I think at some point in our lives, there comes a time where we ask: What’s my purpose? It’s a pretty hard question to answer, especially if you’ve never actually sat down and thought about it. It’s especially hard if you’re in college and trying to change your major or are unhappy with your current career path. It’s never too late (or too early) to start learning about yourself, what you’re passionate about, and what your purpose is.
For my high school kids out there, I highly encourage you to spend your time in high school for yourself. Create the person that you want to be. Play sports, join clubs, participate in fairs – be as active as you can be. I went to an all girls high school and during the last two years of high school I really focused on myself – no distractions. I participated a lot more in clubs, I went H.A.M in my classes, and just became more social. Even though college felt like a bigger [inner] growth spurt for me, high school paved that path to figuring myself out.
There is no formula that will magically tell you what you’re meant to do in life and that’s the beauty of it. You get to make your own path and create yourself. But that requires paying close attention to strengths and weaknesses and what inspires you. There’s a really nice quote that sums up the strategy you should follow. “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.”
Here are some steps you can take to find what you’re passionate about:
- Start paying attention to your hobbies – what tends to make you happy and excited? Playing a sport, reading books, math, science, pottery club, cooking, anything. When you take a time out from your everyday routine, what hobby do you engage in? This is tricky. We don’t normally sit down and ask ourselves what we like to do. When I was a freshman in high school and we did a questionnaire about our hobbies, I remember not knowing what to write down. Pay attention to the little things. Maybe you’re a family person so you’re not going to want a career in the future that consumes your whole life. Maybe you enjoy traveling to places and a career that fosters that passion is the right fit for you. Your hobbies and interests will help you pinpoint this.
- Find inspiration – Again, it’s not something you’re going to figure out overnight. Try going for a nature walk, it will help clear your mind. Go to a bookstore and pay attention to the genre of the content you reach for – business, science fiction, comedy, romance. What kinds of TV shows do you watch? Spend time with people that lift you. Whatever spikes your happiness has some kind of inspiration to offer you.
- Expand your network circle – I believe in the beauty of meeting new people. Surround yourself with people of all cultures, ages, socioeconomic status, and backgrounds. You don’t have to love everyone that you meet – but they will affect you in some way that allows you to grow. You will learn something from your relationship with that person. Meeting a diverse group of people allows you to distinguish between who wants good for you and who doesn’t but it also gives you the opportunity to learn. What interests do you share with a person? What about them is personable?
You’re going to have to look deeper to understand yourself. Take some time out of your day – even if it’s only 2 minutes to observe yourself. It will bring you closer to finding your passion. Take Care!
All photos are courtesy of Pexels