3 min read

3 Overarching Functions of Life to Help You Make Decisions

3 Overarching Functions of Life to Help You Make Decisions

Thinking of life as a complex combination of multiple functions is an interesting way to live.

It unearths obvious cause-and-effect relationships helping you navigate life with more intention and self-control.

So far here are three of the top overarching functions of life I find useful in my day-to-day decision-making.

Risk is a function of knowledge

A wise man once said,

Risk is a function of knowledge
- Paul Pajo, the Pagemen on Twitter

Now, why does this matter?

A lot of things in life have risks, but notice how knowing more about something reduces the risk?

If you know more about the behavior of an animal, you reduce the risk of getting hurt.

If you know where not to walk at night, you reduce the risk of being in danger.

If you know someone deeply, you reduce the risk of investing in someone who will only stab you in the back.

Do you see? Holding knowledge of something is having less risk in your decision. If you understand the inner workings of your subject matter, you understand the steps you can take to mitigate the risk. The lefts and rights of the maze. The ups and downs of the waves.

This is the power of the first overarching function of life: risk is a function of knowledge.

Growth is a function of responsibility

Self-compromise is a killer. It's often the source of stagnation.

If you anchor your purpose into goals or things you want for yourself, you're bound to self-compromise.

"I don't have to reach this goal. I can live without it."

But to live in service of others and to be responsible for others prevents you from compromising with yourself.

If you anchor your purpose into people outside of yourself. People you love and care about. You cannot self-compromise.


Because you understand on a deep and emotional level that compromising on this goal means neglecting the people you love.

This is what makes growth a function of responsibility.

To take ownership of a certain responsibility means putting yourself through the pressure of keeping up.

It means you don't self-compromise, but instead demand more from yourself in order to fill in the shoes of the responsibility you took.

It means to step up because it matters.

To conquer yourself, because it is needed.

To become better, in order to provide.

That is the second overarching function of life: growth is a function of responsibility.

Skill is a function of Time

No matter how much you deny it, learning all at the same time is a surefire recipe for mediocrity.


Because to learn everything at the same time means to disperse your time across a lot of skills barely allowing you to go beyond the surface level.

Yes, you can do all, but chances are, you don't stand out.

I know this because I spent more than a decade learning everything I could, but barely going deep into one.

That is the ultimate weakness of building skills.

It pays to understand that your capability to do good work is directly related to the amount of time you put into honing your craft.

The more time and energy you put into learning it, the better you become.

So the next time you think of learning too many things at the same time, remember that skill is a function of time.

Optimize your life

Understanding the overarching functions of life means understanding the input that it requires to generate the output that you desire. It's understanding the effort that it will take in order to make a certain result come to life.

If you expect a favorable outcome, but neglect the input that you exert, you're living in a world of wishful thinking.

And you know how life goes, barely anything gets done with wishful thinking.

Hey, I'm Kristian Quirapas

If you find this article helpful, click subscribe and sign up for my newsletter!