Purpose is by far the tougher part of the “FrugalPurpose” equation. Financially, we have real values and a way to measure our financial situations. Measuring purpose is not so clear and simple.
What is purpose?
As mentioned in the About section, purpose is defined as “the reason for which something exists…” Everyone has a purpose, but not everyone pursues it. The reasons? It may have a more difficult path, less pay, “weird” by society’s standard. Purpose in a career sense is a relatively new concept. As recent as the mid 1900s, there was a higher percent of people living in rural areas and relocating to a new place was more difficult. Career options were much fewer. With globalization comes new opportunities; anyone can now search online for thousands of jobs in Prague, Shanghai, and everywhere in between. With new career choices, important life decisions need to be made. Rightfully so, this leads to questioning of one’s goals and values. That is when we start looking for our true purpose.
It should be noted that pursuing one’s purpose is a privilege. Unfortunately, this is often decided by where you were born. Someone born in the United States is much more likely to have this privilege than someone in Uganda. Someone born in a poorer family may not have as much of an opportunity as someone in an upper class family. I wish it were based on work ethic and integrity, but this is how it all works.
Purpose is the reason you are living, what you dedicate your life to. A small percentage of people know from a young age that they want to be a doctor, for example. They go to med school, become a doctor, and live a very fulfilling life. The amount of people who do this are few and far between. For the rest of us, finding that purpose is an ongoing battle. We have many interests, but what are we passionate about? What do we love enough to commit a career to? This is not an easy question
Why is purpose important?
You may tell me, “This doesn’t apply to me…I like my job!” Great! I’m glad you’re enjoying your job. However, liking a job does not necessarily mean it aligns with your mission.
The only way to reach your full potential is to work on something truly meaningful to you. Liking a job because it allows flexible hours and good pay does not mean the job fits within your reason for being. The job needs to align with your values and goals. Having a career with purpose means being passionate about the impact of the work which gives you extraordinary energy. You know that person from your work who is always overflowing with enthusiasm and seems to be living the dream? That person has their work aligned with their purpose. Use them as a model, but find your own.
How do I find my purpose?
This is the tough part. It requires the continuous evaluation of one’s values and goals. I can tell you that my idea of my purpose has completely changed in the last 5 years, and it continually changes. Does this mean that I haven’t yet found it? Or does it mean that it will continually change my entire life? I think the former. Recent changes in my life and experiences have shaped my views of the world into something entirely different in the past few years. I have developed stronger passions and am figuring out how to implement these passions into my work. That brings us to the first step of “How do I find my purpose?”
Everyone has passions. There is something you love to talk about with friends. When you start talking about it, you get fired up and excited to share your knowledge and experiences. Maybe it’s hiking, video games, working out, or leadership development. Think about your hobbies that make you eager and enthusiastic. These are your passions. I become extremely enthused when I talk about travel, cycling, personal finance, and the topic of purpose (hence the blog ). I am continually looking for careers aligning them. This is not easy, but it makes for an interesting ride!
We should all be chasing after our purpose. Let’s face it…we only live once (WOLO?). We only have one shot. Follow your passions, pursue your purpose, reach your full potential, and make a difference in this world.