Purpose seems to be THE millenial word. Somewhere I read we are called the purpose generation – the first generation who care more than just having a day to day job with a good income. We have had the luxury to not grow up in times of strife, with parents who already had steady lives and were able to give us a comfortable, steady life. The last generation built a stable foundation. They got to enjoy the fruits of a growing economy and a long time of peace. And as humanity has this ever growing need of development – our generation has developed past this. We no longer care for ourselves and our families but look beyond. We are set, our loved ones are set, now how can we do more?
No wonder older generations have a hard time with that. They didn’t have the luxury to think beyond their immediate needs. Hence we should not feel bad for looking for purpose or say you want some more in your life. Being able to look beyond your existential needs is what the world is currently lacking. Yet – with such a globally accessible world, with so many problems, its hard to know where to start. And at the same time, you are still expected to live up to the basic expectations of society – job, income, stability and now on top of that you also strive for purpose and dare I say fulfillment?
Most try to combine the above – a job that gives you lots of income AND purpose. Yet – there are probably three of those in the entire world. You might find it – and if you do I would greatly salute you and tell you that its ok to develop and find something else after that. What drives our purpose may change over time. You are not bound to life to one purpose.
Its an ideal case and a dream to find a job with a good income and purpose. It really would be great if there were more of those jobs. But I will have to tell you – most of us won’t find it. The difficulty to find your purpose, but believing you should is what has caused our generation a lot of anxiety, pressure and depression. There is a pressure to always do better than the last generation – always do better than your parents. And then we put all the pressure on ourselves to do better and find a purpose and then there are such few jobs that can give us that – its a cocktail that can only lead to disappointment.
Many of us, and that I fear my generation doesn’t understand, will not be able to combine income and purpose that easily. We will have to do jobs that will not make many people happy, that will not have impact on many lives, endangered animals or the planet. But that doesn’t mean we have to be without purpose. Enter your purpose into your job. If you are in charge of printing – make sure to use recycled paper. If you are passionate about women’s issues – start a women’s club at work. And if your work doesn’t allow it – balance it with your free time. Volunteer at a dog shelter, volunteer at the suicide hotline from the comfort of your home, or start a blog. Be driven to action by your purpose, don’t let the lack of it drag you down. Its amazing you are looking for it and don’t forget, it can really change over time. It shouldn’t be an additional pressure but should be a joy in your life. If you can’t find something today – doesn’t mean its not right around the corner.