In a world of live-your-purpose YouTube videos, motivational seminars on how to live with passion there’s one thing people never mention —there is a cost to living in your purpose.
(Most people never address this —because it doesn’t go well with their sales pitch.)
Let me explain:
Nearly a decade ago I walked into the world’s most intense training facility in Salt Lake City —where the cast of 300 were morphed into immortals, and was told:
“Everything costs something.”
What they meant was every decision has an opportunity cost —which applies to every area of life:
A life of purpose costs something.
A life of curiosity costs something.
A life of alignment costs something.
And one of the reasons I believe most people say they want to find their purpose and yet when provided tools don’t use them —is they know there is a cost.
As the old saying goes:
Your new life is going to cost you your old one.
(Even if one hates the old one —we’d rather stay in comfortable pain than step into unknown possibility.)
So, what does this mean?
I feel blessed to have unraveled my purpose early by stumbling into a Buddhist retreat —finding books from Emerson, Thoreau, Into The Wild and countless others that opened up the space to question a deeper life.
But there’s a real cost to living your purpose, which includes:
The cost of responsibility.
Discovering your purpose now means you’re on the hook —and can no longer use the excuse to avoid responsibility.
The cost of commitment.
Living your purpose comes with commitment —going from “thinking” about doing something to “doing it every day” regardless of how you feel.
The cost of personal responsibility.
When you haven’t found your purpose —it’s easy to blame others and play victim under the guise of: “once I find my purpose, then I’ll be all set.”
The cost of free time and leisure.
Living your purpose means doing what is required and during seasons of life —it will be your sole focus at the expense of Happy Hours and free time.
The cost of not keeping up with friends.
When I left Wall Street to chase down a dream —I had to give up the race everyone else was on and be okay not being part of that tribe.
The cost of emotional adversity.
When you live your purpose, you will be throttled emotionally on the regular through a series of tests —to see if you really want it.
These are the costs of living your purpose.
Now —the great news is —each of these costs come with benefits that create deep fulfillment on a level that will bring you to your knees.
When you live on purpose:
- You will feel alive, connected to something bigger than yourself —and trade motivation for an inner fire that can’t be stopped.
- You will feel present, engaged with life, squaring off with what it means to be here and live fiercely at the razor’s edge of truth.
- You will feel grateful in a way that you can’t put into words, throwing your hands in the air with utter awe at this experience.
But you can’t have one without the other.
Every so often, I have one of those emotionally rattled days —where the ego takes over and asks:
Why do I have to be burdened with purpose?
And this isn’t my true self —it is the egoic one who seeks a life of comfort, ease and not being pushed to their edge.
When this happens, I smile.
And the next day —I double down on my purpose, resolve and commitment.
The question becomes:
Are you willing to pay the cost of purpose?