The $100 Million Dollar Question
By Leo Gura - July 30, 2013 | 4 Comments
A simple question that will help you discover your life purpose.
Hey, what’s up? This is Leo for Actualized.org and I want to ask you the hundred million dollar question. The hundred million dollar question is this, “If you had a hundred million dollars right now in your bank account, you woke up with a hundred million dollars tomorrow, what would you do?”
Here’s the trick to this question, first of all I want you to actually go through and actually think it through, actually visualize and try to experience it but do it along the following lines: a hundred million dollars is in your bank account right now. Ask yourself, if you woke up tomorrow what would you really do knowing that you have that money? Sure, you’d probably go out and buy yourself a nice car, and then what would you do? You would go maybe rent a yacht and sail out into the ocean, have a party and probably go buy some expensive champagne at some fancy nightclub.
Then maybe you’d go travel to some favorite country that you’ve always wanted to travel to. Maybe you’d buy yourself that dream house that you’ve always wanted so you buy that. Maybe you’d move to the city that you want to live in or the country that you want to live in and you’d settle down there. Then you would decorate your house full of all the fancy gadgets and electronics that you would want, the TVs, DVD players, game systems, audio systems, kitchen appliances, whatever it is that you wanted you would do all that.
You’d get yourself some nice health insurance. If you have kids, you’d buy your kids some nice toys that they could have fun with. If you have a spouse you’d buy them some gifts and do some good for them. After all of that, let’s say you have a month to really sit down and use all that money or some chunk of it, after that, you’re still sitting on a hundred million dollars, what would you do then?
The question is what would you actually be doing with your life? What would you be putting your effort and energy into? Would you be putting that into some sort of cause? Would you be doing something creative? Would you be doing something productive? What would that be?
A Really Powerful Question
Sit down and just think about this methodic experiment. It’s a little bit silly but if you sit down and really think it through almost as though you have it, trick yourself into believing that you have the hundred million dollars and that you’ve gone through, you’ve bought the fancy cars and the houses and all the fancy gadgetry, you’ve done all the travelling you want to and now it’s the next day. You wake up, you’ve got the cash, you’ve done all the stuff, you’ve gotten that taken care of, and then what do you do then? That is the hundred million dollar question.
This is a really powerful question. When I asked myself this question and I got rid of some of all of that filler what I would do with that money? I would buy myself a nice camera, I’d buy myself a nicer car, I’d move to this place and buy myself a condo… After all that I just imagined myself sitting in that condo that I would have in some high rise somewhere in some nice city and then I would just kind of wake up and then I would think what is the next step for my life, and I really pictured it.
For me what I came up with was that I would be doing what I’m doing right now. Is that I would be travelling and I would be shooting videos and I would be studying self-development the way that I am right now, and then I would be presenting that information to people out there like you. That would hopefully get some benefit out of it and that for me there’s really nothing I would rather be doing than that.
I scanned all the different scenarios. Do I want to start some other company? Do I want to launch a new website? Do I maybe want to be professional X, or professional Y, or professional at Z? Do I want to just sit around and party? Do I want to go buy myself a yacht and travel to the Caribbean? What would I do?
For me it ultimately boiled down to the deepest satisfaction that I would get is pursuing self-development because to me the most interesting thing that I found in life. That’s personally just me, it doesn’t have to be you. For you it might be something else. Maybe for you it’s art or it’s running some sort of charity or maybe for you it is travel and all you want to do is travel. Maybe for you it’s playing some sort of sport or whatever.
It’s One Thing To Know It, It’s Another To Do It
The hundred million dollar question stands, what would you do with your life and the trick is of course once you’ve identified that thing is to really have the courage to go out there and do it. That’s what’s really difficult because of course you don’t have the hundred million dollars and you still have the bills to pay, and you still have your boss nagging you and maybe you don’t have health insurance, etcetera, etcetera. You have your issues that are limiting you. Basically you’re being limited by the money.
Maybe you don’t have the capital to start the business that you want to start, but the hundred million dollar question, the value of it is that it gets you thinking and it gets you to cut out all the filters because now there’s this tendency to think, “If I had a little bit more money I would go do that. If I had a little bit more I would do this.” Or what you do is you create projects and endeavors for yourself that are just about getting you money, but then the question is what would you do when you had that money?
Maybe you want to start a business right now and you want to start a business doing something, but ultimately if you had a hundred million dollars you wouldn’t start that business, because that’s not something you would be doing just for the sake of doing it, you’re only doing it because you want the reward for it. The money that would then get you someplace else. The question is what’s that ultimate place that you’re trying to get to?
For me what I’ve really figured out as I’ve done this exercise and I really, really imagined it and visualized it and almost lived it, I would wake up in the morning and I would picture myself having that money and then picture myself totally free. Free of all the obligations. I would cast aside all my obligations and then I would focus on what I want to create, the kind of impact that I want to have.
For me that’s self-development. I want to study it, I want to understand it better because the way I understand it right now, even though I’ve been studying it for a while now and I do coaching etcetera, I feel like my level of understanding of self-development is still very, very minuscule compared to what it could be and compared to what I want it to be. I really want to understand how human beings develop and all the strategies and techniques involved, all the challenges involved, and also I just want to see how far I can develop myself because for me that’s the most rewarding part of life is being able to grow anew by doing new and interesting things, pushing myself and seeing how far I can get and seeing how much satisfaction I can get out of life.
Take The Question To Heart
So that’s my purpose so to speak. The question is what is yours? I really encourage you to take this hundred million dollar question to heart and think about it as though it was real and have the courage to cast aside what society wants you to do, what your parents might think you should be doing, what your spouse might think you should be doing, all of that cast all of that aside and just ask yourself, if you were free of all that, you were free of all the social pressures, all the financial pressures that you have in your life, what would you be doing? If your answer is that you would be doing nothing, or all you would be doing is travelling, or all you would be doing is partying and using this money to buy gadgets and stuff, I think that you fail to appreciate the depth of the challenge there.
You think that the stuff that you’re going to acquire with the money is going to make you content but really bypass all that because that’s bullshit. It’s not going to make you content. You know better than that. You’ve gotten stuff in the past and you know it has never really satisfied you, what really satisfies you is what you’re doing. It’s the action that you’re taking towards something.
The question is what is that thing? For everybody it’s going to be different, the question is what is it for you? So if you had a million dollars, what would you be doing?
One Hundred Percent Authenticity
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a hundred percent authentic in your expression and what it means to live a life where you’re expressing yourself at hundred percent. I feel this is something that most people don’t do and I think the people that are able to do this are able to tap into some sort of genius or they are able to get results that most of us are not able to even match or come close to. That’s because these people, what they’re able to do is they’re able to share who they are at the very core and whatever it is they’re doing in their life, whatever their career is, avocation whatever their job, they’re able to channel that and have their job express who they are one hundred percent.
What does that mean? To me it means whatever your deepest values are, whatever you love in life, being able to do it, do that thing and have it express yourself so it’s like the full expression of your personality. Let’s say you’re working at a job where you didn’t have to hold back at all, you can be just completely a hundred percent creative and just put forward and just bring out.
What you’re bringing out ultimately on some level it’s certain standards that you have, but ultimately if you can get past all the filters, what other people want you to be putting out, what maybe market research tells you to be putting out, what surveys tell you to be putting out, what economics tells you to be putting out like what’s going to earn you the most money, if you get rid of all of those filters and you just are left with what you feel is most valuable to be creative in and you’re able to bring that forward and bring it out and somehow manifest it, that is what a hundred percent authentic expression is. I think there’s a lot of power behind that, but the problem is that most of us are not in a position to really be that expressive. I don’t mean just going and being an artist, that’s not what I’m talking about.
You can be running a business, you could be working for somebody else, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. The question is, is it an expression of your deepest personality, who you truly are and your deepest values? I think for most people the answer is no because they are either stuck in some job that they’re just doing to pay the bills, or they’ve not really taken the time to do the deep soul searching that you’ve got to do in order to even know who it is that you are, what your values are to really get down to the core of those, clarify them and then find a medium or a vehicle to translate them to the world.
Maybe if you’re an entrepreneur then for you that’s starting a business. Maybe you don’t even care what kind of business it is. You can express your values as an entrepreneur by starting some sort of business and then just really running t really well. Maybe it’s that.
Maybe if you’re an artist then there’s a certain something that you want to share with the world, a certain something about you that you want to express or a way that you’re looking at the world around you and you want to express it in a certain style and so be completely authentic to that style and not holding back because you’re not worried about how someone might judge it. Whether they’ll like it or not. Whether they’ll buy your painting or not. You don’t care about any of that. You’re just so comfortable in it that you’re able to express, just to express, express, express without any sort of attachment to getting validation or feedback from society or anybody else.
It Takes A Lot Of Courage
I think this is really difficult thing to do this completely authentically hundred percent, because in reality that you do have these issues of, “Am I going to get paid for it? How am I going to make ends meet? What if people don’t like it? How’s that going to reflect on me? What if people think my art sucks? What if people think the way that I run a business sucks?”
Putting yourself in that kind of position where you can do this, where you can totally express yourself is very challenging. It takes a lot of balls. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there on the line because you run the risk of being rejected, you might even run the risk of being hurt financially as you do this. I think the challenge in life is finding a way to get yourself in this kind of position where you’re able to express yourself authentically.
First, that means you’ve got to know yourself authentically, so you have to do a little bit of soul searching. It’s not something that you can just get in one day, it’s something that you’ve got to go out there and test stuff out and through a process of trial and error ultimately you’re going to peel that onion back, you’re going to peel those layers back until you get to the core of what your purpose is. Once you’ve got that core then that is the first step so now you have some sort of idea of what you should be moving towards.
Then of course they’re practical challenges to all this. Even if you know what you should be expressing and what that means, it’s still a challenge to put yourself practically in this situation where you can do that without being beholden to other forces. Maybe you care what your parents think about you. Maybe you care what your spouse thinks about you. Maybe you care about what your friends think about you. Maybe you care about the money that you’re getting and you feel like you have to weigh your creative output with the amount of money you will be getting for it.
Maybe you feel being a hundred percent authentic would be rewarding for you. Spiritually it would feel nice but it wouldn’t pay the bills at that level you want it to pay at. Maybe you wouldn’t be a millionaire if you did it. Maybe you’d only be making fifty thousand a year if. Maybe you feel like you’d not even be making that, maybe you feel like you wouldn’t be able to make any money doing whatever it is that you really love doing.
The Most Rewarding Position To Be In
I think the power though, is to summon the courage and then of course use your logic, use your intellect, use practical things that you understand, tools to kind of put yourself in a position where you can be there expressing yourself, hopefully getting rewarded for it financially and also not caring what others think of you. I think that’s ultimately the most rewarding position to be in in life. The trick though is figuring out how to get those pieces to all fit together.
That’s a large puzzle to solve. That’s not something you solve in a week, a month. It’s probably going to be a multiple-year long endeavor for you to get this handled. Maybe it’s going to take a decade to get it handled, maybe even more because you’ve got to do some deep soul searching, figure out what you want then you’ve got to actually start putting the action steps in place to get yourself there. Maybe that means you’re going to start a business that can earn you enough money so you can be financially independent so that then you can do whatever it is you want to do.
I think the power of this concept is that once you get yourself in a position where you can be authentic, just expressing who you are, that is like the core because there’s something that you can bring to the world given your unique experiences and your beliefs and your skillsets and your personal history and psychology that nobody else on the planet can do. Whether that’s being manifest through business or through a job that you have, through some sort of career or whatever it is that you do, volunteer work, it doesn’t really matter. There’s something there that you can share with the world that will be of value and that’s your personality manifest through some sort of lens like a job or whatever.
I think it’s really powerful that once you get aligned with that, once you get all the elements in your life aligned with all that, then you can start achieving amazing things. You’re going to start feeling really rewarded and great about yourself not because you’re earning money, but because you’re having the kind of impact that you want. And it’s not even so much about impact it’s just that you’re just expressing, it’s just like a full natural expression you feel so good about that that almost nothing else is even necessary.
The Snowball Effect
Ironically what happens is that when you are that expressive, usually what happens is that stuff starts aligning with you and you start getting more and more success and it starts snowballing. Because you’re being expressive, people are drawn to it, because you’re sharing something unique that nobody else is offering then that all of a sudden puts you in a position where you have prestige, you have authority, you have value, so you can charge more and therefore the finances come into place as well. Then you get your independence and then that just lets you express yourself even more. So you get this snowball effect going.
Now that is the ultimate goal I think I have for you if you are interested in life purpose and finding your life purpose and getting on track with your life purpose, is finding out what it is that you want to express and how exactly you want to express it and then putting an action plan into place for getting that going. So maybe you’re just starting this, or maybe you’re already half way into it and there’s some extra steps you have to take to move them further along. Either way, I encourage you to think about what kind of true expression you want to have in your life.