Not everybody can find a cure for cancer. Not everybody can be an astronaut. A lot of times people think of purpose as some grandiose notion that has to be huge and on the front page of a reputable newspaper. It’s not. Your life has purpose if somebody else’s life is improved or made better by you. That could simply be neighbors, friends, or family. It doesn’t have to be something that comes with a ticker tape around it.
One thing I ask young people is, “What’s your dream?”, because they can get so caught up in the difficulties of adolescence, family, and society that they forget to focus on a purpose for themselves. So what’s your dream? I don’t care if your dream seems out of your reach. Go after it anyway! Maybe if you set goals and put in the effort, you can get close to that dream or find something else that pleases you better. That’s what I did.
I wanted to go in to science, so I studied science all the way through college and graduate school, and then I started teaching. Even though I was a good teacher, I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I accidentally found my purpose by calling in to a radio show and answering the topic of the day.
So, have a dream - it doesn’t matter how whacky or far out. As you set goals and move forward, the road towards your dream will probably get you to your purpose. And remember that any time you’re pushing yourself to do something extraordinary, you are going to have doubts and fears of not being good enough. But to quote Winston Churchill, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
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