If you are a young adult, you might look around at this life you are suddenly responsible for, and think, “What is my purpose in life?” Around the age of 21, people might expect you to be responsible for yourself and on your way to your life’s path.
However, being told “no” one too many times as a teenager or young adult likely helped you discover things might be a little harder than you thought. Maybe you have realized that your life may take some planning, dedication, and extra diligence to get to that “magic spot.”
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 stop you. Is it possible to recapture that feeling of childhood invincibility?
How can someone in their late 20s discover their talents and purpose in life?
At this age, you may have just spent thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars preparing for the workforce. And then—guess what? You find out you can’t get a job in your chosen field. Sometimes, you’re expected to work for minimum wage if you can even find a job.
Or you love your job, but as last hired you are often first fired when reorganization occurs. Maybe you find out you don’t like the job you’ve trained for and want to try something else. It’s possible you think you know a better way of doing it, so why work for someone else when you could make your own decisions. This might lead you to become an entrepreneur.
Regardless of your circumstances, you are now hitting 29. It’s time you get with it and on the right track. So what do you do? There are many people giving you advice and all kinds of possibilities, but you’re at a crossroads and you know it.
When people come to me for mentoring or coaching, they’re usually in their 50s. 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 20s 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. Even though you will face many 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 difficulties of cash flow and overhead, and managing employees (whether on-site or virtual).
There are no set schedules except for the one you set for yourself and the need for 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 your answer and then work backwards from there.
The formula for finding your purpose in life
1. Write 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? Are you fueled with a need 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? Would you prefer urban or rural life? What type of place do you want to live in—a big city or small one?
3. What is your rhythm like?
Do you like to work 9 to 5? Are evenings off limits? Are you more productive with 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? Maybe you really enjoy the better things in life, like going on vacations to the “ritziest” places and dining in the finest of restaurants?
How do you feel about combining work with travel so you can see the world and get paid for it? Would you prefer a part-time work environment along with part time volunteering?
5. Do you need many 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 enjoy following directions and doing repetitive tasks, or do you want to be the decision maker who is constantly discovering new methodologies? Does unpredictability make you thrive, or do you want to know that when your customers or clients call or come in, you will have all the answers?
6. Who do you have depending on you?
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.
Consider the pragmatic fact of “what is”
Despite your dreams you might think “We live in the real world.” There are bills to pay and mouths to feed.
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 don’t have a profound answer.
Whether it’s because they just fell into the situation, or it was the best they could do, they just never changed it.
You have your whole life in front of you, and this is your time to 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. Allow your soul to reach the depth of its purpose. This is the time for you to have an impact. Make now the moment you 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. Most of all, you have the desire 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 for you.