After 10 years working as a marketer I started asking myself if this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and the answer was not easy to find.
Society makes us believe that it’s ok to choose what we are going to do for work for the rest of our days – when we are just 17 years old – and we accept that this decision will guide our careers forever.
Who started doing this to us? Who made us believe we were mature enough to choose a life-long career path when we were not even able to decide the colour of our shoes? And even worse, who convinced us that this is just how life works and we need to suck it up and follow the trend!?
Fortunately, we can now see some examples of people who were just “crazy enough” to start breaking the rules and found the courage to follow their own purpose in life, showing us that this is possible and, if they did it, we can do it too…. Right?
Oh boy, I wish it was as easy as some people make us believe it is!
When I started my journey searching for my “what’s next?” in life I read lots of self-help books, blogs and listened to thousands of podcasts. I was really inspired by all those people who found their “nirvana”: doing what they love, helping people and living a fulfilled experience.
But then I started feeling paralysed: How did those people get to this point? Where did they start? Is there a step-by-step guide on how to find your purpose ? How do I start my own journey?
After days over thinking these questions, I started understanding that there wasn’t a rule book because each of us are different and as much as we may want them to, no one can point us in the right direction.
I started questioning myself, trying to find the answers that so many life coaches and gurus said was inside me. Here are 3 key questions I continue to ask myself which help me to open my mind and my soul, bringing me closer to my purpose in life:
1. What makes you forget about the world around you?
We all have something we love doing, something that we could spend hours and hours immersed in. Something that put us in the state of “flow”, where we are so focused and concentrated.
It could be anything! For some, it’s learning something new, helping people, spending time with animals or even creating something. Ask yourself, what is it for you?
2. When you were a child, what was your passion?
When we’re young there’s nothing to stop our imagination and our dreams. Our soul is bigger than our ego and we simply don’t care about making money. Instead, we do what makes us happy. Think about what you loved doing as a child, what was it?
Think about when an adult used to ask you “What would you like to do when you grow up”… What would you say?
Also, think about what those grown up people would say after hearing your reply… Did they tell you that it was impossible to achieve, or that you would not make money out of it? Did those people drag your dreams down, without knowing they were doing it? And what was the impact of those reactions on you?
3. What motivates you?
When you think about your childhood passions, also attempt to understand what the motivations were for your response.
For example: When I was young I used to say I’d like to be a psychiatrist and even though I wasn’t 100% sure what a psychiatrist did, my motivation was to understand the minds of others and in some way help them to feel better.
Of course it was not that clear to me as a child but I can see it now and it helped me to understand my inner motivations, making it easier for me to find my purpose.
I can’t forget to mention that even after discovering my answers to these questions, it only started making sense when I understood that that’s ok to have more than one passion in life and that is not the end of the world if I decide to change my “what’s next” again in a couple of years or so.
Asking ourselves these questions is an ongoing exercise. We are multipotential beings in constant evolution and if we can accept that, we can learn to soften our belief systems and admit that we cannot control everything in the world, and that is completely fine!