Many people believe that finding their true purpose in life is the key to living a fulfilling and meaningful life. The notion of "doing what you love and never working a day in your life" has become popularized, suggesting that having a passion or a purpose in life will lead to enjoyable and meaningful work. However, what happens if you struggle to pinpoint your purpose or find your passion? Does that mean your life will be void of meaning or that your work will leave you feeling unfulfilled? Perhaps having a career passion or purpose is not necessary and that a different approach may be just as valuable.
The Myth of Having a Singular Passion or Purpose
Often, we are asked from a young age what we want to be when we grow up. As children, it's easy to dream up a multitude of possibilities, but as we enter adulthood, the pressure to choose a single career path can feel overwhelming. Many of us may not have a clear idea of what we want to do and feel that it is unfair to be expected to make such a significant decision at a young age. The same can be said for individuals who have difficulty pinpointing their purpose or finding a specific passion.
The Pressure to Find Passion and Purpose
There is a common belief that having a passion or purpose in life is essential for leading a fulfilled life. The assumption is that this passion or purpose will provide us with motivation, drive, and a clear sense of direction. It is believed that knowing our why will help us stay focused and organized, especially during challenging times. However, this assumption may not hold true for everyone.
Passion and Purpose Can Change
The idea of having a singular passion or purpose can be intimidating, especially if we are not sure what that is or if it changes over time. Instead of feeling pressured to find one specific passion or purpose, it may be more productive to adopt a flexible approach. Just as our interests and goals evolve, our passion and purpose can also change.
Explore the Dessert Buffet Approach
Rather than relying on a singular passion or purpose, we can take inspiration from a dessert buffet approach. Just like a buffet offers a variety of options to cater to different preferences, we can approach life and career choices with an open mind and embrace the opportunities that come our way. This flexible approach allows for exploration, adaptation, and the freedom to pursue multiple interests and paths.
Align Your Values to Find Meaning
While it may not be necessary to have a singular passion or purpose, it is important to align our work with our values. When our values align with our career or business choices, it provides a sense of fulfillment and ensures our work is meaningful to us. This alignment allows us to find satisfaction and prevents us from feeling unfulfilled in our endeavors.
Embrace Growth and Learning
Embracing a passion or purpose does not mean that we have to be a master at it from the start. It is essential to be open to learning and growing in our chosen paths. We may start with poor skills, but with practice and perseverance, we can develop and improve over time. Being willing to do something poorly initially is a stepping stone to becoming better in the long run.
The Fluidity of Passions and Purposes
Passions and purposes can change throughout our lives based on our circumstances, experiences, and personal growth. What may have been a passion in one phase of life may no longer hold the same significance in another. Embracing this fluidity allows us to explore new interests and adapt our goals to align with our current values and aspirations.
Look at Your Business & Career Through the Lens of Legacy
Ultimately, what matters is how we want to be remembered. Instead of living our lives solely focused on a singular passion or purpose, we should strive to lead a life that brings us happiness and allows us to make a positive impact on the world. Whether our legacy is through our work, relationships, or personal growth, finding fulfillment is about discovering what truly matters to us and pursuing it with joy and dedication.
Enjoy the Buffet!
While the idea of having a singular passion or purpose has its merits, it may not be necessary for everyone. Embracing a dessert buffet approach to life and career choices allows for exploration, adaptability, and the freedom to pursue multiple interests and paths. By aligning our work with our values, embracing growth, and focusing on leaving a meaningful legacy, we can find fulfillment and success without the pressure to pinpoint a singular passion or purpose. Remember, a life well-lived is one that brings happiness and allows us to make a positive impact on the world.
Listen to Lori & Nola discuss this topic in-depth on Episode 162 of the Sticky Brand Lab podcast.