That Purpose Thing Again

Monday, January 11, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 2:04 AM

Originally Published 2005-07-06 05:48:38

So it's post-holiday weekend and everyone's back at work, fired up, rejuvenated and ready-t0-go.


My struggle with "my place in the world" or "meaning of life stuff" has returned. I had a more-emotional-than-usual conversation with the girl in my life over the weekend, and some questions of career came up. She's been working with me on a new venture aimed at helping/coaching individuals at investing in residential real estate, and our initial client discussions have led to questions about our long term commitment level (surprise).

My professional commitment to clients has never waivered -- anyone who works with me knows that -- but I must admit some trepidation over the question. Because, if I were going to quit, it would be a heck of a lot easier to do without clients to answer to and employees to take care of.

On the other hand, I already do all of these things for myself. I already deal with staff and cash flow, accounting and maintenance, taxes and insurance, headaches and working on holidays. Why not just make more money at it?

Alas, this introspection is just an exercise that hides the real question: what am I going to do with my life? (Po Bronson's book of a similar title comes to mind... I should re-read that.)

Helping people get rich would be quite rewarding. The personal, professional, and existential rewards would be priceless.

Nevertheless, a big part of me wants to just say "fuck all" and spend the summer tooling around on some foreign soil.


The weird thing about being stuck on the purpose question is that my productivity tanks. I'm behind on literally everything. My house is a mess, my car needs washing, I haven't been to the gym in three days, and the professional things that can slip, have.

Yes, my "slip" is often still ahead-of-schedule, but that doesn't take away the quandary -- that the act of questioning my life goals means that my current obligations become less important.

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