As you begin your life, you are full of all kinds of dreams, adventures and curiosity. Every day seems to hold a new beginning or a magical opportunity. You can’t even imagine that anything could possibly stop you or stand in your way.
By the time you hit your teens, you’ve been told “no” one too many times and you discover that things might just be a little harder than you thought and it may take some planning, dedication and extra diligence to get to that “magic spot.”
When you turn 21, you are now expected to be responsible for yourself, self-supporting and on your way to your life’s path.
How can someone in their late 20’s discover their talents and purpose in life?
And then—guest what? You find out you can’t get a job in the field you’ve just spent thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars preparing for. As a matter of fact, sometimes you’re expected to work for minimum wage if you are even able to find a job.
Or you love your job, but as last hired you are often first fired when reorganization occurs. Or you find out you don’t like the job you’ve trained for, and want to try something else. Or you think you know a better way of doing it, so why work for someone else when you could be making your own decisions—so yes, let’s become an entrepreneur.
Regardless of your circumstances, you are now hitting 29 and it’s time you get with it and on the right track. So what do you do? There are all types of people giving you advice and all kinds of possibilities but you’re at a crossroad and you know it.
When people come to me for mentoring or coaching, they’re usually in their 50’s, and believe it or not, they are still asking the same questions.
“How do I find my life purpose?” or “I’ve worked at this my whole life, but I was never really happy.” Or “There must be something more I don’t know about” or “I don’t think I ever worked to my potential.”
So here you are in your late 20’s and thank heavens you are asking these questions now.
I am so glad you are, because your whole life is in front of you. I preach every day that you should go to sleep with a smile on your face and get up with one as well. And even though you will face numerous obstacles and crises in your day, when you can do those two things, it is all worth it.
So, how do you find your true purpose in life and what your significant talents are?
All your life people have been telling you what you’re good at. In addition there are things you have been absolutely crazy about. Some of those things you can get paid for, and some you can’t. Others are great as hobbies or part-time, but not for a full time profession.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether you like the security of having a job and all that goes along with it—benefits, taking orders, and having certain restrictions. Or do you prefer being your own boss making the decisions, experiencing the ups and downs of cash flow and overhead, employees (whether on-site or virtual),no set schedule except for the one you set for yourself and the constant marketing for new clients while trying hard to keep the old ones.
Whichever you choose, let’s determine how you will find your purpose.
I always ask “What would you do if you had no responsibility, no bills and no one to answer to? And what would you go even if you weren’t getting paid?
Those questions are the biggest clues you will ever have as to your true purpose. Write down your answer and then work backwards from there.
So here is the formula I suggest:
1. Write down what makes your heart sing?
Is it working with children? Do you like being outdoors? Are you thrilled when you come up with a new process? Do you want to travel extensively?
2. Think about your personal life.
Is having a family important to you? Do you want to stay physically close to your parents? Do you prefer urban or rural life? Do you like a big city or small?
3. What is your rhythm like?
Do you like to work 9 to 5? Are evenings off limits? Do you prefer four 12 hour days and then three days off or are you up for a24/7 kind of life?
4. Lifestyle is next.
Do you want to make just enough money to take care of expenses and then have the freedom to do other things? Do you really enjoy the better things in life, go on vacations to the “ritziest” places and dine in the finest of restaurants? Do you want to combine work with travel so you can see the world and get paid for it? Do you prefer a part-time work environment along with part-time volunteering.
5. Do you need a lot of people around you to keep you excited and interested or are you a lone wolf who likes to work alone with no one to interrupt you?
Do you like following directions and doing repetitive tasks or do you want to be the decision maker who is constantly discovering new methodologies? Do you like unpredictability or do you want to know that when your customers or clients call or come in, you will have all the answers?
6. Do you have elderly parents who need your time and help?
Do you have a spouse or partner relying on you? Do you have children who need your attention? Are you responsible for the support of other family members?
I know we spoke earlier of dreaming about the endless possibilities and having no responsibilities and no one to answer to, and that should have given you a few good ideas.
However, we are living in the real world and as much as there are things you dream of, there is also the pragmatic fact of “what is.”
At least now you can make intelligent choices for your future based on an in-depth look at yourself. Too many people allow things to just happen to them and when you ask them why they are doing what they do, it’s because they just fell into the situation, or it was the best they could do at the time, and they never changed it.
You have your whole life in front of you and this is your soar. You have the highest energy you will ever experience, and the best opportunity to be listened to and heard.
This is the time for your magic. This is the time for your soul to soar. This is the time for you to have impact. This is the time for you to discover yourself.
You are at the perfect age to build your roadmap. You have it all. The energy, the drive, the time to create depth and most of all, to show yourself and those around you, exactly what you are capable of.
So remember what you have to do. Write out the things you love to do, are good at, and what that perfect day is. Once you’ve committed that to paper, you will be amazed at what the universe will provide to you and for you.