By Harley Nefe
One of life’s big questions is what is your purpose?
Around one in two people don’t know their purpose or feel like they don’t have a purpose, which can lead to devastating outcomes, such as people taking their own lives. However, Lees McRae College alumnus Darius Malbon is striving to help others overcome this challenge and find their calling.
After battling his own suicidal episode in 2016 and losing a friend to suicide in 2018, Darius found his own calling to write and publish a book last year titled From Darkness to Life: Win the Battle, which is about suicide awareness.
“The first book went really well,” Malbon described. “I sold around 100 books within the first couple of weeks, which was great. A lot of people connected with it. A lot of people told me they really dived into exploring those darker depths of their mind and really understood that they were struggling. I had a lot of people say that they had been encouraged, so that was really good. That was the whole point of me writing the book was to encourage people to be honest and get the help that they need.”
Despite the success of his first novel, Darius was not expecting to write a second book, but the idea of writing one about purpose popped into his head last winter.
“There’s a lot of correlation when it comes to purpose and mental health,” he explained. “Purpose is very important. Many people have committed suicide because they felt they had no purpose in life. And not only that, but outside mental health, when you do feel like you have a purpose, you’re more productive. You go out, and you do things, and you’re creative, and you give back to the world.”
Darius started writing his second novel titled Purpose: What is Your Meaning in Life? in mid February and published it in May. Having already been through the writing process before, publishing a book for a second time was a lot easier.
“I believe this book will be a great opportunity for people to find their purpose in life and help seek meaning,” Malbon said.
Similar to the first book, the second one is realistic fiction, and both novels are inspired by true events. There is also a connection between the two.
“As you will see in both of these books, both of the topics are very deep,” Malbon described. “You don’t really hear people talk about suicide awareness a lot. You don’t really hear people talk about purpose a lot, but it’s extremely important because without purpose, what are you going to do?”
Purpose: What is Your Meaning in Life? is a personable book that follows David as he navigates through various life experiences to discover his purpose.
As the book description states, “Finding your purpose is a crucial aspect of life. When someone doesn’t know their purpose, often they can feel hopeless, which can lead to dark situations. Everyone on Earth wants to know what their purpose is in life. We all desire to know it. Finding your purpose can lead to someone else finding theirs.”
The target audience for the book is everybody, as Darius is trying to get copies in the hands of as many people as possible.
“Whether you’re male or female, whether you’re more seasoned or you’re young – I made sure it was an easy read for middle schoolers and potentially elementary school kids because I don’t believe you’re ever too young or too old to find your purpose or get insight if you’re struggling with depression or anything like that,” Malbon said.
So, how does someone find their purpose?
Darius answered, “You really have to look deep within yourself to find your purpose and be willing to be humble, and learn, and change, and adapt.”
He further explained that for him personally, it’s a lot of self reflection.
“I take time out of my day and reflect on my day and reflect on my life and what I like and what I don’t like and really ask myself questions,” Malbon said. “That’s probably one of the biggest things — ask myself questions, and I actually force myself to answer them. So, if I’m not doing something that I feel like I should be doing, or if I’m not as productive as I should be, I ask myself why? Why am I not productive right now? What am I doing? And then in terms of my beliefs, I even ask myself why do I believe in what I believe?”
He continued, “You see a lot of people right now who are very divided in just different aspects of life and different situations. You have a lot of people who complain and get mad and angry, but when you ask them why they believe in what they believe and why they feel the way they feel, they really don’t know. That’s a problem. You should understand why you believe what you believe in and you should know why you feel the way you do because if you don’t understand your emotions, that’s what causes a lot of confusion, and that’s what causes a lot of people to disconnect.”
Overall though, in order to seek your purpose, Darius said it has to be intentional. He encourages everyone to travel when they can, meet new people, and explore life.
“Talk to different people, different races, different demographics, different age groups,” Malbon explained. “Just open your mind and really be observant and just reflect.”
Darius takes inspiration from his favorite basketball player of all time: Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bryant once said, “Use the world as a library.”
“That just sparked so much interest in me,” Malbon said. “He’s right. Use this world as a library – learn from everybody; learn from every situation. Because of that, I’ve had the desire to learn more and ask myself questions and ask other people questions to gain perspective and self reflect. I’ve realized the way to connect and to be more cohesive with people and overcome all these problems here in the country is to just listen to people and hear them out because a lot of times, we actually agree on the same stuff, it’s just our delivery is completely different.”
As Kobe Bryant left an everlasting impact on Darius and many others, Darius aims to positively influence people, too.
“I believe my purpose is to lead people to Christ and help people be encouraged and help them find their purpose and help them not take their life because life is so precious,” he shared. “Everybody has a purpose, it’s just a matter of them finding it, which I do believe if you actually take the time to find it, you will be able to.”
Apart from writing books, Darius has a deep connection with mental health and volunteers with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; therefore, a portion of the proceeds from his books go toward suicide prevention research.
“For this latest book in particular, I hope that everyone either finds their purpose or they know the direction on how to find their purpose,” Malbon said. “I know some people will probably find their purpose through the book, and for some people, it may be one of those things where they read it, it gives them a little bit of motivation, and then they can go find their purpose right after that.”
For those who are interested, you can learn more and purchase either of Darius Malbon’s books From Darkness to Life: Win the Battle or Purpose: What is Your Meaning in Life? on his website at https://www.dariusmalbon.com/book or on Amazon.
As for what the future holds, Darius said, “I have no clue. I wouldn’t be opposed to having a third book, but it really depends on what the Lord presents to me and what the topic is. The Lord just gives me the insight and the words to write the books, and after I write them, there’s times I’m like woah, I didn’t know I could do that.”