What is your primary aim in life?

Have you ever asked yourself why you get out of bed in the morning? How about what people will say about you at your funeral? A primary aim in life gives you a reason and answer to these questions If you've never thought about this or written down, I'll give you some reasons why you should.

Reason one. I recently sprung this question on my wife while getting ready for bed. Her response was something like a dear in the headlights. Eventually, her answers trickled out; then she turned the question back on me. I replied confidently with clarity and purpose, a great feeling. She smiled adoringly and said, “that’s why I’m glad I married you.”

Reason two. What I didn’t tell her was that I spent a week thinking about this exact question. The end result was the following list, giving me a road map to the best version of me I can be. It’s been edited, re-edited, and even posted on the wall above my desk as a constant reminder.

With no clear picture of how you wish your life to be, how on earth can you begin to live it?” – Michael Gerber

Reason three. I was originally inspired by Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth, which posed the question, “What is your primary aim in life?” However, I was re-inspired reading Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. One of Dan’s key findings was that when a person has a clear sense of purpose in their life, they will statistically live longer and have better health.

My Primary Aim in Life:

  1. Live for Jesus Christ and the glory of God
  2. Live with purpose and passion every day
  3. Help others in pursuit of number 1 and 2
  4. Be a great husband, father, provider and leader of my family
  5. Foster meaningful relationships with friends and family
  6. Be a wildly successful entrepreneur and businessman
  7. Be healthy, active, fit and take care of my body
  8. Be the most encouraging and uplifting person I know
  9. Always be learning, never give up, and give my absolute best
  10. Live with financial freedom, and be content with that I have

The Okinowans call this concept “ikigai,” which roughly translates as “that which makes life most worth living”. In Costa Rica, it’s your “plan de vida” or life plan. Whatever term used, it’s worth taking time to conciously think about what matters most in your life. And hopefully–write it down.

Why should you create a list?

  • You’ll inspire other people if they ask
  • It will be a guide to the best version of you
  • It could help you live longer and be more healthy

Helpful Questions:

These were the questions from The E-Myth that I used to create my list above. Take your time and don’t expect it to be perfect first try. I’m still working on mine 3 years later. Also, be sure to share in the comments below!

  • What do I wish my life to look like?
  • How do I wish my life to be on a day-to-day basis?
  • What would I like to be able to say I truly know in my life, about my life?
  • How would I like to be with other people in my life–my family, my friends, my business associates, my customers, my employees, my community?
  • How would I like people to think about me?
  • What would I like to be doing two years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? When my life comes to a close?
  • What specifically would I like to learn during my life–spiritually, phisically, financially, technically, intellectually? About relationships?

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