Reflections on Happiness, Time, and Purpose

I’m going to die.

Along with my death, I’m fearful that I won’t live a fulfilled and purposeful life.

At some point in the near future (since time is relative), I’m going to die.

I don’t look at the fact that I’m going to die as a fearful item, but rather a fact of life.

When exactly?” That is the real question.

So in typical fashion, I Googled these search terms, and got these results.

Average Lifespan of a Male in United States (Male 77.4 Years) –
Source Wikipedia

Average Life Expectancy - United States

Average Lifespan in Philippines (Male 69.5 Years) –
Source = Wikipedia

Average Life Expectancy in Philippines

Average Life Expectancy in Philippines (Male 69.26 Years) –
Source =

Average Life Expectancy - PhilippinesWhile I wasn’t raised in the Philippines, I believe my biological origins and culture has a large influence on how I was raised mentally via influenced traditions, foods which shape my health, among other items that can shape my future such as behavior, habits, and so on.

All I know is I can compare apples to apples and say that the average male lives longer in the United States than in the Philippines. Now whether that is due to health coverage, better preventative measures, or just generally being in a safer environment (living in the suburbs can generally be regarded as safe, as opposed to me living in the middle of north Philadelphia, aka Temple University), is up in the air.

If I average the 3 results, I come up with 72 years of age.

If I start with what I got (Male, Filipino), I end with 69 years of age.

If I look at the difference with the average Filipino life expectancy, along with the United States average male life expectancy, there is a 8 year buffer zone.

Did I gain 8 years of life by being raised in the United States?

I’m not sure. Who can tell?

If I take the average (72 years of age) and take the outlier of 8 years out (77 year old male in the U.S.), I have a 4 to 8 year buffer zone to play with at the end of my “expected” lifespan (69 +/- 4 to 8 years).

This is opposed to Monaco, the number one in life expectancy with 85 years of age on average, or an extra 13 years if you add it to my average expected lifespan.

On top of this, if I take into account my “healthy” lifestyle habits, and relatively low risk taking lifestyle (straight edge, I don’t do drugs, I generally don’t seek to drive fast cars, I don’t smoke, so on and so forth), I think I can tack a few years onto my life.

Why am I focusing on how much time I have left to live?

Today is my 26th birthday.

If I have 72 some odd years left to live, I have approximately 46 more years to live.

I’ve lived over a third of my life already.

That’s a minuscule drop in the bucket in the time that the Earth has been circling this sun.

And even more frighteningly and agnostically, does it even matter?

So, that is the quantitative aspect involved with living.

What about quality of life?

Am I happy?

I think this is the number one question that almost everyone my age (or, essentially everyone at any age ever) is thinking about. There have been numerous TED Talks on happiness, decision making, along with finding the secrets of happiness.

The lesson I want to leave you with from these data is that our longings and our worries are both to some degree overblown, because we have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience. ~Dan Gilbert

Happiness - Dan Gilbert

Now, take into account the 46 years I have left to live, give or take a few years, let’s round up to 50 more years of life to live.

The next step is to analyze how I want to live those next 50 years.

Do I find a greater purpose?

Do I seek hedonism and seek to please my pre-frontal cortex at all times of the day and night?

Source: The Art of Manliness (
Source: The Art of Manliness

Without going on anymore than I have already gone on, I believe I have already determined my answer for myself, and while uncomfortable for others to synthesize and realize, I’m more than fully capable of accepting the fullness of what I’m about to say.

I don’t think I need to chase “happy” in order to live a full life.

Let me explain.

James Altucher, entrepreneur and hedge fund manager, had this to say about the word “happy” on The Tim Ferriss Show recently,

Happy is a bad word because happy is related to the word “happenstance” which is some outcome, outside of yourself. I prefer to become and peaceful even, rather than happy.

There will be ups, there will be downs.

Those ups will be awesome. Those downs will be pretty terrible.

But as long as I have a higher and more specific purpose, then it is more likely that I will be able to lead a more fulfilled tomorrow, on top of a more fulfilled 50 some odd years of life I have left to live (hypothetically).

What is your purpose then?

Let me preface this statement by saying I was not prompted by any individual who questioned me. This is me being a “Devil’s Advocate”.

My higher purpose at this point is to help others live their own lives.

The platform I have chosen to do so involves health.

The specific vehicle I am driving within this platform involves sports performance, fitness, and overall well being (health).

Within this context, I can utilize several creative, and yet different avenues:

What caused you to arrive at these conclusions?

Well, in more ways than one, my life experiences have driven me to understand that I am just a physical vessel that is placed on this temporary physical world, and if I can help others along their journey in this world, then I’ll do it.

In the past I’ve said “yes” to multiple professional and personal opportunities, “no” to many similar chances, and on a mental level, I’ve come to the conclusion that my time is better served helping others.

If I can help ease your psychological worries, I’ll do my best at attempting that.

If I can help ease your physical worries and provide you the best platform with which to perform, I’ll do my best at building that foundation for you.

Who do you think you are?

I’m not an angel. I have faults. I am prone to the human condition of feelings, desires, and wants. But my desires will take a tertiary priority to the needs of those who enlist my help either through professional hiring, or personal relationships.

How will you and how have you used your time?

I don’t think I need extended vacations in order to “unwind”. The idea of an external source providing a sense of comfort and mental relaxation is secondary to an internal source of relief that I can find through flexing my internal locus of control.

I am attempting to finish up pre-reqs for Physical Therapy school, but I am doubtful as to the necessity for higher education in order to fulfill my specific purpose that I’ve outlined here.

I rarely sleep a full 8 hours, and when I do it is a cause of forced sleep because I need to catch up on it from the weekday.

I coach athletes, work with general population folks, read on how I can improve their lives, along with writing and programming for multiple clients online, abroad, and on multiple platforms.

So what now?

I somehow always end up deeply reflecting whenever my birthday comes around, as it signifies a thought process of, “Wow, one year has passed. What have I learned in this time? What can I improve upon?”

1. Time is literally of the essence.

If I take into account how much time I have left on this planet, then I can reverse engineer the life that I want to lead and live.

If you can choose who you spend your time with, and who you surround yourself with, then that will be a great determining factor for how much potential you have to live your life and live your purpose.

2. Develop a model that will bring about success towards your life purpose.

I’m jealous of those who have directed their life purpose towards being happy by any means necessary.

Jealous, because it is very easy to be happy.

Cancel all of my appointments tomorrow, and give me an Xbox controller, some pizza, soda, and copies of Halos 1 through 4 with 15 friends.

Accomplishing something and living a life of purpose, on the other hand, is relatively difficult.

3. Magnification of an issue is what usually leads to confusion, arguments, and generally speaking, conflict.

What are you really discussing?

Most of the time it is minutia.

Pick your battles, and move on. Some things are worth fighting for – some dying for.

Others are not worth your time.

4. Find a mentor, and visceralize what makes him or her tick.

I’ve done this pretty successfully, if I can say so with some degree of confidence.

Eric Cressey is a phenom of a mentor when it comes to blending business acumen and the fitness and strength and conditioning industry.

Kevin Neeld is a role model that any leader and strength coach should aspire to be.

And of course, apart from explicit lessons that I take away from the above mentors, I also believe in the idea of implicit or implied mentors from reading, listening (podcasts), observing, and absorbing information from others as well. It is a multi-faceted experience to always improve and adjust my current model of approaching life.

If my current models of “mentor” don’t live up to my expectations, I’m not bound to that idealized version. I can let go.

However, in order to get to where you want to go, you need to step outside of your comfort zone.

From here, find someone who has done what you want to do, and more or less copy what makes them successful at their given craft.

Then do your own thing afterwards.

5. Choose your words carefully.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

As a coach, I found that after having a limited amount of time with a large group of athletes, I don’t necessarily have as much time as I’d like to have catching up and with him or her like I normally would if I were to talk with them one on one, as if I were in a personal training mentality.

I had to choose my words even more carefully than before. I don’t necessarily have the luxury of utilizing a story to tell someone how to move better. I had to be clear, distinct, almost military-like with my cuing and commands.

And then after they understand, rapport building can be developed upon.

So if I take that approach of watching my words outside of the context of my professional life, I can begin to see how my words affect how people view me, understand me, and how they react to what I am saying.

Words have power.

6. Develop a system to mentally enhance my creativity and productivity.

In the past couple days, it has been evident to me that I spend entirely too much time looking at my phone.

So, simple solution for me was to turn my phone on “Airplane” mode whenever I don’t need it.

This limits me from checking it since I’m not connected.

Also, I have started using this one app for my Mac called “Self Control”. There are other apps very similar, but it simply restricts access to websites for a specific amount of time. My “triggers” that I’ve been aiming to curb involve hopping online and immediately checking Facebook, my email, Twitter, and my phone.

If I wake up to a phone that is in Airplane mode, and a laptop that has Self Control, and since I don’t even watch TV to begin with, I am free to think and create for myself and my projects.

With that said, since Facebook and my phone are the epitome of birthday “updates”, I’m sure you can imagine what I’m going to do next.


If anything, hopefully this provides you more insight as to how my mind has changed, adapted, and improved in the last year. Perhaps this is simply a list for me to look back on when I turn 27 next year.

As always,

Keep it funky.


Morning Musings #10: 25 Lessons the Strength and Conditioning Industry Has Taught Me

Today I turn 25, and as I sit here drinking a greens and BCAA concoction, thinking back about 3 to 4 years ago at this same time when I was drinking a red bull vodka concoction, I would like to believe I’ve learned a thing or two about health, “fitness”, and what the strength and conditioning community has taught me professionally and personally.

Continue reading “Morning Musings #10: 25 Lessons the Strength and Conditioning Industry Has Taught Me”