Navigating Life

The Quest for Purpose

Rui Yi Gan
2 min readMar 21, 2023
The Lumineers, Singapore 2022. One of my favorite photos.

What is Life For?

I find myself coming back to this question time and time again. It is a seemingly impossible task to define what is our purpose in life, yet we tirelessly chase after this definition. To many, including myself, finding life’s meaning means liberation. It means finally understanding why we are doing what we are doing and finally relishing life as a present.

The Superficial Satisfaction

For the past few months, I have been in constant pursuit to discover my passion and purpose. I immersed myself in the grind to be better and to be at the top of all salaried elite. I draw my purpose and satisfaction from my relative success among my peers. I chased opportunities that made me stand out, opportunities that made me different. I wanted to feel special and valued. Honestly, this superficial satisfaction is desirable. As social creatures, we derive happiness from social recognition.

The Recursive Answer

Yet, the answer to the eternal question, “What is life for?” often leads us to a seemingly simple response: to enjoy the moment and experience pleasures. However, as I attempted to embrace this philosophy, I found myself questioning the very nature of enjoyment and happiness. Can true contentment be…



Rui Yi Gan

I enjoy writing about life, college, and everything under the sky. Computer Science student in Singapore and a big fan of Conan O'Brien and Rick Riordan.