Cause & Purpose - What Are You Willing To Die For?

By Leo Gura - March 5, 2014 | 16 Comments

How to transform your lame, petty life into something big and meaningful.

Big Ideas

You Have Nothing To Live For

  • The real problem is that you have nothing in your life that you’re willing to bleed for.
  • You have no cause.
  • Honestly, what are you living for?
  • Are you living to:
    • Party with your friends?
    • Watch the next season of Game of Thrones?
    • Go to your boring, useless 9-5 job that provides no value to humanity?
    • Get even more comfortable and lazy inside your lame marriage?
    • Go to another fancy restaurant?
    • Get into another cozy relationship?
    • Redecorate your house until it’s just perfect?
    • Go shopping?
  • How can you hope to create a great life from that? You are pathetic!
  • I want you to admit right now that you are a waste of human life.

The Ancients Where On To Something

  • Consider the movie, 300. This is such a powerful movie.
  • The blood and gore aside, what’s really being communicated is THE GOOD FIGHT.
  • The soldiers in 300 are fighting for their ideals beyond all odds.
  • What are you fighting for?
  • It seems like there was a time in human history when people where willing to die for what they believed in.
  • Is that really true? I don’t know, but I like to believe it.
  • On the one hand I’m sure people were lazy throughout all of history, even in antiquity.
  • But on the other hand, as we get more technologically advanced as a society, it certainly seems we’re getting lazier.
  • In the ancient times a solider was willing to go to battle and fight for something he believed in.
  • What kind of mindset does it take to willing step onto a battlefield of thousands of brutal men and risk your life?
  • Obviously he is scared, so what kind of drive must he have?
  • He has a cause, he has a mission he’s willing to bleed for.
  • But that’s more than we can say for 99% of people today.

What It Took To Survive In The Ancient Times

  • In the ancient times, life was actually a matter of life and death. Survival was constantly on your mind. The shortness of life was palpable.
  • Think about what the world was like 3000 years ago:
    • Famine
    • War
    • Crime
    • No political stability
    • Rape and pillage
    • No education
    • Crude medicine
    • Crude science
    • Crude technology
    • Mythology and superstition
  • What would a human being need to have to survive in that kind of environment, psychologically speaking?
  • Purpose. That person would need something larger than himself to cope with all that chaos.
  • That’s why religions took off like a wildfire in those times. Religion offered hope, a transcendent cause.
  • But there was something even bigger than religion. There was the idea of living for higher values.
  • What do you really value in life?
  • By value I’m not talking about what you like to think or believe. I’m talking about what you actually practically value with your labor.
  • If you’re sitting on your couch watching TV, that’s what you practically value, even though you might believe in being creative.
  • If you’re going to a boring 9-5 job, that’s what you practically value, even though you might believe in making a difference.
  • You need to tap into those things that are important enough that you are willing to bleed and even die to make them manifest.
  • We all have these deeper, higher values, but few of us are connected to them because we are distracted by the modern world.

Living For Higher Values

  • Here are some suggestions for what you should start practically valuing right now:
    • Beauty: go create something beautiful
    • Truth: go work your ass off to discover what is really true
    • Love: live your life with compassion and giving to others
    • Justice: go create a more justice society
    • Creativity: go add something profound to our culture
  • Abraham Maslow talks about all these values and more in his brilliant book, Towards a Psychology of Being.
  • The self-actualized human being dedicates his/her life to one of more of these values. Not just in theory but in practice.
  • You have to start living for something greater than sex, entertainment, stimulation, money, security, comfort, or peace of mind.
  • The only way you’re going to radically change the trajectory of your life is by committing to something big.
  • What it means for something be to be meaningful is that you are willing to bleed for it.
  • If you don’t have a cause, you simply will not make it, because it takes too much emotional toil to make these ideals real.
  • Stop being so fucking selfish. Commit your life to something that is not YOU!

The Main Dish Of Life

  • Your life is going to be both very long and very short.
  • You already know what it means that life is short, but it’s also long.
  • It’s long in the sense that if you don’t have a cause, all you’re going to be doing is a bunch of useless shit that won’t ever make you fulfilled.
  • That suffering will make your life long and miserable.
  • Stop making useless shit the center of your life. Useless shit is okay, but make it the garnish of life, not the main dish.
  • The main dish in life is your purpose.
  • Purpose is larger than you, your family, or your friends. Purpose is about humanity.
  • You purpose will be whatever you find advances humanity in the most meaningful way. For everyone this will be different.
  • Whatever you do, you have to find something that you’re willing to put the work into.
  • Your ultimate joy in life can only come from the work you put into serving others. Sounds hokey, but ignore this principle at your peril.

Where Is Your Hero’s Journey?

  • You have to put yourself on the hero’s journey.
  • Are you on a hero’s journey now? No! You’re just sitting on your lazy ass, working a boring 9-5 job.
  • It’s very easy to tell. Just ask yourself, “Is my job really advancing humanity in a meaningful way?”
  • Don’t waffle with the answer. It’s a simple Yes or No question. Deep down your subconscious knows what’s real.
  • Is your company, your business, your organization creating something useful for humanity?
  • If the answer is No, you need to change.
  • This is your wake-up call.
  • If you’ve been wasting your life up to this point, it won’t be an easy, painless transition, but it has to start somewhere. The alternative to too painful to bare.
  • My job is to create a spark within you and help you kindle that into a roaring fire of motivation.
  • It’s possible. If you think motivated people are just born that way, you’re dead wrong.
  • Just over the last 2 years I was able to kindle a roaring fire within myself that now lets me work 24-hours straight when I need to. And a lot of my work is boring and tedious.
  • That is me bleeding for my values.
  • I’m not perfect at it by any means, but I’m better at it than most.
  • How about you? What did you bleed for this week?

Die With A Smile On Your Face

  • The feeling of living on your edge and executing full-out is amazing. I want you to have that feeling more consistently!
  • When you are on your edge, you literally get the sense that if you were to die right now, you would die with a smile on your face.
  • If I died shooting this video or writing this article, after working for 24-hours straight, I’d like to believe that I would die with a smile on my face.
  • That’s what it means to live an extraordinary life, and I want that kind of life for you.
  • This idea can be hard to articulate because it’s abstract and lofty, but I think you get the message.
  • You need to start taking your higher values much more seriously.
  • What is your cause? What are you willing to bleed for starting today?

Bottom Line: Pick a single higher value that your life will be about. Make sure it’s so meaningful that you are willing to bleed for it.

Tip Jar
Tip Jar
Like this video?
Leave a tip
Come join the Forum! Meet like-minded people & transform your life.

How the hell does this not have more comments and likes? Awesome work Leo, love your videos. One of the most inspiring motivational videos I have watched of yours and of anyone else for that matter. Thanks for creating this.

Leo Gura says:

Thanks Chris

Lesik says:

Great video Leo

Lee says:

Wow, you have just wrapped everything that ever needs to be said into 23 minutes and 4 seconds. Why is it that we have to be told or have the obvious spelt out for us before we can act. Everyone needs a purpose. Could you imagine a world where everyone was on track, single minded to enhance humanity rather than selfish needs. I want to live in that world.but a single pebble dropped in a lake eventually reaches even the more stubborn edges. I want to be that pebble. Thanks leo, you are a special guy.

Leo Gura says:

Be that pebble!

louis wesley says:

wow. thank you for sharing this side of you.

Carolina says:

Hey Leo,

I downloaded the mp3 for this video and I just finished listening to it, and I thought that I really need to come here and leave you a comment.

I know you say in one of your videos that you shouldnt care much about what people say good or bad, but here it goes


Now, I wanna watch it again to see your face while you are saying all that motivating and passionate thruth!

Excellent job, thanks again!

ASH says:

Wow. Just watching such genuine passion seep through into your presentation brought tears to my eyes too! I’m still welling up a little thinking about it.

I think you really touch on an important aspect for any human being. Something we all need, but something only a few consciously want and that even fewer take action towards.

This was the perfect time in my life for me to see this video. I’ve only recently been REALLY thinking about the contribution I want to make to the world, and I’m in a position to start on virtually any path I want.

Thanks Leo!!!

shail says:

One of the rarest video on motivation .Thanks for raising the spirit !

Denyta says:

Wow Leo. After seeing your video, I feel motivated right now to finish writing my book. I want to maintain that momentum. You are so inspirational & I want that to rub off onto me. My Ego distracts me far to often. I am my own worst enemy.

Thank you for your great videos Leo.

Eve says:

Leo!! This was amazing!! Thank you for the kick in the ASS!! getting over a major breakup and putting off a major move to launch my own business 1 year in the making and I really need to hear this!!! No more fear! No more tears!! Its time for Action! your amazing!

ejdm says:

Bro… Thanks for this one !!

Annie says:

Thank you for inspiring me to put all of my soul into finishing school this last year and then moving to China to create the dreams I have for my son and I. You’re literally helping me to stay committed to this higher vision that I have for my career and raising a son under high awareness, and the highest ideals in life.

Elisabeth says:

Thank you!
I have been watching a lot of videos from this side already, but this one finally made me realize what you mean by puspose or passion. I just watched everything after the 7th minute 3 times in a row.
I wonder if you would still shoot this video now you are all into enlightment, but I guess this is more of my level anyways

michelle says:

I get what your saying Leo but Im not sure if its always necessary to do it so angrily. It kind of sounds like you’re talking down to people. We need some support and guidance not a whip.

Max Gron says:

The only problem is misunderstanding this video, this “ancient” teaching and people asking any annoying question, and it could be as simple as “are you alright?”, the annoyance you feel without any pride isn’t worth dying for, what Leo says is worth dying for. If you use it to dupe yourself in the wrong direction and misunderstand it you’re a fool. What happens now has a better result and reaction over time than done previously a year ago. It’s true, as my direct experience tells me that every time has a different result. The saying goes if at first you don’t succeed try again. Things get better, but they don’t reach any higher, they maintain homeostasis. How does a nasty thing like still believing sound to you? It narks you, not nice, but dying for your values is because you value them and not because it’s nice. This might surprise even Leo but I was born with it, I was born dying for something, it started with being the clown, then the longhair, and the weirdo, when the years of weirdness were given up then no matter how much I won’t fit in, no matter what distress it caused to my mother I would be normal. I have two options, I can either risk people not caring and cling to normalism, or I can stay normal to the point of getting stabbed. My 7 values are Puritanism, regalism, antidisbelief, anti-Australianism, anti-perfectionism, book one of “Either/Or”, and ultranormalism, I actually have 9 values, the two extra are ultraconservatism and triskaidekaphobia, the fear of one plus twelve. That’s what I’m fighting for, my luck, happiness and survival.

Leave a Comment
What color are lemons?*