It appears as though for some it’s hardwired at birth—already soldered into that circuit board many call a brain. For others, it appears in a flash, as if during some particular instant “it” decided this was the moment to appear. Although disguised as a purpose, I call the latter passion—a love you develop for something you experienced since the time you were born.
For most, however, it’s thought to be evasive. Evasive, though, would be incorrect because more than likely it’s simply being ignored. What is it? It’s your purpose. How can you find it? Just pay attention to what’s happening to you.
As a recruiter, although more often serving as a therapist, I get asked this question daily. People want to know, “How can I figure out what to do?” or “What’s my purpose?” or “What should I do with my life?” They ask as if I have a menu of options they can choose from. Although I don’t, there are some thought-provoking ways to help you determine this. Let’s try a few.
What do you do when you procrastinate?
When someone isn’t sure what he or she’d like to do with his or her life, I ask this question. In 80% of the cases, I’m certain these individuals can turn their “hobbies” into their professions AND earn a nice living. I know many say that their hobby wouldn’t be fun once they have to do it. I don’t buy that. Assuming you’re not delaying your life by playing video games, give this one a good, long thought.
What can’t you go one entire day without thinking about?
For myself, I use this one often to determine whether I need to quit something. The opposite also works. It’s a wonderful, daily inspiration of what you should pursue or continue to pursue. If you ignore it, it’ll likely serve as a perpetual reminder that you’re missing your calling.
If money were no object, what would you do?
When you look back on your life, I promise you’ll be more sorry for the times you missed than the dollars you missed. Money is fungible, memories are not and can last a lifetime. I’m sure a few of you reading this are still dismayed at the IPOs you missed, but over a 40- or 50-year career you’ll be shaped far more by what you do than what you earn.
What do you want to be most remembered for?
I constantly work backwards. I sketch the end result I want. This helps provide clarity and is also tremendously helpful in keeping your focus. I used the word sketch instead of something more rigid because I think you need to have a vision, but also leave room to recognize alterations you’ll need to make along the way. I assure you, if you head down a path where you are doing something you love each and every day, fantastic opportunities will surface as a result of your attitude, alertness, and proficiency in which you perform whatever it is you’re doing.
When during your life were your head and heart most in sync?
I know of no more powerful force than an individual who’s entire being is in sync. The alignment between what you think, how you think, and the passion in which you carry it out is unstoppable. Throughout you’re life, you’ll be stopped more often by yourself than others. Don’t let anyone dictate your outcomes. Most importantly, stay true to who you are.