poor lifestyle “hygiene” if you will, and I’m having some addictions I want to work on (mostly nicotine, but also dopamine stuff like watching online entertainment content and stuffs). So it’s important for me to assess those and figure out a good, healthy routine for myself that can last for years to come. This won’t happen overnight so I better start now if I don’t want to be an angry wreck by the time I’m 40.

  4. There’s more to do than can ever be done in this world. I really don’t understand the problem. Just do something you enjoy. Or try something new. The possibilities are endless. I never had a problem with having to much free time. I wouldn’t have enough time if i would live for a millennium. There’s so much i haven’t done yet. And so little time to do stuff. It seems like yesterday that i was still in highschool. I can hardly believe i’m already about halfway of my life span. So much to do. So little time. Some people lack imagination.

    1. As the great emperor Marcus Aurelius (along with other prominent stoics) has stated, once one understands that life actually is finite, most issues concerning the meaning of life, agency and procrastination are quickly going to dissolve. Then it will become clear that the impediment to any action advances that action.

  5. @Aaron, You didn’t mention the most important factors when it comes to retiring early in your post above. You more or less brushed passed it. Which is a shame as that would help more people find their purpose than anything else ever can. You have live below your means at least in the initial pre-early-retirement years but that is not the only thing. Bad life decisions and investment decisions can royally fuck up your retirement income or make them in a way that is most advantages and conducive to your purpose (i.e. being reasonably satisfied at least in most people’s cases) and you might get to live a life of abundance without any worry.

    Two such life decisions, just for example are, buying a house and a car. Followed by health insurance but I will leave that aside for now. Lets look at the example of a car and then decide what option is best among renting and purchasing. Mind you, making the right decision on these big ticket items is sometimes the dealbreaker between living paycheck to paycheck vs. living well.

    If anybody is bothered with reading this post, try to also do the calculations given here by yourself as well. Which will make it sink in more. Lets say you want to buy a car for 50k. If you purchased it outright, you lose the investment returns you could’ve gotten from investing that 50k. This is true if you do this with 25k or even the cost of a house. Lets say you could earn 10% on that 50k if you invested in instead of purchasing a car. That’s about another 30k you lose to opportunity cost. That’s disregarding inflation of all other goods that you could’ve bought today with 50k. While your car depreciates to about 10% of its initial value in 5 years. That’s a additional 45k in indirect cost. But that is not how most people buy cars. They lease them. So, then there is interest paid which usually amounts to another 50k over the next 4 to 5 years or more if you are really stupid to get a 7 year lease. That is before maintenance costs, insurance costs and totally ignoring things like accidents or the costs related to being sold a lemon. Which would also add to about a cool 30k over 5 years. Now if you add up all those you’ll see that for a 50k car or house you actually are paying close to 205k. Divide that by four years which is close to the useful life of a car (really) you end up with about 51.5k per year in car costs.

    Now people say to me different things when this massage comes from me who owned a Mercedes-Benz once. Surely, if 51.5k a year is okay for you its really okay. But in my formative years, I would’ve have even thought about buying. Renting is cheaper. Unless we in an extraordinary market like the the housing market right after the recession. But generally, it is very good in my personal opinion to rent rather than to buy for most people.

    Which leaves us with the question what is left for the rent-a-car owner. He surely makes a profit. If not he won’t be in that business. Surely, there is a gain for him. Yes, there is. But not as great as you might imagine. His gain is that 10% of the value of the car that is left after you have essentially paid off his lease. Which is a sizable gain if you ask me but I would invest elsewhere if I were a individual investor.

    Discalimer: This not financial advice. I am not responsible for anything that happens to you. This is just for entertainment purposes only. If you want to buy cars, go ahead. Don’t let me deter you.

    1. You can see how doing the same above with a price of a house can amount to astronomical costs.

      I seriously believe most people will benefit far more by objective measurements of their life like the above than any of that future authoring crap Jordan Peterson (dumb people’s smart person) sells. Just so you know.

    2. “Now if you add up all those you’ll see that for a 50k car or house you actually are paying close to 205k.”

      The leased car is a good example. The house – it depends.
      In the current mortgage rate environment and under the condition that you actually do have the cash to make a down-payment of say 60%, then it makes more sense to make a lower down-payment effectively leveraging your house a bit more. Why not take a fixed mortgage at 1.5% – 2% and put the money somewhere else where you can get more than that… No point in tying up cash in your house unproductively.
      Now, that is only valid if the money is deployed in an asset which is not correlated to the housing market. That means equities and bonds are out of the equation. What you are left with are less and less liquid investment options. Not good if you want to be prepared to inject cash into the mortgage should the bank re-evaluate the house and decide that it doesn’t have enough collateral.
      It’s a tough game…

      1. You are right Neutral. I was coming from a Asian perspective where interest rates are still very high. I will whole heartedly agree that its a great idea to get a 30+ year loan or mortgage in the western countries when it comes to one’s house. Especially since, the equal monthly installment will be pennies in today’s money in 30 years. But you’ll keep earning a higher rents (provided that it isn’t your primary home) and higher growth in 30 years.

      2. Actually it is doubtful that buying a house with 30 yr mortgage is a good idea in western countries. You guys are bad at prediction. Capitalist oligarchs hace crashed the economy and introduced widespread deflation the consequence of a monetary expansion bubble. Thus cbs are not printing enough money so there is a 10 trillion shortage of new money to stimulate the economy.
        The result is clear. The west will move to a command economy in due time, maybe even communism.

        You need more objective thinking like me, who is extremely smart.

      3. Ah, thx for clarifying.
        Also, one very attractive detail about the Swiss housing market is that as a landlord you have the right to raise the rent anytime interest rates go up. And if they go down the person who rents the place may ask the rent to be lowered. Admittedly the adjustments come with a bit of a delay.
        That being said, all landlords know this, but not all renters do. So the rents go up quicker than they go down. Switzerland is a great place to own rental property. You can terminate anybody’s rental contract within in 3 months. Yes the yield is low, but with a moderately leveraged portfolio (say 40-60% own capital) you should be able to get a 2.5-3.5% p.a. pre-tax return. If my crypto portfolio goes where I think it will, from a part of it, I’ll build up a portfolio of bottom tier rental properties. Little to do, high yield, and nobody is complaining, because they know it’s bottom tier. And as said, best return per square metre.

      4. @Neutral, I am sorry but I had to laugh when you said 2.5%-3.5% pre-tax. Its so low. That’s why. But where everything is that low (Switzerland), who cares isn’t it?

        A while back you mentioned that you were looking for a high return moderate risk investment opportunity on this blog itself. If you think crypto is that like you mentioned above, I am surprised.

        I am further surprised as to why you don’t take advantage of the low interest rates there and high returns elsewhere? Just asking.

      5. “Capitalist oligarchs hace crashed the economy and introduced widespread deflation the consequence of a monetary expansion bubble.”

        so deflation is a result of monetary expansion? Uhm… so… your purchasing power went up over the last years?
        Stop the weed, Jontroll

      6. Neutral bro, you worry me, with your lack of critical thinking. No wonder youre so susceptible to fascism. Even calling me jontroll, the fascist mannerism of othering. Dont you know that leads to genocide?

        I dont even use any drugs. No, my job is to work hard, weed makes me lazy. My only drug is being a hero. Thats feels good, you should try it.

        And its obvious, look at the price of oil. its no longer 100$+. In the making of the bubble it went there, now its half that so obviously theres no inflation worth mentioning in aggregate. You can even see it in the 30-year bonds, rates are falling. I know what the cause is of this japanese disease.

        My advice? You should be more humble and unbiased like me. The more I increase the resolution of my research the more I am humbled by what I dont know. So I always strive to have a learners attitude. I do that by being openminded and engaging in debates (though I have never lost one here). But I know fascists are closeminded. Some even reject race-mixing, wtf. They dont understand the strength of diversity and true love that transcends race. We are all one race, the human race.

        You can see it in rates like FFR too. Obviously low rates is a sign of deflation, not easy money, thus inflation. In fact rates are useless to control the money supply. If there was inflation, rates would be high. You will see deflationary impulses this year. Basically, rates dont matter.Only incompetent economists care about rates, really.

      7. he still didn’t explain how monetary expansion causes deflation, didn’t he?

        Lol, as if in a debt based system central banks would do anything that causes deflation. That’s the thing they want to avoid at any cost – having people stop spending (if possible borrowed) money…

      8. I know it’s “don’t feed the troll” but…
        What the fuck has the oil price have to do with inflation? When the price went down 50%, you didn’t fill your tank at half the price no?
        Also, the US 30Y is up since 2016.

        But… all that is totally worthless if your energy costs, your food costs, your public transport costs, and your health care costs are up. Because that kinda shit ain’t part of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Yeah, wohoo my TV got cheaper this year – well hooray, people don’t buy TVs every year. They do need to heat their aparyments every winter though.
        Central banks might jerk-off to CPI, but we live in the real world and every year prices go up faster than 99.999% of people’s wages actually increase.
        So most economists and can go fuck themselves with their fancy charts and made-up feel-good indicators.

        Inflation is a concept I never understood anyway. Also not why there is a target inflation by Central Banks. It’s unnecessary for prices to go up. You can’t have a stagnant population in a country and rising rent at the same time. That’s not inflation. It’s greed by asset owners yanking up rent.

      9. Neutral, how is your gold and silver doing? Maybe you should take a look at the CRB index? You are suffering massive cognitive dissonance, alas you’re only human, though I’m also human I have surpassed the human limits and conquered any of my biases.

        Prices cannot go up sustainably without an increase in the money supply. Since there is a decrease, it means that there will be deflation and any increase in CPI is fake news. In other words buy moar stocks! The FED will lower rates and a horde of zombies will BTFD! Veni, vidi, vici.

      10. And neutral btw you are diagnosing the problem in the wrong way. All those price increases in standard cost of living has to do with monopolies and lack of income caused by an economics system in the west that is on its deathbed. It´s not sustainable. Case in point, Chinas incomes has risen greatly, showing us how communism is the future.

        Ofcourse central bankers shouldn´t target inflation, but communism, alas they are incompetent, unlike me. Their target on inflation was 2% since 2008 and it took them 10 years because inflation never rose enough. 2017 was a random blip that will soon be reversed and has nothing to do with a job well done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.