How I Found Purpose At The Lowest Point In My Life & How You Can Find Yours

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“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

Success. Fame. Happiness. Job satisfaction. Money. These are a few – and probably the most frequent – of the many desires that most people have. But then, they’re often as elusive as they are fascinating. I know that, because for a long time, these were things I held up as the purpose of life as well. But there is one discovery that led me to actually getting there: Discovering the purpose of my life!

Let me start by sharing a personal story. It was four years ago, and I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I was in a terrible position and owed 1.2 million dollars in debt. And I owed that money to banks, partners, mum, dad, etc… My bank statement was even more alarming; at one time, I had just $24 in my account. (Now, don’t get any stupid ideas! Just because I revealed my low bank balance doesn’t mean that this is a “Rags to Riches” type story.)

To add to my financial troubles, I had a fractured wrist that I couldn’t afford to attend to at that point in time. In fact, it took me a year and a half to get it fixed. My mom got diagnosed with cancer at the same time, leaving me at an emotional low. And then, when you would think that nothing else could go wrong, my grandma died. She was very special to me. The day she passed I dropped to me knees and wept for a good 45 minutes when something all of a sudden just hit me. A switch went off in my head.

I was broke, financially and emotionally. I was at the lowest point of my life and I told myself that I had nothing left to lose. And that’s when I knew I had to take charge of the situation. I had to live life in a bigger and a better way, not for my success, but for my mom, my friends, and my family.

I knew that real estate investing was an area close to my heart, and rather than weighing the pros against the cons, the good vs the bad, I simply got started. I started selling like crazy, day in day out. I worked really hard, made plenty of mistakes, talked to the people who were where I wanted to be and went that extra mile, time and time again. And today, as a result, I’m a completely different person than the man who was once on his knees.

That phase for me was my personal turning point. I started discovering the purpose behind my life. But it isn’t as easy as so many people think it is. I know many people, in the final chapters of their life, who are still searching. Finding your purpose in life, after all, does seem like something that doesn’t exist. It’s hard to say exactly when and where you may find it. Some go look for it actively, but don’t know where to look. Others find it in the most unusual and unexpected of situations.

But one thing I can tell you, it’s not some kind of massive change that will show you your purpose overnight. It is about doing small things right that keep you headed in the right direction. And I hope my blog today will take you a few steps closer to that second most important day of your life.

Related: Working With Purpose: How I’ve Found Focus By Developing My “Why”

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Discovering Your Passion

This is where it starts. They say that if you do something you love, you won’t have to work a single day in your life. In my case, I let my passions design my career, and I recommend the same for each and every one of you. When I got into real estate, it was because I loved the thrill of the market, its dynamism and my ability to get the right kind of home to the right person.

If real estate is your passion too, then don’t let any limitations get in your way. Get out there, work like a madman and make it happen. But before you do that, remember one thing: Your passion can never be limited to you yourself, it has to be bigger than you.

Tangible over intangible

When asked what their purpose is, many people give vague answers. Some say making money, others say happiness. But there is no way any of them would ever give you an exact quantity. You never know how much money you’re going to want, and happiness is even vaguer than that. What you need to do is quantify your goal.

For example, ‘I want to read a book’ is a vague goal. I want to read ‘Who moved my cheese’ by the end of the week, is a real one. A goal should be something you can work toward. So, when you get out there to set your goal, choose something that is quantifiable. You need to be able to say to yourself, ‘I made it!” or “missed.” More importantly, choose something that is of value to your community. Don’t make your tangible goal just about yourself. Make it about your loved ones or about your community.

Step out of that comfort zone

I’ll recommend a simple exercise here. Take a notebook and starting from the time you wake up, until the time you hit the bed at night, make a list of all that you did that day. You can even use your laptop if it’s easier.

You wake up, get dressed, go to work, eat and sleep. This is your comfort zone and most people are afraid, no, terrified to step out of it. But only when you take a step toward the unknown will you get closer to finding that elusive purpose of your life. I’d recommend that you do as many things as you can.

Try something new every day. Meet new people, talk to random strangers, join a club, participate in a sport, and get a hobby. Don’t stop to think about what you’d gain from it or how much money you’d make of it. Because, only when you step out of that comfort zone to try something new will things start happening.

Related: 3 Practical Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone (So You Can Do More Deals!)

Meet people

Alexandre Dumas Pere once said, “Be nice to people on your way up, because you might meet ‘em on your way down.” I’d add to it by saying that more often than not, it is those people you meet on your way up who get you there in the first place.

Networking with a lot of people has many advantages. It helps you to see things from different perspectives than your own. It often leads you to help find your purpose. And when you speak to entrepreneurs, you get plenty of failure stories and some success stories that help you when you chart your own course.

For me, talking to people who were where I wanted to be, helped me get there faster. Their experiences guided me to make fewer mistakes because I could learn from theirs. From my personal experience, I recommend that you talk to as many people as you can every day. Talk to people about their past, talk to them about what they’re doing right now and talk to them about where they’re headed.

Make it a point to especially talk to the people you admire and ask them about their journeys. You’ll unearth some fascinating lessons. And while some conversations may seem irrelevant to you now, these could come in handy in the future.

Finally, get going

‘Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noted. Strive to make your absence felt.’ Obviously, many people feel the same way. Hence all the quotes. These words have inspired me on many occasions and they still do.

No matter where you are, no matter at what point of life you’re in, no matter what you’re doing right now, you have to keep pushing forward. Only when you do that does the bad becomes the bearable, the bearable becomes the good and the good becomes the great. Just get going.

You never know where or when lightning will hit. Your focus should be not on achieving fame or money, but on leaving a legacy behind. This way, even when you’re gone, your story is going to live forever. And that is what success is all about.

The purpose of your life is your most important discovery. In the end, I was fortunate to have found what meant the most to me. Today, every morning, when I wake up, I’m full of energy and willing to take on the challenges that life plans to send my way. In fact, I’m excited and supercharged about the opportunities that’ll come my way.

I know the reasons behind why I do what I do. If you too have found your purpose, you’re really one of the lucky ones. And if you haven’t, then get started today. Discover your passions, get out of your comfort zone, meet people and follow your heart. The answers are inside you, and all you need to do is get them out.

Have you discovered your purpose? What were the key factors that helped you?

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora “The Real Estate Dingo" is a successful property investor, motivational speaker and serial entrepreneur that quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at 18. He is also a soon to be published author along with becoming a TV personality in his very own real estate house flipping show. To find out more go to engelorumora.com . Engelo Rumora has been involved in over 400 real estate deals and founded five businesses in Ohio. The most successful is Ohio Cashflow, a company that specializes in providing turnkey properties in several Ohio markets. The newest venture is List’n Sell Realty, a real estate brokerage based in Toledo, Ohio and soon to be known as the #1 discount broker in the country.

28 Comments

  1. Douglas Larson

    Great story! Thanks for sharing!
    Just to add my unsolicited 2 cents, I have read many books on “happiness” and “finding meaning” over the years. Generally, humans seek (and find) true fulfillment in family, faith and helping others. If we can do real estate with integrity and with a bigger picture of those things in mind, everything else seems to just fall into place. I think the passion for real estate (or any other business or pursuit) will sometimes bounce you out of bed in the morning with excitement. At other times you will dread dealing with tenants or RE agents or babysitting your subcontractors.

    I really love my lifestyle and real estate investing makes it possible. I don’t love every aspect of investing, but overall it really excites me and it allows me the time and money to also focus on the things that REALLY matter in life. Real estate is not my purpose in life but I do have a passion for it and it gives me the freedom to pursue true purpose and meaning!

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Douglas,

      No matter what your purpose is, as long as its bigger and better than yourself.

      I would always say that ever since I found my purpose, I feel no fear, I feel no pain and I feel no hunger. Just a sheer drive to succeed for my loved ones 🙂

      Thanks again and much success 🙂

  2. Jessie N.

    Great article! I read my affirmation every morning to start a positive day, I think I found my passion in real estate and I am addictive to it, now I just need to figure out a way to quit that soul sucking corporate job!

  3. The biggest impediment to success I have seen is the failure to change. That is to get locked into one way of doing things and when the cheese moves…wonder where its gone rather than going to find it. The paralysis of analysis, fear of failure, fear of losing money and the inability to step out into the unknown lock you up in your own prison. Take intelligent chances……but TAKE chances….or you will find that someone else did and passed you on the road to ultimate success. Above all, dont be afraid!

    • Engelo Rumora

      F@#$ing BOOM mate,

      Love it.

      They did a study on folks in retiring homes and asked them about their biggest regret in life. Out of all of the things they could have mentioned like “Spending more time with family” or “traveling more”.

      90% said “I wish I took more risk when I was younger”

      We all end up in the same place anyway so why not enjoy as much as possible and take calculated risks toward achieving our wildest dreams. I just achieved one of my wildest dreams and will post about it shortly hehe

      It should be Bigger Pockets first 🙂

      Much success Bob

  4. Craig Pfeffer on

    My passion is real estate. But my purpose is so much bigger than myself….it is living my life for Christ. Lots of money, success, and freedom only brought me temporary happiness. Christ died for everyone and the least I can do is plant the seed for others to know true joy and peace that only comes from Him. Thanks for your article.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Craig,

      Your purpose is very powerful.

      My cousin is a catholic priest and although I don’t go to church very often and am quite vulgar, the faith is always there and my prayers are said every night 🙂

      Much success.

  5. Alex Franks

    Engelo

    By far, this ( Blog , Post ) what ever you guys call this, now a days. That Is the most powerful message, I have read from you. I hope including my self, folks listen to this message. Some very strong words, but yet simple words.

    Thank you again

    Alex

      • Alex Franks

        Had to post my PM message to you. I also responded to your other blog about mentor. I CCed Bryan though on it. Go figure my mentor or business partner is from Auckland New Zealand.

        Well after reading this post decided to share my story with your permission so thank you

        I can relate more than most. I have built or been involved building a few multimillion dollar real estate companies. Then watch in horror as they crumbled. So many lessons learned. I almost lost my wife and lost pretty much everything else. I was surviving on a few rentals that were still paying. That was another lesson~ I saw some very proud folks. Even under financial strain they would pay their rent, just a lot of pride. In between this from 2007-2015 I have had seven knee surgeries. Yep, I said seven surgeries! Still that was not enough to teach me. Even after falling and failing again a second time. It was not until my father got sick. We as a family found out on Aug 7th (my Mom’s bday) that my dad has Stage IV bone cancer. My family grew closer, I found myself not lecturing my brothers. Sometimes you look success on or with paper (money), but something was missing. Success is just not monetary it’s what you deem as your success. I had to find out the hard way.

        Passion.. man you hit the nail on the head. My Dad said go back and start where you started. I showed up at a local rei; spoke for 5 minutes and answered questions. I walked out of that meeting happy not just smiling, but happy deep inside happiness. I am most happy teaching real estate or investing. Driving down the road smiling, thinking very clear.

        Tangible over Intangible: Again, you are spot on- my goals have changed. Teaching is a big part of it. It’s not just real estate, I will have community garden here at some point here. I want to teach my brother, sister, brother/sister-in-laws, and others all about that business (that we can eventually do together). Taking care of my family along the way. This will be a family legacy.

        Who wrote that statement below? Very powerful. Sitting here rereading it again.

        “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noted. Strive to make your absence felt.’ WOW So powerful

        On a side note, I am back out not selling though. “Tell me why your houses and market works,” is what different folks still ask me. I am not sending anyone until I personally can see things for myself. So I would like to make a trip to you at some point for me to see your homes and then I want to buy apartments. This could be something where you find, we buy and who knows.. only time can tell on that one.

        Talk soon

        Alex

        PS poetic that you and Jay were first two folks, I slowly spoke with. Second we got extremely lucky for timing on the 102 units. So a lot of real estate is knowing numbers, getting in, and out at the right time, but having some luck on your side once in a while it does not hurt.

        Alex

        • Engelo Rumora

          Too goo mate and thank for sharing.

          Always looked up to you from the good old Aussie forum days 🙂

          Working hard to achieve the success you have thus far.

          Smash the week and chat soon

  6. Dena Wesley

    Loved this! I can relate personally. For many years, I based life choices on either the expectations that others put on me or adjusting due to life circumstances. It wasn’t until my divorce several years ago, that I felt the need to do some introspection. I had to get to know myself all over again and find out what I was passionate about because unfortunately, I gave up a lot of who I was during the time I was married. Since then I’ve learned that a true partner should never make you feel that you should give up your hopes and dreams. That’s not love…it’s possessiveness and insecurity.

    I think the reason so many people are unfulfilled is because they’ve never taken the time to figure out their purpose in life. Our culture dictates to us that superficial things will make us satisfied but once we acquire them, we still feel an emptiness inside, or we spend the majority of our lives caught up in the rat race barely taking time to love ourselves (exercise, eating right), hang out with our loved ones or just plain stopping to smell the roses. This is a good reminder on the importance of self-awareness and how it can put you the path of realizing your purpose.

    Very inspirational and thanks for sharing your story Engelo!

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Dena and your comment is very powerful.

      Guess what?

      I don’t give a F@#$ about what anyone else says. I live my life in the most non-stereotypical way you could possibly imagine.

      Work hard, follow your dreams and passions and don’t get caught up in the S#@% noise others throw your way.

      Live, Laugh & Love
      #TheDingo

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