For my first article of 2020, I’d like to shift gears toward a more personal note, specifically about finding purpose in life. Those who have followed my work not only on Crush The Street but on other media platforms, you’d probably guess that I’ve been very busy. In fact, these days, I’m working 16 to 18 hours straight, which most may find grueling.
Admittedly, it’s not easy clocking in those hours. Physically, I must push myself to stay motivated, enduring wooziness to put together the last few paragraphs for my articles. However, I’m able to do what is necessary because at the end of the day, I love what I do. And when you’re passionate about your vocation, it honestly doesn’t feel like work.
In other words, your body may be driven to the point of exhaustion. However, my emotional and spiritual well being remain intact. Again, that’s only possible if you love what you do. And this is why I encourage my readers and anyone who cares to listen to consider prioritizing finding purpose. Without it, life is much more difficult.
Higher Education Not Necessarily About Finding Purpose
Like millions of young people about to head off into college, I felt that the academic world was the only avenue for financial success. During high school, I studied extensively, not just for my classes but also for the standardized tests that would determine our future. Moreover, I signed up for whatever extracurricular activities I could.
Some of these endeavors I enjoyed. But I was under no misconception: my efforts revolved solely on gaining acceptance – and a scholarship – to the best university possible.
Does this sound like a familiar path for you? It took me a very long time to figure things out. But when I did, I realized that an education doesn’t make you smart or gifted. You were already born with those attributes. And if you weren’t, going to college won’t help one bit.
Rather than agonize over educational material that you’ll never use or for which you have no interest in, you should instead pursue your passion. While that sounds like pie-in-the-sky advice, finding purpose in this regard offers tangible benefits.
A prime example is our fixation with STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math. Society insists that STEM is our future. But it’s not the future for everyone, nor should it be.
Some folks may love STEM, while others may not. For those who don’t, forcing them into STEM is akin to fitting a square into a round peg. Even if they successfully acquired a STEM degree, what would that ultimately mean? Is it better to be the best in a non-technical industry or to be the worst in a STEM company?
Do What You Want
If I can say something to my younger self, it would be this: pursue your ambitions because you want to do so, not because others say you should.
Put another way, do what you want!
There are many occupations I could have chosen, but I know that I wouldn’t be happy in most of them. And during my time climbing the ladder in corporate America, I realized I was dreadfully unhappy. I don’t think there’s anything worse than letting other people define your economic and human value.
Many things changed, though, when I went into business for myself. It’s at that point I realized that my potential is what I make of it. That’s one of the reasons why I work so hard: I own the fruits of my labor, not some dickhead in the corner office.
If you’re stuck in a rut in life, I encourage you to hold on. Later, reflect on finding purpose for your own life. It may be challenging and intimidating. However, I firmly believe that it will be the best investment you can ever hope to make.