I think it’s important to have a motto that guides one to make decisions that are right for oneself. My motto for my 20s is, “To be free, seek truth, experience.”
Having the courage to follow and work towards it is important and very satisfying. No doubt that there were tough choices and trade-offs, such as:
- saying no to promotion opportunities as it would violate with principle 1; or
- spending a huge chunk of your savings and at-risk of sending the wrong signals to employers/colleagues, in order to do something that brings you closer to your authentic self and humanity (principle 2); or
- saying ‘yes’ to thing which are completely out of your own comfort zone but you just have to figure out how to make it work, many times over and over again (principle 3).
Our individual purpose and motto are all different. Too often, we are unhappy and unsatisfied because our choices and actions aren’t coherent. We are not sure what the foundation and bricks we’re laying end up being because we fear failure and commitment. Just determine small things you aspire to achieve and commit to it, then start working.
We don’t need to confront death to start thinking about these things either. Don’t leave regrets and the countdown timer to motivate and stress you from living a fuller life.
As I’m approaching my 30s, I will need to come up with a new motto to reflect the next decade. The purpose is still the same but I’m not going to pretend that I have the energy and carefreeness of a 20 year old. The new motto will have to be relevant going forward and continue to provide a strong sense of purpose.
At the end of the day, life is short, let’s have the courage to enjoy it.