If you're in your twenties, and anything like me, you've become accustomed to a slew of probing questions about who you are and where you're headed:
“So, tell me about yourself.”
“What are your hobbies?”
“In one word, describe your work ethic?”
Whether in an interview, from friends, or family you've probably been asked a million times what you like to do in one way or another… or worse, people think they know everything about you which has left you with little to no room to actually evolve and grow.
Living a life without a sense of purpose can feel empty, hollow, and frustrating. The very thought of a long-term plan has made me want to run under the covers and hide in the past. Time escapes us all at points, and it's easy to get busy with all the things going on to even think about meaningful work.
In other words, “Ain't nobody got time for that!”
If someone asked you, “What is your purpose?” Could you answer confidently? Would you even be able to fake an answer?
In the past I wouldn't have had a clue, and I know I'm not alone. The question would probably mess with a lot of our heads for a few hours or a few minutes as we contemplated the question and its ramifications. After a little self-reflection, *or panicking* most of us would do what's comfortable: quickly forget the question. Burying it in the back of our minds as we came up with every reason under the sun why it's okay to not know right now:
Who needs purpose anyway?
Adulting is hard enough as it is. Let me figure how to get a better job or get a promotion before I think about that. Purpose can wait. It's for people who have a lot of time and money on their hands. I'm in too much debt. I'm still trying to figure things out.
If that sounds like the conversation you've had a time or two in the past, know you aren't alone. I've been there too and I'm here to reassure you that your purpose does not have to wait and it's not for the select few.
Here are 3 questions to help you pinpoint your purpose and go after it with laser-like focus:
1.) How do you want to be remembered?
Most millennials I know want to be remembered as more than a good employee or an excellent student. Sure, getting awarded Valedictorian or Employee of the Month is nice, but as Millennials our validation has to be consistent and long-lasting. Flashy Instagram or Snapchats feeds are great, but many times people can see right through them…
What's something that you can brag about even when you are 50? Long after Facebook and Instagram have lived their glory days. Thinking in terms of a life-long strategy and overall end-game is key to figuring out how you want to be remembered. Fancy job titles will fade, but how people will remember you won't. For many of us, jobs are just temporary until a better opportunity is found. Something like purpose lasts forever, and its impact is infinite.Fancy job titles will fade, but how people will remember you won't. Click To Tweet
2.) What's something you don't assign a price tag to?
Okay, so everything costs money. It wouldn't be right if things didn't. Instead of thinking what you wouldn't mind doing for free, what are some things that bring you joy and happiness just from doing it. A hobby doesn't have to be something that brings in extra money each month. It can be something you do in your spare time to relieve stress, or something you like to do with friends. Write down some things you like to do just for fun. It's a great exercise to expand your creativity and think outside of the box about your future possibilities based on what brings you joy and more energy.
When trying to figure out your purpose you'll want to explore a lot of different avenues. Whether that be blogging or starting a business, there will be a lot of trial and error. Knowing where and how you want to spend the bulk of your time will depend on what you naturally gravitate towards. In the beginning, it won't be all about money – sure you may start to make money with a few sales, but time will be your biggest investment when discovering your purpose, so it might as well be time invested into something you love doing (and would do for free anyway!).
3.) Determine your end goal
A person's whose end goal is to increase literacy among kids from broken homes will look a lot different than a person who wants to start their own catering company. It's normal to get jealous of our friends who seem like they have it all figured out. But remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint. The same mentality applies to thinking about and going after your purpose.
An end goal is an essential step to deciding what your purpose is. Not all of us are in this marathon of life for the same reason, so we shouldn't compare ourselves to other people. By doing that, we only distract ourselves from what's important. Remember, your end goal and path will always look different from the person next to you. You're unique and will have different challenges, short-term and long-term steps then others.Remember, your end goal and path will always look different from the person next to youClick To Tweet
For millennials, purpose does not have to wait. We are young, capable, and have the ability to create our dream lives. You don't have to wait until X amount of years to finally write that riveting novel you've always wanted to write. And you don't need a degree to be a business person. Purpose does not have to be a holy grail of achievement for millennials, it's within grasp and executable right now and whenever you're ready.
Now that you have some clarity on purpose, it's time to set those goals!
Grab TCM's Goal Setting Guide NOW!