If you haven't joined in +Dr. Will Deyamport, III 's #beyouedu movement, you should. It's a great chance to reflect each month in a meaningful way. October's topic is finding your purpose.
This is one that I find a lot of students and peers struggle with. I look back at my own educational experiences and remember how uncertain I was. I was told to make decisions on my career path early on when I wasn't even for sure what my purpose was. As a result, it seemed methodical and less passionate. I am not alone in this.
One of my biggest complaints to students was a lack of passion or devotion to the work. It seemed they were just going through the motions. And, after reading comments about my own students from other teachers (all students who are polite, make the grade, are are generally likable), I know I am one of many teachers with the same comments.
But, how can we ask students to show that passion when they have not had a chance to really explore their interests. As adults, we are in the same place. We need to take a deep breath and reflect (a bonus of this blogging series).
Finding your purpose is very similar to finding your swagger and finding your happiness. When you find what makes you swagger and what makes you happy, you also find your purpose. Your purpose is to do what you are passionate about. The world needs more passionate people. Hence, our purpose is to be passionate. Our purpose is to live.
That sounds simple enough, right? It's not, though. We get caught up in doing what we think we need to be doing. Or, we are afraid to take the risk and follow what makes us passionate. We may have a family to support and the risk seems to great. And, all of those are great reasons why we may not pursue that ultimate passion. That does not mean, however, that we cannot find passion in what we do or that we cannot make room for being passionate in what we do.
For example, I find passion in creating. When I create, I feel alive. And, since our purpose is to be fully alive and present, I know my purpose is to create and inspire. But, I'm also a very type A person. I can get very stressed and, being stressed, does not lend itself well to creating. So, I have started to reclaim my time. Meaning - I save at least one hour to myself on Sunday evenings to do whatever art or creation makes me happy. I also discovered makerspaces so that, even while at work, I am creating and inspiring others to create. Just making those two small changes have given me greater purpose this year than ever before. I feel I am fulfilling a greater purpose than simply going to work each day (even though that is pretty important).
So, the key is finding what makes you smile. What makes you feel the most alive. What do you wish you were doing at this moment? If that activity is skiing, perhaps, you can generalize it and say you enjoy the mountains, alone time, cold air, outdoors. Make time in everything you do for those. If you live in flat area, find others with your interests. When you connect with others with your interest, you are making a new purpose.
You are important. You are enough. Your purpose already exists. It's just a matter of finding what makes you tick each day.
So, what's your purpose?