Finding Your Purpose

It’s a question that many of us have asked, yet few of us have found the answer to. It turns out, we might simply have been looking in the wrong place.  

Over the last few years, there has been a significant change in the landscape of work in Australia. We have seen a migration to working-from-home models, and we have experienced a mass exodus of people leaving successful, corporate jobs, into new more soul-led ventures.  

 Much of this was unheard of years ago. So, what happened?  

The world stopped seemingly overnight, causing us to ask ourselves questions we hadn’t asked before: Am I really happy working in a cubicle for the rest of my life? Am I really satisfied with the career I am in?   

People have started realising that there is more to life than the hamster wheel they have been stuck on. That there’s actually some choice in how we run our lives. We have more options that we’ve ever had. And we’ve had time to think about whether what we have been doing is really serving us.  

It also gave us the chance to think about whether, if we keep going down this track that we’re on, is it really going to lead us to purpose, success and fulfilment? Or have we been operating in a paradigm of success that isn’t even ours? 

From an early stage, the people around us ask us what we want to be when we’re older. Then, as we go through school, well-meaning adults advise us to get good grades, go to university, get a “real” job and climb the corporate ladder.  

Of course, that model has worked well and continues to work well for many. But not everyone.   

For some, our conditioning and best intentions has led us into careers that don’t allow us to bring our authentic selves to work, or our creativity, or our genius. We get stuck in our zones of competence or excellence, and can get no further. For many, this will suffice. But for some, good is the enemy of great, and our hunger for greatness drives us towards more.  

Finding our zone of genius or ikigai (as the Japanese call it), is the work that lights up our soul. It’s the work that feels like play, brings out our genius, our authenticity and our creativity. It is something unique to us. And it is something we can only find when we’re brave enough to ask ourselves the question: what is my unique essence and how can I bring that out into the world?  

Sometimes it helps to look at our life in reverse and ask, if I was on my death bed, how would I have wished to live? What would I wish I had done?  

The trick is to do those things while we can, and to never stop following the spark we had when we were first asked the question, what would you like to be when you grow up?  

Borcsa Vass is a writer, speaker and host of the popular podcast, Lessons From Earth School. It is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and other podcast streaming services.  


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