Why Are You Here?

Allow me to take a few steps back and explain why I do what I do. There is a very logical reason for why I live my life the way I do.

Rewind about five years. I was wondering through college and suffering from severe depression. I was just starting to take anti-depressants and to go to counseling (I fought against those two things for a long time.) On my weaker days I wasn’t getting out of bed at all (although to be fair, I think that only happened once or twice) and I had absolutely no motivation. My relationships were non-existent and my self-image was at an all-time low. I was not suicidal but I was stagnant. I was living my worst fear, stagnation.

It was around this time when I started to ask myself, why?

Why was I here?
Why didn’t I have a plan?
Why was the world holding me back? (Hint: It wasn’t the world…)

The first question took me the longest to answer.

Why was I here?

Let me walk you through my thought process. I call this my falling rock theory.

Here we are, 7 billion human beings, on a rock in the Universe. Theory has it that we originally evolved as simple organisms out of a prehistoric goo. Over the course of millions of years we went through countless evolutions driven by the survival of the fittest. There were some ice ages and very likely a giant astroid that hit Earth but even still we eventually evolved into the animals that we are today.

Now we (I am generalizing here a bit as this mostly applies to the developed world) no longer need to fight for food or for survival. We are at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators (except maybe disease) and as such we are multiplying at a never before seen rate.

We have developed tools (money, language, transportation) to keep our complex brains active and with the advent of modern medical technology and a little luck will likely be on Earth for about 100 years.

So now what? What I am going to do here for 100 years?

The typical route (again I am generalizing for the developed world but bear with me) is grow up, go to high school, go to college, travel for a bit, get a job, buy a house, start a family, help them do the same and eventually pass away. Hopefully along the way you can help some people move forward and if you are really lucky you can make a small dent in the Universe.

Put bluntly, we are just here on a falling rock in space living pretty straightforward human lives.

This realization saddened me for about three days until I had a very important insight.

That 100 years is a gift of a blank canvas. Here we are with incredibly complex and even magical bodies living in the most technologically advanced society in history (this is true for each new generation) and we can do whatever the hell we want for about 100 years. That is freaking amazing!

There is just one minor problem. Life is hard. The same tools that got us this far also hold us back (money, language, transportation).

So what is a person supposed to do?

That is the really important question.

My take on this is that the answer can be anything. There is no right answer. There is no ideal life path.

Over the course of a couple years I slowly defined what this path was for me. In essence, I chose my reason for living my life.

I am actively living a life that allows me to experience as much as possible. I strongly believe that happiness comes from making progress. I also believe that the best tool for making progress is education. Education though, can come in many different forms.

My preferred method of education is my Life List. I want to be happy and I want my friends and family to be happy too. The most straightforward way of accomplishing this that I know of is by fully committing myself to my Life List. That way, I can take my education (my progress) and share it with the world. (As I am doing here.)

So that is the reason for why I do my life list. I do it because I want to sustain happiness through continually making progress in my education.

That’s it. That’s what I do on this falling rock.

Why are you here?

Posted By Post Launcher

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  • Pretty deep Danny… great post. I would like to know where you are when you write these posts. Out of the country? On a mountain? It would give me a better picture.

    • I like your style :-) A very good question.

      For this post I was in a small cafe in Montreal, Canada eating smoked meat for the first time and listening to people talk in french.

      Most of my posts are either written somewhere I am visiting for my life list (like this one) or on an airplane where I have a lot of down time.

      :-)

  • WOW…I was thinking about all of this recently but I couldn’t organize my thoughts and I eventually became pretty frustrated. Thanks for putting it in words Danny..Awesome!

    • Happy to do it. :-)

      I find that when I can’t get the words out it helps if I try to diagram it. Nothing fancy just arrows and circles and stuff.

  • Thanks Danny! I agree with the “WOW”.
    Every blog post I read of yours leaves me with days of thinking. This one I feel will be many, many days :)

    • Are you recording these thoughts anywhere? I’d love to sneak a peak!

  • “To leave it cleaner then when I found it” :) A lesson passed on to by my mom and my guiding light.

    Another great post – Thanks, Danny!

    • I really like that Mark. Much more simply put than mine and a great description of what you have been doing in the world.

      You rock!

  • This is truly inspirational! Thank you for sharing such a personal and insightful experience.

    You’ve really got me thinking. I’m sure whatever I come up with it will most likely be an off-shoot of one of Marcus Aurelius’ writings. Basically to work with, not against, my fellow man towards a common good. At least that’s my hope…

    Thanks again!

  • Kevin

    Good stuff D-Man. I’m glad you bounced back so strong, like an incredible bouncy ball. Or maybe even Flubber. You deserve the success and happiness you’ve found.

  • I love the topics you cover and this is something I think about everyday. Sometimes it depresses me a little, sometimes I feel like the world is mine and we can make what we want with it. I also believe that as much as we know about the world and universe, we don’t know everything. All we know is that we’re here and it’s a mystery!

    Would love to talk philosophy and life over a beer next time you’re in San Diego!

    • I think that is what makes the journey worth living :-)

      I’d love to grab beers, let me know if you make it up to LA.

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