4 Questions to Think About Regarding Your Purpose
If you are in your twenties or thirties, then there is a good chance you are going through an identity crises. A crisis that includes decision and the fear of making the wrong decision.
Growing up, you were most likely told you could do anything you wanted. You could be anything you wanted to be. You simply had to study hard and you could achieve x, y, z. This has created a problem in our culture, one where decisions are looked at as something to fear.
A fear of missing out.
I currently have this problem. I work for a large organization where employees are constantly leaving or retiring. This means there are always openings, especially in the classification I hold. This could be seen as a great thing. However, it has caused me anxiety. Anxiety of missing out on a job which could be fulfilling or help me move towards my purpose.
I do not currently have my dream job. I have a good job. I enjoy what I get to do, but it does not keep me up at night excited to go to work the next day. When I leave for the day I leave all thoughts of work at the door.
The fear is not simply a fear of missing out. It is the fear of missing out on the next step to get me to my dream job.
I have certain gifts and abilities that limit what I can and cannot do. This is not bad! If I know my strengths, skills, and abilities, then I will gravitate towards certain jobs. I want to do exactly what the army says:
I want to be all that I can be.
Questions to Get You Thinking
At this point, you might be asking, how do I know what my purpose is and how do I figure out the right job for me?
Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself to begin thinking about what your purpose may be. As you think through the question, you will discover why you can’t be anything you want.
1. What am I good at?
This comes down to skills. What skills do you have?
This one is hard for me. I am generally good at a lot of things. When I think back over what I am really good at, it is thinking strategically, improving efficiency, and working through processes. This is how my brain functions at home and the work place.
What am I not good at? Anything involving blood. Or needles. Or animals.
2. What do I enjoy doing?
Think about your day. What gives you joy? What are your interests? Do you like working with people or would you rather sit in an office all day and put together budgets?
I enjoy making a difference where I am. I love helping people get to the “aha” moment. I enjoy learning and sharing what I have learned.
3. What makes me feel alive?
If you could choose to do anything with your day, had all of the time and money in the world, what would you choose to do?
I feel alive when I am able to figure out a complex problem. I feel alive when I do a training or am explaining a process to someone and they get it. I feel alive when I have conversations with others who want to fill the gap in their life, set goals, take action steps, and share with me their successes. I thrive when I am working with and around people. I also feel alive when I am able to quiet myself and write.
If I were stuck in isolation all day I would die a slow death.
4. What can I get paid to do?
If you say your passion is to sit on the beach and get paid, you probably aren’t taking this seriously. However, if your passion is to write, you could definitely do that while sitting on the beach.
We limit what we think we can get paid for based upon our worldview. We are told an 8-5 job is what we are to get after college. That may be what most people choose to do, but I do not think that is always the case. You have talents. You have skills. You have strengths. The world needs what you have to offer just as much as you need to live out your purpose.
You cannot be anything you want to be. Your specific gifts, abilities, and interests will lend you towards many different types of jobs. When you figure out what your gifts and abilities are, then you need to take time to discover what it is you are to do. This exercise takes self-awareness and internal reflection. If you cannot come up with answers for some of the questions, ask those that are closest to you.
I am still working on this myself. I may have written the words above, but I think through those questions often.
Take time to think through the questions. I would love to hear some of your thoughts!
Here’s to the Journey!