What The Hell Are Deep Life Goals?

This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you.
For a sec I thought this stock pic was my husband haha.

I codenamed my pet ideas “M” and “A” for each respectively. I have been unable to retain as much time socializing with fellow bloggers or writing while working out these pet ideas. Thankfully traffic stats appear to be holding steady and no one hates me yet 🙂 Just wanted to give a heads up on time, I’m still here with tons of stuff to write and the Hippo family isn’t going anywhere. Just need to figure out the groove of things.

What The Hell is ‘Deep Life?’

I don’t know. I just made that phrase up. 😆

Basicallyyy, it’s self actualization. It’s the hard question you ask yourself – after you reach financial independence.

It’s kind of along the lines of what the meaning of life is, what reality is, what is time blah blah blah.

This deep life question only comes under circumstances of a lot of freedom, self-exploration and enough to be financially safe (financial independence).

Related: Find Meaning Before You Find Wealth

These caveats narrow the pool of candidates a lot.

Most people who feel like they’re missing that purpose can’t start or stop to think about it. Therefore most don’t get that opportunity of a solution because there are so many distractions.

There is the mortgage to pay, the bills to balance, the kids to pick up from school, dinner to make etc.

As a result, you end up with a bunch of people listing this as their #1 deathbed regret:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” (Business Insider)



The basis of human-centric design follows 5 phrases which are Need, Observation, Idea Generation (Solution) and Testing. We as humans use it for every single novel problem encountered. I organized my train of thoughts in this respect to map out what I went through to discover my meaning.

Related: Answer These 10 Questions to Discover Your Life’s Purpose (By Half-Life Theory)

The other example I went by is…classic Maslow!


If you are missing meaning or feeling empty while most of your basics for Maslow’s hierarchy is being met then you might be going through something similar to what I have been experiencing for several years which is esteem needs and self-actualization.

Talk about creative thinking…imagine the mental somersault I had to do as a regular 27-year-old immigrant (not high on anything or special in any way) to figure this out.

Deep life is everything on that tippy top pyramid and if unexplored then the only other thing left is regret.

Related: Stop Sitting Around and Go Get What You Want. (By 4Pillar)



The Cause

After my husband and I crossed over the liquid $1 million net worth mark – which coincided around my 27th birthday – I’ve been more serious about deeper life goals. I had to think about it because on the base level, we are now financially independent


What should be driving us now should be a higher calling or aim. You can even track my mental journey with my post from last year where I struggled with this topic, among other emotions.

Related: That Time My Blogger Friend Made Me Cry

We got away with some serious luck and hard work. Top that with a generally laid-back, uncaring attitude regarding social situations, external experiences or material goods…you get oddballs like us who has no solid plans after being freed.



The Process

So I had to dig deep. I had to dig deep for a year and it was a flipping crazy year of back and fro. I did not show it on the blog but all of 2017, I basically cried Soapy’s ears off about what I should do with life (or thought was what I wanted in life.)

To a person worried about her next meal and paycheck, I bet I came off very annoying. Not relatable at all. When Maslow’s most basic hierarchy of needs (food & shelter) is not covered, everything else is a minor misdemeanor.

Related: How To Afford $800 Shoes When You’re $100k in Debt

This in return drove even heavier feelings of concern that I may never find something that will give me self-actualization.

Then one day someone (Amy of LifeZemplified) said to me, “a lot of people should just push instead of pull” and this giant lightbulb went off in my head. So begins the period of simply observing myself and not where I should be or could be. Nothing about my past or regrets and nothing about my future or blessings.

I suppose a backpacking trip through Europe would have flushed that out too, like so many of my college professors told me they did and so many of my peers after graduation did. Back then I did not have that privilege so I started finding work right away thinking they were a bunch of hippies.

(I honestly thought that hahaha. Buncha hippies!)

Well, they might have had a point. I don’t think you need to trek through Europe or Tibet though.

I had volumes of data of what made me tick, I just needed a spark and accept who I am. Work with the grain, not against it.

I used that data about myself and flushed out my pet projects “M” & “A” after a little over a year of mulling over things.

Autonomy – The need to control your own life.

Mastery – The urge to get better at something that matters to us.

Purpose – The yearning to be a part of something bigger than just you.

These are deeper life projects because it came after Financial Independence (“autonomy”) AND it’s driven by the human need for “mastery” and “purpose.”

Related: What’s Your Plan for Life After Retirement? (By Retire by 40)

The Block

I was pulling and pulling and pulling…and wrecking every brain cell to find some meaning before we became financially independent.

Funnily, they were sitting in front of me all along. These few lifelong obsessions that I considered as a “quirks” now turned itself into something more. Someone out there is probably thinking, well duh – how did you not see it?

But I was really really really really really really blindsided. I was pulling and pulling and pulling when I should have just pushed.

One of these quirks made me weird and…well, I never saw it as a potential gift.

The rest of the quirks were so far out of reach that I did not entertain them as avenues until I realized everything was more in-reach then I thought…especially if you’re financially independent before age 30.

That’s a really young leg up!

I grew up poor so…if you’re telling me dreams are now affordable at age 27…woooo baby, that’s something I’ve never heard of before simply from a mentality point of view.

Related: The World Doesn’t Have To Make Sense



The Steps

First, I have a few known “plenty o’ passions” to go around. They all…coincidentally…start with Fs: food, family, finance, fiction, and f*cking. I just have to find avenues where they can take on a fuller form than personal quirks. (F*cking is a hobby, right? jkjk)

Second, I targeted my natural talents and abilities instead of beating them up for being a waste of time.

Third, I matched up my talents with the exact avenue of my passions and I placed that along with the opportunity of my reality.

Fourth, I went to my deathbed and drew out what I wanted to do from there.

Finally, I scoped around my present reality for information like cost, potential, funding, opportunity cost, history of obsession, disruption, danger, reward, familiarity, practice…I basically gave it a good once over up and down.

(Also, notice all Fs are selfish and I’m more than fine with that.)

Self-actualization is described simply as…

“the psychological process aimed at maximizing the use of a person’s abilities and resources. This process may vary from one person to another” (Couture et al., 2007).

So self-actualization can be thought of as the full realization of a person’s creative, intellectual, or social ability. It is done by leveraging ability with potential and opportunity. The process is super personal and everyone differs.

The whole puzzle took about a year. I was not actively boiling in it for a year. I was simmering, I still had a full life to live. But these were the things that kept me up late at night. The whole process of building to a real million happened so quick that it blindsided me a bit. It’s not a complaint – just a warning to the rest of you with $100,000 or more in net worth. It goes fast from there!

The Fit

Now I have to be strategic when choosing to go forward. I have to be careful because even if money and time are now flexible, people and things around me are not.

The fit tripped me up for a few months during my “proto-typing phrase” because I miscalculated the market and misunderstood myself again. I went back to pushing against myself for a while and I was sidetracked by at least 4 to 10 ill-thought out crackpot plots, confusing my husband even further.

(Soap stopped listening to my rants a long time ago, aha.)

Related: Effective But Semi Illegal Ways To Pay Off Student Loans



Thinking through it, Projects “M” and “A” covered all the foundation I needed for mastery, purpose and autonomy.

Project “A” is especially important. It’s still brewing for a reboot whereas “M” is being professionally designed.

I actually started “A” when I was in college, scrapped it after I hit my first wall and was banned from…well the mainstream Internet. Restarted “A”…3 years ago independently. Scrapped it in a week again because I felt ill-prepared. Now today-today, I’m regretting every moment I was ambient and shy about what made me tick.

What seemed impossible at the time would be now very possible had I persisted. Success is a hard word for this genre so I can only say hobby. Now I have to restart “A” from nothing, which is fine. I went to my deathbed and “A” was one sure thing and my longest obsession.



Project “M” or “A” will either kick me back into proto-typing or it will move me forward towards mastery.

(Remember how all of this is a response to being financially independent? It’s disturbing that having meaning and legacy bothers no one else that I know personally…I can’t be the only weirdo…)

The basics of what I am pursuing makes a lot of sense in the grand scheme of my life, even if “M” and “A” doesn’t work out, I can say I explored that avenue because the basics of both go back to the same Fs above. I just have to keep working at it. It’s not only about project “M” and “A.”

You only have to dig deep and let yourself find enjoyment in the things that I bet you already know you want to do – “easy” (harder than sounds..) and simple as that!

Related: Learn How To Comparison Shop for Happiness

Mine is only complicated because I just feel like I have a mission to do, a discussion to clear up, and a story to tell. Otherwise, I’m just going to have a chill and happy life like I am now – doing whatever else I want to do involving ‘purpose’ (Project A) and ‘mastery’ (Project M).



I know I meander but the discussion is not about what Project M or A is at all. Too excited so I gushed hahaha.

I’m just making a point. The point is to feel enlightenment in accepting who you are, what you are here to do, everything that makes you unique, and finding that something that drives you – as odd or impossible – someone out there might just share it and thank you.

Make meaning a reason for saving more and reaching FI/RE. Too little people actually make it to the top of Maslow’s pyramid.

I invented the phrase #deeplife because I had the luxury of self-exploration to understand what I wanted it to do with this one life that I got. We have already achieved financial independence so the only question is finding meaning…and I’ve found my meaning staring at me in the face.

It’s not going to be shared…this is on the Internet for godsakes. But if I don’t end up with a Wikipedia article or tell-all by the time I’m 60-something years old or on the deathbed then I will be slight, teeny tiny bit disappointed…not gonna lie.



Top $ Resources That I Use

Below are my recommendations for saving, earning, and investing money instantly.

Personal Capital: Sign up and use their net worth calculator for FREE. They are a free financial service platform that helps you analyze your portfolio, retirement, and financial health all on one simple & secure account.

Ibotta: I thought this app was overrated before trying it myself. The “any item” promos instantly save you money after scanning your grocery receipt. Ibotta also hosts promos and contests for your team to save more by working together. One of the guys on my Ibotta team list has earned and saved over $100,000 using Ibotta. You can get $10 if you sign up through my link.

BeFrugal: BeFrugal offer kickback money and referral savings to the user. Purchased a $50 sweater at a retailer that offers 10% back through their portal means you will receive $5 in savings payable from BeFrugal. They have over 5,000 retailers for shoppers including Amazon and eBay for relevant categories. Sign up and get $10 free when you join.

29 thoughts on “What The Hell Are Deep Life Goals?”

  • Great stuff Lily! I personally think most of us who are lucky enough to be able to focus on the top of Maslow’s hierarchy will struggle with the self actualization piece. I know I do. I also think “one’s true calling” can and will change over time, perhaps quite often. Our personalities are not static nor are our brains, so it’s only natural to assume a true calling would not be static either.

    • I think it will change too and that’s OK. For “A” it’s been a slow lifelong curiosity but it doesn’t make it a practical purpose, but I’ll try. A purpose is part of the equation and sometimes purpose is just good as long as it’s there.

  • It’s so often the way that we don’t see what benefits our goals bring until we reach them, benefits we never would have thought of before. Like the ability to accept that exploring your quirks will bring you fulfillment (and potentially a Wikipedia page). I’m at the “what do I do?” point. Def haven’t figured it out yet. I bet it’s exciting to be working on your top pyramid stuff.
    [email protected] recently posted…Investing through the Next Decade

  • I’m so excited about your new projects! I’ve heard about them here and there for a couple of months now and keep wondering what they are hehe. You don’t have to tell us. Just surprise us when those projects are ready to launch 😉

    You asked some really deep questions here that I sometimes ask myself as well. Still trying to figure things out. Good luck!!!!

    • I’m not gonna say anything even if they launch haha. It won’t be a smart move >< but as a blog diary it's hard to skirt around the core goals of life which is what this post is going towards. I think the process is more important that just my goals. It takes time to dig out these things, keep at it!

    • This is a very proud moment when Joe thinks I’m a possible super villain!!! Hahaha. It’s not crazy-crazy but I do want to impact our culture somewhat.

  • I’m still trying to decipher what that last F is in your Plenty O Passion section. LOL

    To already be thinking of Deep Life goals before you are 30 puts you way ahead of the game. Most people don’t get to that stage until they are decades older (if ever).

    But you definitely need to give life meaning and if you retire early (or anytime for that matter), a big part of how you previously defined yourself (the work you) is gone. Has to be replaced by something fulfilling or you made no progress.

    • “If ever” is basically my parents and…yeah most people. I think I’m just an oddball because it bothers no one else I know. Which is more reason for me to do it because no one else can.

  • So happy for you! I really like exploring the top of the pyramid (and I’m far from FI). It’s hard and you have to let yourself be vulnerable, but it’s a really cool way to live.

  • Wow. This is incredibly deep. And yes, F*cking is indeed a hobby. I think most people will attest to that.

    Self-actualization is so hard to define. How do we know that we are achieving our fullest potential? How do we find a purpose that is greater than ourselves? I’m trying to figure all this out myself. I feel like am I’m on track to be financially independent and I am pretty good with what I do, but there is much more to life. I would say being a father and advocating for the animals and the environment is currently my greater calling. I’m not sure.

    One day, when you have an extensive wikipedia page, we will finally see what project “M” and “A” are. I’m dying to find out.

    Until then, you have us all on the edge of our seats! Thanks for a great read 🙂
    Dr. McFrugal recently posted…Asset Allocation Quantitative Style (A Guest Post From Gasem)

    • In my mind, Project A’s cause is a cultural one that needs discussion so that’s why I feel purpose in it so much. It took me a lifetime to figure it out – that I have to be the one to organize it too.

      “I would say being a father and advocating for the animals and the environment is currently my greater calling.”
      Parenthood is tough! That’s one can of worms I haven’t opened yet! Not until I figure out M and A – then we’ll have some kids. God you can sign me up for animal advocation work!!! Great calling!

  • ah, the f’s. i could write about them all day long. it’s never mentioned on here but if you have 10 million bucks in the bank at age 30 but your home life is awful and you never “get” any do you win? i’m with you on not caring if what moves you is “deep enough” for the judgement of others. they can do their deep and we’ll do our deep, no matter how shallow the internet might find it.
    freddy smidlap recently posted…Financial Independence From Working in a Factory?

  • I struggled with this in the last 2 years as well. Sometimes I wake up meaningless day after day when all the numbers have been properly allocated.

    I’m starting to find community membership, and being assistance to friends whether thru time, physical effort, coordinating, monetary, or useful referrals for others as a good start to actualization while still alive. As always thru my own initiative and not thru external coercion or manipulation by others of course.

  • To struggle is Life, but in struggle we find meaning.

    You’re right about the first 100k. After that, the 1M blindsides you out of nowhere, the first 10-50k was probably the hardest to me.

    Since we’re in a more fortunate position than most, it’s imperative that we fearlessly chase our dreams; if you fail once, you damn well get back right back up and go for round two. Better make good on that promise to leave a legacy.

    Intriguing. Waiting for the big reveal L. 😉

    • Thanks Will 🙂 Everybody needs a big reveal in my opinion. Make life your art and legacy <3 after FI - that's all I got in my head right now...

  • Your posts are always interesting to delve into. Exploring Maslow? Holy crap girl, you are on another level. It’s so true what you say about the hierarchy of needs versus wants and how they can change by affluence. I remember reading a study of something or another — banana farmers, maybe? It said that they receive their salary all at once, so 75% of the year their foresight was narrowed to the basic human needs and after receiving that much money they got better at looking at the bigger picture and handling financial planning. When they were poor, they struggled with bigger choices. It was basically a conversation about the “poor mentality” and how the immediacy of lack of money affects one’s capabilities. Wish I could find it again to share! On a brighter note, I wanted to tell you I got accepted to the MediaVine family like you this week! So yay! Looking forward to more on Project M. 😉
    Marissa | Squirrels of a Feather recently posted…5 Secret Buying Signals That Can Help You Make Money Blogging

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.