Finding Your Life's Purpose
Finding your life purpose seems like a buzz phrase these days - but knowing what it is will change your life.
Finding my life's purpose changed mine, so I want to tell you the story in hopes that it will inspire you to find yours.
I was born and raised in what’s allegedly the happiest country in the world. Experts say that Denmark has been inhabited since at least 12,500 BC. We’ve got the oldest state flag still in use, twice as many bicycles as cars, and we’re famous as a nation for our liberalism.
The Denmark I remember growing up in didn’t provide me with rose-tinted glasses. I was raised in a dysfunctional household and was frequently bullied as a child. Both of my parents were computer programmers and brave entrepreneurs back when there were only five computers—old-school machines that took up an entire room and demanded that you woke in the middle of the night to run your punchcards through them—in the entire country.
My father produced shop fitting for gas stations worldwide; my mother launched a software company in 1980 that produced Denmark’s market-leading “MS Office” long before MS Office was a thing.
They taught me to program at a young age, instilling in me a love for computers. Tech issues seemed ridiculously simple in the face of human conflict; despite their professional success, my parents didn’t embody marital bliss. I tread on eggshells, childishly believing anything I said or did could trigger an emotional breakdown.
Our family dynamic made me believe I simply wasn’t a people person. I found comfort in faith, clinging to the belief that we were all part of something bigger.
By my teenage years, I’d decided spirituality wasn’t getting me anywhere. I shook it off for the next 20 years and substituted it with pragmatism. And I started thinking about problem-solving on a broader scale, analyzing the state of government and politics, concluding that none of Denmark’s political parties seemed to fully represent me.
Back then, however, I didn’t fully represent me, either.
Over the course of my life, I’d live in Denmark, India, and New York. When I first moved to NYC, I lost my programming job in the aftermath of 9/11. Back in Denmark, I then launched and emotionally sabotaged my own software company.
I lost myself in a dysfunctional relationship, excessive drinking, and poor eating habits. Misplacing my purpose and unable to cope, I felt myself failing as a husband, father, son, entrepreneur, and overall human being.
In 2003, I would embark on a journey of self-discovery, questioning my beliefs and wrestling with my inner demons. I would reignite my spirituality and sense of purpose, and seek my calling.
I’d navigate a difficult relationship and ultimately find the woman of my dreams. I’d revamp my company and cultivate an unshakeable work culture. I’d literally go to the other side of the world to find myself.
And I did find myself.
Today, I live and breathe my purpose.
My body is healthier than ever before and I’ve created deeply nourishing relationships. I’m the CEO of Simplero, a multi-million dollar software company in New York, surrounded by an incredible team and client base who’d go through fire for our mission.
I’ve found the ability to be both fierce and receptive, directed and intuitive, structured, and adventurous.
"What Do You Want?"
Life is a series of endless moments and experiences that help chisel your character and mold your reality. You continuously have the choice to let your past define you, or to create yourself and your future.
One such pivotal moment happened in 2003. Desperate to save my floundering company, I held an advisory board meeting with some of the smartest people in Copenhagen. After hours of strategizing, one of them looked me in the eye, and calmly remarked: “We’ve been here for three hours, and I still don’t know what you want.”
The truth in his words rattled me. I had no idea what I wanted. I’d always thought you weren’t allowed to “want” anything in business. You were supposed to check yourself at the door and become an intellect-driven machine. Weren’t you?
The question would haunt me for years. What do you want?
Answering that forced me to explore my emotions instead of escaping them.
In 2008, in a cold and empty house, I questioned everything—my dreams, wants, goals—and wrote down the answers. Halfway through, I knew what I wanted. I found the spot where my passion and talents overlapped with the world’s wants and needs.
I call it Spiritual Entrepreneurship.
It means integrating spirituality and entrepreneurship. It means being a servant to the business’s soul and deeper purpose, and helping it manifest itself. It means being mindful, accountable, compassionate, creative, passionate, courageous, and vulnerable. It means trusting my intuition and doing both the inner and outer work. Everything I’ve done since has been a direct consequence of that realization; it’s bled into all other elements of my life.
Including my approach to politics.
My thirty-ninth birthday in 2013 found me in India, where I ran my online software business, practiced Ashtanga yoga, and answered introspective questions posed by my beloved wife Nomi. I don’t remember much of the questions, but I vividly remember one of the answers.
“I want to be the special advisor to the President of the United States on conscious nation building,” I told her.
I’d never spoken those words before. Consciously, the idea hadn’t ever crossed my mind. Yet there it was, fully formed, spoken aloud. I wasn’t even sure what “conscious nation building” meant.
But I felt it.
Emotions overwhelmed me: joy, inspiration, revelation. Awe at the sense of the scale, responsibility, and contribution that such a thought embodied—to the point that tears streamed down my face and I couldn’t stop them.
I knew what I wanted. I’d never felt so clear-headed in my entire life. Knowing your burning desire—acknowledging it, expressing it—is a force of power in and of itself.
It felt like a gut punch, but in the best possible way.