24K Journey - The Pursuit of a Meaningful Life

Ignatius Bagussuputra #life#reflection#stoicism

The 24th year of both introspection and retrospection, a journey towards a meaningful and fulfilling life encompassing happiness and reason for existence.

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24 karat (often abbreviated as 24K) is a unit of measurement used to describe pure gold, which is the purest and highest quality of gold available. Achieving 100% purity is nearly impossible to attain, which is why 24K gold is permitted to have a purity of 99.9% or higher, with the remaining 0.1% being trace impurities to also increase its durability, otherwise it would be too soft for any practical use.


If you found yourself stripped of everything — no job, no money, no home, no friends, no family, not even a name — nothing but your soul, who would you be then? In that stark emptiness, you’d come to realize that everything outside you is but a complement to the person you already are. No amount of possessions can ever complete you, and no number of people can make you love yourself. The key lies within yourself; cultivating gratitude is the path to genuine contentment. When you feel like you have nothing, look within and realize you are everything to begin with.

Happiness was never about our job, or degree, or being in a relationship, or following in the footsteps of all of the people who came before us. It wasn’t about conformity and never about being like the others. Happiness has always been a journey of self-discovery, hope, and the willingness to listen to our heart and following wherever it chose to go. Happiness is about being kinder to ourself and embracing the person we are becoming. Our happiness was never in the hands of others; it has always been a matter of self-acceptance, finding contentment within, and learning how to live with ourself.

Meditation is one of the best and most powerful practice we can do for nurturing gratitude and mindfulness. It helps us learn how to be aware of our thoughts and emotions, establishing a strong connection with ourself, enabling us to be comfortable with our own company and find peace with our thought. Within the stillness of meditation, we can learn to fully control our mind, giving us tremendous benefits by cultivating the abilities to be present, calm, and clear-headed. You may be able to get away with not doing this for #happiness, but this will be crucial for some people in #purpose.

This journey isn’t about forcing self-love, which can feel unnatural. Instead, it’s a process of accepting yourself and embracing your authentic self. As you break through this barrier, you’ll discover the ability to excel in both grit and resilience. You’ll have the combination of passion and perseverance with grit, and the ability to adapt and recover from adversity with resilience. Your mind and spirit will grow resolute, giving you an unwavering courage in the face of hardship or danger and the capacity to withstand and overcome difficult circumstances. When you learn to harness and channel your emotions to cultivate discipline, you’ll find yourself on the path to becoming unstoppable.

*Grit and Resilience: It’s Not Over Until I Win


We all know the importance of discipline, it enables us to maintain consistency and laser-like focus over time. However, cultivating discipline is hard because we don’t really understand what it is. We think of discipline as the exertion of willpower, but it is something we can sustain temporarily before it inevitably runs out, leading to setbacks as we start failing again.

To understand deeper, let’s examine what causes the lack of discipline: doubt, or a wavering state of mind. When we’re uncertain about our goals, we tend to question ourselves in many ways, and this gets in the way of our discipline. In contrast, the absence of doubt enables us to carry out tasks consistently and with unwavering focus. A strong sense of purpose guides our way, we feel resolved internally, and our actions exhibit discipline.

So, how do we learn to cultivate resolve? We often make resolutions on special occasions such as New Year’s, birthdays, or significant life events. Unfortunately, we struggle to keep it going, and that is the same with emotion. Unlike habits and willpower, emotions fluctuate the most on a day-to-day basis within our minds, and resolve is one such emotion.

The key to being disciplined is to cultivate resolve on a daily basis. Pay attention to those moments when you feel resolute; capture mental snapshots of these instances and remember how it feels. You’ll discover that resolve fuels your willpower. As you embark on this journey, start with something small or easy for you to do and do it consistently, something that is not emotionally taxing or exceptionally significant. Visualize resolve as your inner fire, something you stoke diligently every day, until it grows and blazes brightly. With this fire that you nurture, you can start using it to fuel on more important goals. Through the cultivation of this positive emotion, you will gain the required emotional energy that will seamlessly infuse your discipline.

The unfortunate aspect of discipline being an emotion is that the people who are undisciplined are numb; they are disconnected from their emotions and doesn’t feel anything at all. While the numbness shields them from their negative emotions, it simultaneously robs them of the capacity to foster positive ones. Emotions cannot be selectively muted, we either feel everything or nothing at all.

Yet, once you’ve harnessed and mastered your resolve, you unlock a realm of possibilities that once seemed insurmountable. You become an indomitable force of nature filled with determination, rendering everything seemingly effortless, and you’ll find yourself feeling unstoppable.


What is the purpose of life? The truth is, life itself doesn’t inherently possess a universal purpose. A sense of purpose — what the French refer to as raison d’être — is the reason that gives us meaning, the reason that drives us to live, the reason for existing. Unfortunately, finding purpose is really hard these days, most of us are too busy with our daily lives to even think about it, often overwhelmed by external distractions, until we’re left with a sense of meaninglessness. As life becomes meaningless, we start to seek on external sources for quick dopamine rushes, and with the acceleration of technology, we’re simply becoming addicted to the instant gratification they provide, ultimately externalizing our attention.

Constantly checking our phones, scrolling through social media, listening or watching to something, or playing video games. With all of these distractions within the reach of our fingertips, and having your attention externalized at every moment of the day, we’re bound to lose the ability to pay attention to our internal stimuli, be it our thoughts or feelings. We don’t really know what we think, hence we struggle to find our purpose (there’s actually neuroscience evidence that shows technology usage can suppress our amygdala and the limbic shuts down our ability to be in touch with ourself).

Here’s where boredom comes in, playing the role of a stimulation seeking emotional state. When our mind is not getting the stimulation it wants, it’s going to make us feel bored, and we’re going to seek out some kind of stimulation, which is usually something external these days. However, if we can learn to control ourselves and embrace boredom, we can stop drowning our internal stimuli from the outside, our inner voice will be able to start speaking up much more clearly, and we can start to find ourselves.

What does it mean to “find ourselves”, aren’t we with ourselves all the time? No, actually. In fact, we’re so far away with ourselves because of all these digital stimulations. This is the reason why we can see people go on a journey, they travel the world, they go hiking, to the mountains, or the forest for some time, and they come back with clarity in their eyes as they’ve found themselves.

Now, we don’t have to literally go on a journey around the world, what we need to do is to reduce external stimulations and reach the end of thought. Meditation will help us immensely in this regard, as it’s a practice of being alone with our thoughts, keep exhausting our thoughts until we feel a period of intense boredom. When we’re able to make it through this phase, our thoughts will start to slow down, we start to gain control of our mind, until we eventually reach the end of thought. At this point, we’ll be hypersensitive to everything internal, we can start listening to ourselves, and we can start to align a life out of our own values.

To answer the question at the start; the purpose of life is not in life, it’s in you. That sense of purpose comes from within each and every one of us, no one else can answer on your behalf, nobody but yourself can fill in the void. Once you discover your purpose, you can start to align a life out of it, you’ll be able to tolerate the difficulties of life, you can do hard things because you know why you’re doing it and you care for the life that you’re building. It becomes so much easier and enjoyable to live life, and you’ll be able to live a life of meaning.

24K You

The quality of a gold is determined by its inherent self-content, with a higher karat value signifying greater fineness and purity. Similarly, the essence of a human being is gauged by their inner qualities and character. Just as a higher karat values indicated finer and purer gold, a person’s virtues, integrity, and character traits can reflect a more refined and authentic human being.

With the advancements of technology, we’ve become too comfortable with all the digital conveniences, we’ve lost touch with ourself and have grown accustomed to external stimuli, constantly craving for more. We’ve essentially forgotten how to enjoy solitary moments of self-reflection, just being alone with ourselves and our thoughts. We are left feeling numb, and we let things happen rather than making things happen.

To regain control of our life and be whole again, we’ll first have to learn how to be comfortable with ourself and find happiness from within. Building up grit as we go, we’ll learn to be resilient and bounce back from adversity. As we’re starting to feel content with ourself, we’ll be able to easily control our emotions, until we’ve mastered them and are able to summon the feeling of resolved, at will. Use this to reach the end of thought, find your purpose and align a life out of your own values.

With this newfound powers and epiphany, you’ll be able to dream of something that you really want to do. However, dream without goals are mere fantasies, and in the end, they lead to disappointment. Combine everything that you’ve learned here to breathe life into your dreams. Commitment ignites the spark and gets you started, but it’s your consistent effort (or resolve as we’ve learned earlier) that fuels your journey, pushing you forward until you reach the end goal. You will be unstoppable, achieving anything you set your mind to.

I’d like to list some mantras that I’ve been repeating to myself here, as a reminder to myself and to share with you:

If you’ve skipped through to this section, I hope I’ve summarized the key points enough for it to make sense. If you’ve reached this part of the article and you’re still reading, I really hope you’ve found some value in it, at least enough to see life in a different perspective. If you’re someone I know personally and have recently caught up with, I’m glad that we’re still able to keep in touch, and I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together. If not, then what are we waiting for?!

Anyways, I’m turning 24 today. I feel like I’m at my purest and highest potential, yet I’m still feeling better than I was yesterday, which is definitely a good sign. I want to maintain the belief that I’m the best I can be every day while also living with a growth mindset, convincing myself that I can and should strive for continuous improvement, even if it’s just a small step each day. There’s definitely still ways to go, and I’m just repeating my mantras at this point, but I believe I’ve reached my 24K excellence. What about you? How’s your 24K journey?


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