It may seem that many of our millennial peers are living their dreams, serving some ideal purpose they were born to. But if you’re still searching for the thing that makes you tick – perhaps you’re trying out different hobbies, or you’ve bounced around between jobs a little – that’s not to say you’re doing adulthood wrong. Perhaps, like some, you’ve found too many things that feel like your calling – and that’s ok too. The point is, you don’t need to feel guilty if you haven’t found your one, single purpose or passion, and we’re here to tell you why.
It’s become a common notion within the public consciousness that one must strive to find one’s purpose and passion – as if we can each have but one, crafted by some divine being, just for us. As lovely as that sounds, it does seem to ignore the fact that humans may have many talents, interests, and, well, passions. Furthermore, humans aren’t static creatures – our interests and abilities change and grow over time. Why should we put pressure on ourselves to decide on a fixed passion in our twenties and stick to that for the rest of our lives?
Cleo Wade, writing for TED, seems to feel the same way.
“I have never really felt like I had just one purpose,” she writes, “and attempting to live life like I did always felt stressful and inauthentic. Instead of concentrating my energy on one purpose or passion, I try to focus my energy on what it looks like to bring passion and purpose to everything I do.”
Admittedly, this is easier said than done – so how does she do it?
Wade says she asks herself certain questions, frequently. Firstly: “What type of kindness, care, joy, and patience must I harness in order to bring purpose and passion to my relationship with myself and those around me?” and second: “What level of openness and curiosity must I own in order to bring meaning to jobs and tasks in my life?”
The fact is that we’ll all need to tackle a few jobs we aren’t particularly passionate about en route to our real passions (whether they be numerous or not). Approaching these tasks with curiosity and learning from those experiences is a great way to not only make them more valuable and enjoyable, but also more useful in our quest to chase our illusive true purpose(s).
Additionally, unlike in the past, we no longer need to identify ourselves by our 9-5 jobs. We can be a myriad other things when we’re not on the clock – painter, book-binder, game designer, athlete – all on the side, all of which may one day become our ultimate passion. A job, for our generation and probably those that follow us, is often nothing more than a way to pay the bills and fund what we really enjoy.
Thats not to say that those who have found their purpose in their 9-5, and are enjoying every minute of their careers already, are doing anything wrong. It’s not an indication of being stuck in an antiquated system, or “settling”. They’re just the lucky ones! For the majority of us, finding our purpose will probably require a little more searching – and that’s totally ok. The job market – particularly in times like these – doesn’t often allow one to stick to one company or one career for an entire lifetime anyway. This an be used to our advantage on our journey.
So, don’t let your quest for your purpose get you down. Enjoy the hunt – search in every nook and cranny, find the interesting in the mundane – you never know when the task you dreaded may turn out to serve you. One can learn in the unlikeliest of situations – arguably in every situation – if one gives learning a chance. If you haven’t found your purpose or passion just yet, that gives you endless opportunities to keep looking for it – and when you do find it ( or them), it will feel all that much sweeter.