The universe has a funny way of giving us messages sometimes.

Last week I was supposed to fly to Las Vegas for 10x growth con by Grant Cardone and as the plane is about to take off on the runway, the plane has mechanical failure and we deplane, go back through customs and I’m rebooked to fly the next day. I missed the first day of the conference and it took me 24 hours to fly a trip that should have taken 6.

This week I am sitting in the Winnipeg Airport at the lounge, same story. This week I’m flying to Vancouver to meet with one of my financiers, again, the plane is cancelled. It had mechanical failure in Toronto and never made it to Winnipeg.

This time I’ll turn a 6 hour trip into 12 hours.

What does all this mean?

Ironically, I decided this week that I am not going to travel anymore or do seminars outside of my home town. No more flying. Flying commercial takes too much energy, too much time, bags get lost, people get stranded and overall, it’s inefficient and a massive waste of time and money.

It’s those moments when you’re stranded in the airport in Winnipeg when you start wondering about life. What is my life purpose? Why am I doing this? These are questions I ask myself when I’m stranded in airports.

This morning I had a call with a friend of mine, another speaker who does well in his business and he asked me why I wanted to be a billionaire by 60. I set that goal in my early twenties: millionaire by thirty, 10 millionaire by 40, 100 millionaire by 50 and billionaire by 60.

“What are you going to do with the money? Why do you want to be a billionaire? Do you just do it for the game?”

I replied “When I was 4 years old, my mother bought me a Super Nintendo. It was Christmas and Super Nintendos were sold out all over town. My mother negotiated the used floor model and made the clerk at the store box it up so she could get one for her 4-year-old for Christmas.

When I got the super Nintendo, I played it and lost, then I would cry and play some more:

Playing, losing, crying.

Playing, losing, crying.

Playing, losing, crying.

My mother started to get concerned with me, so she wanted to take the Super Nintendo away, as a 4 year old, I cried even more.

I kept losing and crying until I won, until I beat the game, then I would go get a new game and beat that game too.

I beat all of the games and played that Super Nintendo until it turned yellow from baking in the sun. The cord on the controller became frayed to expose the copper wires inside and where my hands gripped the edges of the plastic turned brown from sweat. All of the button labels “A,B,X and Y” as Super Nintendo named the buttons had been obliterated from the salty water and heat from my clenched fists.

When I traded the Super Nintendo in for a PlayStation 2 twelve years later, I was sad to see the old weathered machine go. The Super Nintendo was like an old family friend that was always in the family room, waiting to have fun and play with you, and now I sent him away.

I was obsessed with the game back then. Back then, the game was Super Nintendo, today the game is entrepreneurship and real estate.

Making money to me is a game and I am still just a 4-year-old kid with a super Nintendo, playing, losing, crying and eventually beating the game.”

My friend laughed at my story.

“So what are you going to do with the money?” He asked.

“Nothing” I replied. “I drive a shitty old car, I will continue to drive this car for another 10 years, I don’t really buy anything, just books and suits. I just want to play the Super Nintendo. I want to be the guy who did it. I want to see who I have to become in the process.”

As I sit here in the airport in Winnipeg, playing the “Super Nintendo” of life, I wonder – do I really want this thing? Do I really want to sit in airports like this?

The answer is: I do not want to sit in the airport, so I have changed my business model, no more flying. But do I really want “this thing”?

“This thing” being the game I have chosen, the claim of wanting to be a billionaire by 60.

When you put it in money terms, the money is meaningless. Money only means something if you are in survival mode. In survival mode, at the beginning, money is everything. Once you have money, the money doesn’t add much to your life. If you are all about the money, you will just stop once you hit your “magic number”. For me, there really is not magic number, the game never ends, it’s impossible to beat.

Up to $70,000 every raise you get increases your happiness and quality of life, but after $70,000 there is no additional happiness to be found with additional money.

So why put up with the pain and suffering? I wonder to myself.

The answer for me, is that this is my life’s purpose. I am living my purpose, I am doing my life’s work now. This is the work, I am doing my work. One day I will die and my work will be left behind.

Now you might say, “I would love to do my life’s work, I would love to write a book, write a play, create art, travel the world” or whatever you desire.

You might think that you have to wait until later to do you life’s work, or live your calling. But that idea is false.

You can start doing your life’s work right now.

As I sit here thinking about billionaires, many of them have simply 1) started earlier 2) compounded on their life’s work longer.

That’s it, there is nothing special about them. They are regular people just like you and me.

Bill Gates owned a computer when he was 13, that was extremely rare in 1968.

Wayne Gretsky was playing hockey at age 3.

Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father was forced to work cleaning construction sites when he was 11 with the death of his father.

Those are some very young ages to get started, get started earlier and compound longer.

In the Nazi death camps, the optimists died first. They would say “we will be out by Christmas” and Christmas would come, they would still be in the death camp, and the optimists would die of a broken heart.

What kept the death camp survivors alive was purpose and meaning. Those who had to stay alive to take care of a family member, or stay alive to finish their book, or stay alive to see their spouse or children again were the survivors. Everyone else didn’t make it.

Life is about living your purpose whatever that is, and doing your life’s work.

What is your life’s work? What is your purpose? That is for you to decide.

What is true is that the sooner you start living your purpose and doing the work that only you were made to do, you can move mountains to overcome any obstacle to complete your mission.

You can last longer, have more energy, and the staying power to be a success.

So ask yourself:

  1. What is your purpose?
  2. Are you living your life’s purpose?
  3. Are you doing your life’s work now?

If you aren’t, then the real question is, how can you find purpose and meaning in what you are doing today. Sometimes it isn’t a matter of doing something different, but rather seeing the same situation in a different light.

I could be mad about the plane having mechanical failure, or I can ask “do I need this many planes in my life?”

“Do these planes help me serve my purpose?”

The answer I found is “no”. The planes don’t serve my purpose, so the planes must go.

No matter who you are, or where you are from, you must start living your purpose and doing your life’s work now. There is no better time to start.

Respect The Grind,
Stefan Aarnio