Following on from my last post detailing why I quit my job, I’ve been overwhelmed by the responses and reactions I’ve received from friends and loved ones. The support and encouragement has been truly remarkable and I’m deeply grateful and humbled by it. Every comment was read and cherished. I’ve been especially touched by those who voiced similar sentiments about their jobs, finding their purpose and feeling a sense of unfulfillment. From the friend with three kids whose husband quit his job as a lawyer to pursue his dream of obtaining a masters degree, to the friend who took voluntary redundancy and went travelling through Kenya and Tanzania for four months or the friend who quit her job as a teacher and started her own learning company, it is always liberating to open yourself up and realize that you are not alone in your struggles, there are other people who have walked similar paths and ultimately there is very little that separates us in comparison to what unites us.
One of the recurring questions I’ve received over the past couple of days has been “do you know what you’re going to do next”? And the truth is, not entirely. Sometimes it feels as if I’m at a crossroads of some sort. A crossroads between familiar territory versus venturing out into the unfamiliar. The more I think about it, the more I’m compelled to explore the unfamiliar even if for a period of time or concurrently. I keep thinking about how I would feel when I get to the end of my life and look back on the things I did and accomplished and I get this sense of dread that if I don’t at least try, I would regret it. I don’t like regrets. They serve no purpose to me and therefore if I have the choice now to potentially avoid a regret, I would prefer to take that choice. Having said all that, what I do know right now is that I’m rediscovering passions and interests that have been buried by the vicissitudes of daily life, one of which is writing.
A good friend of mine also asked me an interesting question “do you think that each person must have some sort of talent or particular thing that’s called their purpose”? It really got me thinking about the term purpose and the human perception of purpose. I believe that talent and purpose are two different things which can exist independently of each other or coexist in unison. I can be talented at singing, enjoy singing but it does not mean that my purpose in life is to be a singer. Purpose on the other hand is the what you were created for, the thing that gets you out of bed every morning. There is a sense that yours and the lives of others depend on it so you cannot ignore it, try as you may. It is a nagging deep within to do more, be more and create more. There are many notable people whose talent and purpose appear to intermingle, such as Serena Williams and Bill Gates to name a few. These people have mastered the art of turning their talents into a purpose that supersedes personal interests.
We can find purpose in our everyday life. Take for example, the security guard that keeps office buildings safe or the air traffic controller that ensures airplanes land safely and without incident are both fulfilling purpose. Now being a security guard or air traffic controller might not be their passion, but it fulfills a purpose that goes beyond self to the greater good of humanity. Perspective matters in being able to find fulfillment and a sense of purpose in everyday living. If the everyday humdrum leaves you feeling depleted and wanting, then consider pausing for a moment and listening to the inner workings of your heart. The answers most of us spend a lifetime pursuing already lies within us. Ultimately, our willingness to let go of fear and take action is the key to unlocking those answers and living a purposeful life.