what makes you happiest

Who are you?

Erik Personal Development and Lifestyle, Thoughts of a Mastermind 11 Comments


I turned 26 last month and have been in a little bit of a funk for a few weeks now.

In 2017, I decided that I would pursue entrepreneurship and side hustling during my free time outside of my 9 to 5. When I started writing on Quora, as my title/label, I put “Quant, Blogger, Investor, Consultant”.

When you start off trying to make a name for yourself on the internet, sometimes it’s okay to “brag” a little bit with what you are looking to accomplish. At the time though, I was doing all of those things.

I don’t write on Quora very much anymore (for reasons we can talk about another day) and my identity has shifted a little bit. Now that I’ve accomplished many of my 1st half of 2018 goals, I’ve been in a rut because my core values and purpose are not at the front of my mind.

What I mean to say, is that I need to reflect on my core values, purpose, and define who I am to re-motivate myself to do great things in the second half of 2018.

Who am I today? I’m not sure.

Maybe it’s a quarter life crisis. I don’t really feel too stressed out as of late though. In this post, I’m going dive into my thoughts, emotions and feelings as of late, and try to uncover a clear motivation and identity.

What’s my purpose?

I started The Mastermind Within Podcast back on a cold day February 1st, 2018. That night, I was a guest on another podcast that night and after recording, I said to myself, “okay, why can’t I do something like this?” I recorded myself talking for 25 minutes (more of a ramble session) and hit publish.

In the first episode, I talk about my values and purpose. I said my purpose is two-fold:

  1. Help people achieve their goals and create a better life for themselves
  2. Build things which will facilitate #1

Helping people and building things… I’ve come to realize that I’m most happy when I’m doing this.

In June, I started going down the rabbit hole. One of my principles is to search for the truth while keeping a steady skepticism and not taking life too seriously.

Back in March, April and May, I focused on topics which tied to topics I hold near and dear to my heart: entrepreneurship, personal finance, and learning.

June, I didn’t pick a topic and struggled to pump out content, and this struggle was compounded as I was in the rabbit hole and uncovering facts, opinions, truths, and knowledge I hadn’t seen before.

Part of my funk has to do with this conflict I believe…

If I truly want to help people, then I can’t hold back and need to go 100% into sharing these thoughts and concepts.

What I will be writing about in July

what makes you happiestTo fulfill my purpose, and get out of my rut, I need to write about my passions, truths I’ve uncovered, and dive deep.

I think that some of my anxiety and nervousness is because some of the truths I’ve found in my research will not be well received, and will be uncomfortable for you to read and learn about.

“Erik, get on with the point, I want to know what you will be writing about in July.”

Okay, okay. What I am going to be writing about in July?

In the personal finance space, there are a lot of traditional thoughts and concepts which have been bothering me and I want to address.

In particular, a few things that come to mind while I’m writing this:

  • What does it actually mean to invest in a stock?
  • How do banks actually make money?
  • What is inflation and why does the media think it’s good?
  • What are corporate buybacks?
  • How does energy, population growth, and productivity play with equity and bond prices?

This will be uncomfortable for me as well, but I’m going to push through.

Again, my purpose is to help people. One of my principles is to look for the truth.

With these two values and principles in hand, I’m going head first into the rabbit hole in July and will be writing about these advanced and little known concepts for you.

Who am I?

Let’s go back to the original question I posed at the beginning of the article, who am I?

Let’s look at the facts: how do I spend my time?

Here’s how I fill my days, weeks and months:

  • During the day, I work as a programmer in my 9 to 5.
  • I own a house and I like working in the yard and doing DIY projects in the house
  • Outside of work, I write on this blog, and publish episodes on The Mastermind Within Podcast
  • Also outside of work, I run a subscription box business that I started last year
  • I value fun and exercise: I practice yoga, play basketball and golf, and love biking around the city I live in
  • Without family and my close friends, I wouldn’t be truly happy
  • Reading and seeking the truth are two things I need to feel fulfilled in life

Who am I?

I’m a writer, business owner, programmer, and truth seeker.

I’m a friend, family man, fun lover, and athlete.

In the coming weeks and months, I’m going to keep this in mind as I go and live my life to the best of my ability.

I’m in the business of helping people and building things.

I’m re-energized and ready to take on this next challenge. Are you excited? I am.

Who are you?

I turn to you now. Who are you? What is your purpose? Where do you find motivation for your life? What are some truths that you hold near and dear to your heart?

You are a multi-dimensional human being with many hobbies and interests. Who are you?

Looking to answer these questions, I believe, should help guide you on your path to where ever you want to go.

Readers: who are you? What is your purpose? Where do you find motivation to continue?


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Comments 11

  1. Interesting thoughts, except for one. Cycling and basketball are big time exercise for sure. Golf, surely you jest? My tennis buddies and I share the club bar after we play with a bunch of golfers and the tennis players are always clear with the golfers that golf is a game and tennis is a sport. Anything you can do while drinking a beer is not a sport, I rest my case. I have more proof but hopefully you won’t make me use it.

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      Say what you want about golf, I enjoy it and it does take some physical ability. I like how it combines physical and mental ability. Also, I get to spend quality time with my dad.

      Thanks for stopping by Steve and have a great weekend!

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  2. I look forward to reading what comes next…

    The only thing I can tell you is who we are is constantly evolving. I am not who I was five years ago nor will I be who I am five years from now.

    I’m in one of those transition phases now so it’s hard to fully answer your question.

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      I love your perspective as always on the topic. And this change is good… if you stay static, there are probably opportunities which will pass you by

  3. Erik,

    This is a very dense article. Wow, it hit me like a ton of bricks. You are absolutely right that we need to ask the question “Who am I”. I believe this falls into the same vein as Simon Sinek. What is your personal “why”?

    I’ve been think about this a lot lately and after reading your article, I need to take action. Thank you for opening up and writing!

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  4. I’m embracing my identity as a Mathematician. This came from my realization that the approach to Software Development called “functional programming” is based on Alonzo Church’s thing called “lambda calculus” which reminded me of my childhood interest in philosophy and the foundations of mathematics. This, along with homotopy type theory, is smooshing together seemingly disparate topics of ontology, semantics, and reasoning. Meanwhile at church, they are talking about “meaning of life” and “purpose.” I realized all these things come together at this point.

    When I think of futility, vanity, or meaninglessness, the image of brownian motion comes to mind. (If you suspend a bit of pollen in water and watch it at high magnification, you’ll see it jumps all around rapidly in all directions, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Some guy named Brown observed this.) This characterizes the trajectory of my life when I’m not careful, so I have to curate my activities to make sure they’re all advancing, at least a little bit, toward some overarching goal or purpose.

    Purpose in life is highly individual because we all come from different starting points. And our differing values draw us to different goals. My personal mission statement is: “Learn. Help. Teach. Lead.”, but I see these as modalities for how I achieve my telos. I’m a Christian Theist and when I reflect on why I believe so, it’s the beauty I perceive in structures such as Mathematics.

    Jordan Peterson suggests we pursue that which is meaningful (not what is expedient). This parenthetical suggests that life isn’t all beer and skittles. And when we expect suffering it isn’t as hard to endure.

    Sadly, my thinking is barely above that of a word salad as I have demonstrated here. Yet I think the struggle to reason through these issues is definitely worth it and I applaud your efforts to do so.

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      Thanks Steve for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      Without a guide to our life (intentional actions), then it does seem that time is filled with random events and paths (Brownian motion).

      Intentional living and defining your purpose are keys to getting where you want in life. That can depend on the person, but is a worthwhile exercise – which you’ve alluded to 🙂

      Have a nice day Steve

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