September 14, 2017

Where to Find Your Purpose

One of the classes I'm taking this semester is essentially a leadership class (required to graduate #LetsBeReal). I had always believed what this class teaches: good leadership skills and success are of utmost importance in your career because your career becomes your life when you graduate. Without a career you love, what is your purpose?



Let's throw it back to a few weeks ago, when I realized my purpose is so much more than a job. It was both hard-hitting and eye-opening when I saw that my career and my purpose are not the same thing. It would be nice if there was some overlap, of course. Amazing, actually. But what I spend most of my time doing, and the most important way I spend my time, are not the same. 


And I didn't realize this until I let myself admit that, apart from Jesus, I can never realize my purpose and won't ever find true fulfillment in this life. (Stay with me here. I'm not about to shove my beliefs at you.) Back to the class I was telling you about. I feel like we're being forced to accept that climbing the corporate ladder (excuse me: the author of the book we use prefers the term lattice) and stepping on people to get there is more than just the norm— it's the only option.

Looking down from the top rung of the ladder will bring satisfaction. Success is the pinnacle of our lives. The book goes on to say that work-life balance is critical because the ambiguous "job" is not the priority, but everything else written suggests otherwise. The class feels like a tribute to career-as-purpose, how everything you do can, in some way, enhance your career and work life. 

That said, the questions posed in the book— the questions used to "find your purpose"— can be applied to more than your professional life, as a friend recently explained to me. 

What are you good at?
What do you enjoy doing?
How do you work best with people?
Do you perform well in the presence of ambiguity?
What are your values?
Where do you belong?
What should you contribute?
Think about two of your most challenging life experiences and how they shaped you.

I have trouble answering these kinds of questions about myself. How am I supposed to know myself, really know myself, when I'm only 21? When every new, glittering idea I have is the best idea? When I can't imagine where I'll be a month from now, never mind five or 12? I answered the questions above as best I could. And then I wrote a "who is Alexa?" blurb. It's raw and inspiring and slightly heartbreaking, but most of all: it's true. 

I encourage you to do the same. Don't sugarcoat it; you don't have to share it with anyone, so be as real as possible. Admit to your flaws and insecurities, admit to your talents and best qualities. I believe that each of us was put here to do so much more than just a job. I also believe that God knows exactly what this is and that I'm going to happen on it one day in my relationship with Him.

Our purpose is found within us, in each of our unique hearts. Gut feelings are so named for a reason. Don't ignore them. Respond to them and go over them and figure out whether they're leading you to your calling or if they're just impulses (don't discount these, though, because sometimes an impulse is far more than a whim). When you know, you know. 

2 comments

  1. I've never sat down and answered those tough questions and I think right after this I'm going to. Everyone around me is talking about finding these jobs next year but they seem to only be concerned with using their degree and making money.
    I feel like I'm the odd one out. I want to follow my dreams and take risks and not have a typical career path or job.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you were able to answer these questions, Megan (thanks for the DM on Instagram :)), and that this post could help you out. Good luck!

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