What is Purpose Fuel?
Purpose fuel is first and foremost a mindset; the way it is acquired is through repeated experimentation following the path towards your greatest desire and mission.
You have to be honest with what you truly want, and then go after it—no matter what the circumstances are. This is the only route to sustaining the motivational fire that purpose fuel offers.
Purpose fuel cannot be bought, NOR is it a tangible source of motivation—the intangibility is what makes it a mystery, and a scarce resource for many that desperately require it to find meaning in their lives.
Those that ARE NOT living life to conquer every single day like a world-class champion in their CRAFT (whatever that might be) will find despair to be their only true friend.
A strong example of purpose fuel is when a reporter asked Mike Tyson while he was running at 4:30 am, “Why are you running so early?”. He then replied confidently with, “Because I know that while I train, my opponent is still sleeping.”
The running at 4:30 am isn’t even solely dedicated to Mike beating his opponent—the opponent is just a source of identification for Mike’s purpose fuel and the fire that burns inside of Mike that is inextinguishable.
Purpose fuel is your craft, your vision, your dreams, and your urge to make a difference by sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience you have encapsulated in your motivational pod.
It’s what wakes you up in the morning, and keeps you up at night. Purpose fuel never sleeps.
Through time, you will culminate razor sharp skill-sets and start viewing your purpose fuel through the lens of a sniper’s scope—this is the product of focus and discipline.
Purpose fuel eventually becomes a die-hard production of effort and accomplishments where bloody mess occurs and the ride is rarely breezy, or compliant.
Although the benefits are fruitful in the long run, they are not always quick to satisfy the mollified tongue—but the show must go on whether you are running, walking or crawling to the finish line—just keep progressing and moving forward.
How Do I Acquire Purpose Fuel?
Photo credit: James Vaughan
In order start burning purpose fuel as your sole source of motivational fire, you need to start DOING… until the point of mental and physical exhaustion—just when you’ve had enough… you’ll need to keep going, and going until the vision becomes clearer and clearer to the point where you can truthfully say “this is what I want to do with my life”, and really mean it.
Forget everything you have been socially conditioned to do and start pursuing the repressed angst to living your fucking life.
Listen to NO ONE, but yourself—only you know what you want to do, no one else is in your brain, they don’t know the resources, or interests you have acquired throughout your lifetime—again, only you know the answer to what burns your purpose fuel!
Listening to other peoples ideas on what direction you should steer your life in is helpful at times, but for the most part ineffective. The only truth is what’s in your head and the biggest mistake you are making is not LISTENING to yourself.
Don’t think of failure as the END, think of it as INEFFICIENT EXPERIMENTATION.
The ultimate path to failure is denying your own desire to get better and not capitalizing on opportunities when they are dangled in-front of you at arms reach. If you follow this frame, you are destined to failure—but do the opposite, and you are destined to burn purpose fuel and start crushing it at life day after day until mortality kicks in.
Everything starts with experimentation and with enough of it, you put yourself through a feedback loop of progressive accomplishments that gain you skill-sets to be used throughout your lifetime.
Inefficient experimentation is the equivalent to sitting in a garden of fruit seedlings, and not watering the seeds—you will never see the fruits grow and taste the sweetness of the bounty.
Fruit seedlings are your desires, and the opportunities that surround you. The water is a metaphor for action—it’s what must be done to advance your evolution, and see change in yourself.
By not watering the seeds, you are not taking action on all the resources and opportunities around you.
We are living in an ABUNDANT time my friends; there couldn’t be a more glorious epoch to conduct our greatest symphony.
Water the fruit seedlings (opportunities and actions) and you will conduct efficient experimentation—keep them dry, never replenish them… and you will not only experiment inefficiently, but rather NOT experiment at all.
What is Pleasure Fuel?
Photo credit: Tom Simpson
Pleasure fuels are for the most part tangible elements in life that provide us with ‘feel good sensations’—while also equipping us with the fuel to survive and more importantly… thrive.
A legendary Japanese samurai once said:
“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” ― Miyamoto Musashi from “The Book of Five Rings”
I strongly believe this is the epitome of purpose fuel; everything is within.
But then of course there is the argument that human’s require food, water, oxygen, and other survival necessities to exist—this is a given. But the argument lies on the surface of whether or not our pursuit to chase pleasures can also become our detriment to forgetting our craft, our vision, our dreams and the changes we want to make in this world that inevitably become our purpose fuel.
Because ultimately your purpose fuel is a long lasting fire that burns inside of you as motivation to succeed, and pleasure fuels are the bonuses that are earned when doing so—not the other way around.
In this game of life there are countless pleasure fuels that one takes into consideration to motivate themselves in order to keep taking action. Here are some of those fuels.
- Food (learn how to do it effectively)
- Attractive mate(s) (cultivate social spontaneity)
- Expensive, or valuable possessions (stocks, real-estate property, nice houses, jewelry, nice clothing, nice cars, latest technology/gadgets, etc.)
- Social status (through friends, family, school, work, organizations, social media, etc.)
- Recreational drugs, alcohol, medication, etc. (this is a toxic pleasure fuel, but to some, it is their form of survival)
These are some MAIN examples of pleasure fuels—each one will draw you in stronger, and motivate you in different ways.
For example, pleasure fuels like food and money are basic needs to the game of life—but they can also be a source of detriment if toxically pursued.
What does this mean exactly?
It means that rather then using food as a source of optimizing human performance, you could instead fall into the trap of using it to relish in hedonistic pleasures on a consistent basis.
Listen, I love eating pancakes with whip cream, and syrup on top, but I don’t make it a consistent habit so I can avoid getting fat and more importantly ruining my bodies baseline functionalities. Instead I eat clean whole foods 90% of the time, and maybe indulge in my pleasure fuels on occasion.
We could also say that money has the same effect if you are NOT using it to advance your purpose fuel. If you are only seeking money to live a life of materialistic appetites, then you are forgetting your purpose.
You could also argue that certain pleasure fuels are directly, or indirectly related to your purpose fuel (be your own judge on this)—the important thing is that you are honest with yourself.
Indulge in life’s pleasure fuels, and use them as a source of enjoyment, but never substitute them for your purpose fuel.
Another strong real life example of purpose fuel is someone like Bill Gates—he had purpose fuel to change the way the world interacted with computers and to create technological advancement. If he just did it for the money, he wouldn’t be where he is today. The passion for him to create change was an unstoppable force, and that’s why he succeeded—not because he was focusing on one day becoming a multi billionaire—that wouldn’t have lasted.
Those who would say, “If I was Bill Gates and had a net worth of a $80 billion dollars I’d never work again and just go enjoy life.”
With that mindset… you’ll NEVER taste the slightest drop of Bill Gates’s purpose fuel. If he only followed his pleasure fuel (money) and neglected his purpose fuel (technological advancement for the world) then he wouldn’t have a net worth of $80 billion in the first place!
One Last Metaphor for the “Purpose Fuel vs. Pleasure Fuel” Concept
Photo credit: 12Ave
I consider purpose fuel the equivalent of a large log of Hawthorne wood burning in the fire pit. This burn is sustained and provides a decent heat output that will give you long-term motivation and drive to pursue your dedicated wins.
Pleasure fuel is a different story, because it is the equivalent of burning Eucalyptus wood—it might have a nice sounding feel to the name, but when it comes to burning the wood, it dies down fast and has the ability to rupture in uncontrollable flames if not correctly moderated.
Still don’t know what to do with your life? Good, because you don’t have to.
Let me tell you the truth, right here, right now…
People that say they don’t know what to do with their lives have it all wrong—you might as well just say: “I’m not taking action in my life”, because that is ultimately what it is.
Your life dream, goal, vision, or purpose is ALWAYS CHANGING, but in order to have a better understanding of it… you have to be honest with what it is you TRULY want and start building a path towards it EVERY SINGLE DAY. Experiment with multiple channels of success, because nothing is set in stone and you can always titrate the solution.
Choose your MOTIVATIONAL FIRE wisely, and let it burn for ages. The grind will never end, so embrace the flames and get comfortable with it.