8 steps to discover your purpose
Like most of us, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world and do something that made me excited to jump out of bed in the morning but I had no idea how to figure out what I was really passionate about.
After stumbling my way through three years of a Journalism degree (apparently that’s what you do if you’re good at English) I found my passion and with it, the key to unlocking what we were put on this earth to do.
The secret to figuring out what you want to do with your life lies is asking one simple question: How can I help others?
Every successful, fulfilling, rewarding and kick-ass career EVER has started and ended with the desire to help others. How can I serve? How can I be of assistance? How can I use the experiences I have had, the talents I possess and the skills I am willing to gain to add value to the life of another living being?
For me, my ‘others’ was a combination of people my age who were so sure they wanted to make a difference. But didn’t know how or even if they could.
With so many distractions in our modern world, I wanted to harness the passion that I know exists inside young people and use it to enact change and solve the problems facing our generation through innovation and collaboration.
Adolescents are traditionally considered out of touch with what they really want, we have this history of young people choosing university courses they hate and jobs they aren’t satisfied with because they feel like they have to. It’s a combination of external pressures from parents, teachers and the media perpetuating this industrial-era idea that you should base your career choices on earning potential rather than enthusiasm and natural talents.
When I looked at my own experience and that of my peers, I was faced with a few significant questions that I felt weren’t being answered. Where is the support for high school graduates beyond matching their ATAR with a course admissions rank? Why are we waiting until students enrol in $30,000 university degrees to teach them that you don’t need a degree to be successful? An education system that uses standardised testing to determine intelligence and earning potential is disenfranchising the 95% of students who can’t rote learn an essay or solve for the value of x and the result is a generation of frustrated learners, disgruntled employees and a wealth of untapped resources.
What would our world look like if we taught a 17 year old how to figure out what they are passionate about, what inherent skills they possess and how they can use that to be of service in their social sphere, beyond the traditional “I like animals, therefore I’m going to become a vet”, or “you like writing, therefore you should become a journalist”?
Instead of pigeonholing skill sets into these rigid career structures, we need to teach students that the modern workforce is a completely different landscape to what it was ten or twenty years ago, jobs are being filled now that never existed before, innovation and creativity are the greatest commodities of the 21st Century and the opportunities for collaboration in the workforce means that previously dismissed students now have the capacity to be leaders enacting global change (PS. if you can’t find a job you want, you can create one!)
We also need to empower young people to make decisions based on emotional rather than financial gain. I’ve heard teachers and parents discourage a student’s idea by saying, “You’ll never make money out of that, pick something else” and it’s a massive disservice in my opinion- not just to the student, but to the future of the society they have the potential to change. Not only are you teaching that child that money is the sole objective of their working life, you are turning them away from the development of their natural abilities into a vocation that has the potential to solve a problem in our world AND offer them personal fulfilment.
When we give young people the capacity to make life-altering decisions at such an early age, we need to back them up with the skills and resources to make informed decisions that reflect the whole story, not just the parts we have experienced ourselves.
Below are the 8 steps I took to discover my purpose, that set me on the path to becoming a speaker, writer and life coach – a calling that makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.
These 8 steps will help you discover your purpose and allows you to fulfil your purpose on this earth:
Change your mind, change your life
In order to choose a career that aligns with our hearts deepest desires, we need to start by re-defining what it means to be successful. There is more to life than getting a uni degree and a 6-figure salary. Think about how you can use who you are and what you know to help others and real soul-fuelled success will follow. Let go of what you think you should be doing and have the courage to choose what will make you happy.
Get to know the real you
Who were you before the world told you who you should be? Underneath the labels, the insecurities, the expectations, exists the real you that knows exactly what he or she needs to do to change the world. Life is a process of discovery through creation, we are discovering who we are by creating the scenarios in which our true self is either realised or suppressed. Aim to be as authentic as possible in every area of your life and pay attention to the places where the real you is valued and appreciated.
Channel your inner wisdom
Practice being rather than doing. Take 10 minutes a day to sit in stillness and silence, tune into your gut feelings and listen to what your higher self is telling you. When you quiet the mind, the soul will speak.
Get amongst it
Throw yourself into situations that bring you joy and see what happens. Make an effort to step outside your comfort zone and into scenarios that make you come alive. Clarity comes from engagement, not thought. Read more about taking action here.
Let go of fear
Failure is your friend, don’t be afraid of it, and what other people think of you is none of your business. The more important something is to our own growth and evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it. Acknowledge that fear is a necessary part of the process and without it, progress wouldn’t feel so damn satisfying. When I realised my desire to make a difference in the world was greater than my fear of what other people thought of me, I became unstoppable. You can read more about overcoming fear here.
Build a support team
Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you. The people in your life (and on your newsfeed) have a profound impact on the way you see the world, make sure they inspire and encourage you.
Make the transition
Our lives are the sum of our choices. If the life you’re living now isn’t the one you envisioned for yourself, choose again. Stop thinking of your dream as something that will happen ‘in the future’ and ask what small steps you can take right now to make it happen. Always start before you think you’re ready.
Time to change the world
Embrace your talents and declare them to the world. Take note of the things that matter to you, they are not an accident. Nurture your desire to solve the problems of our world and in doing so, you will spark the same desire in others. When we share our gifts we are fulfilled, energised and more compassionate and we enrich the lives of our families, friends, and communities.
Now Anna and I would love to hear from you! Given the 8 steps to discover your purpose, which step do you most need to take action on to create your dream career? Let us know in the comments below and remember that your words might be just what someone else needed to read. We can’t wait to chat to you.
Love what you’ve read? These 8 steps form the basis of the 8 chapters of my eBook ‘What am I doing with my life?’ which will take a more in-depth and totally personal approach to help you design your destiny and create a life you love. You can grab your copy from my website.
Jae is a truth seeker, an eternal optimist, sun worshipper and ex-party girl who is wildly passionate about awakening the next generation of game-changers to discover their purpose and step into the life they were born to live. She helps young people uncover their strengths and empowers them with the skills and confidence to follow their passion relentlessly. Through speaking tours, weekly blog posts, 1:1 coaching and her eBook ‘What am I doing with my life?’. Jae helps young people tap into their hearts deepest desires, unearth their purpose and ignite a spark of vision within them that will set the world on fire.
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