Photo by Kimmie Harper

Millennials face a unique issue today. An issue that our parents and grandparents never faced. It’s one of entitlement, of being spoilt for choice and believing we deserve it all with little to no effort in gaining it. See, the generations before us, for the most part, were in survival mode. If you have/had grandparents that came out of the Great Depression, you surely would have heard all about it. The old paradigm of ‘working to live’ was their mantra. But Millennials don’t live by that mantra. They are dancing to the beat of their own drum.

Now we face a symptom of the lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. It is truly wonderful to live in an age of opportunity. But being so spoilt for choice has rendered us with a severe case of ‘purposelessness.’ That’s right; we have no idea what we are living for outside of that paycheck and the latest iPhone, or what we are meant to be doing while we’re on this beautiful planet. Surely there’s more to life than fine-tuning our image and drinking the most ornate coffee we can find? We have turned into a generation of project managers. We live from project to project, rather than living for a legacy. Where’s the longevity gone? What is the purpose?

Finding and living from within your purpose is the most fulfilling way to live. In fact, according to the great psychologist Viktor Frankl, who survived the Nazi concentration camps, a purpose is the only thing that kept him alive. He revealed in his writings that it was those men who had meaning in their life that survived. That was the fundamental difference. They would save the mental pictures of their loved ones and dreams at all costs because they knew if they lost them, it was all over.

With that sobering thought in mind, let’s shine a magnifying glass on how purpose works for us today.

Here are some cool things about purpose you need to know:

  • It’s your grid for making life decisions
  • It’s the essence of who you are, so you don’t have to be someone else
  • It helps you live within fulfillment and contentment
  • You can wake up knowing you’ll accomplish something significant every day
  • It’s relevant to every stage of your life
  • It’s not dictated by occupation

So how does one find this very illusive purpose? The irony is, you’ve had it all along. You just haven’t recognized it. You haven’t put language to the reason you are here.

As a purpose consultant, I have the privilege of helping people put language to what makes them get up in the morning. To use a couple of cliché words, it’s a ‘process’ and ‘journey,’ but it’s also incredibly worth it. We all have common themes that run through the tapestry of our lives. These themes are the foundation of our purpose. When we begin living with purpose, we also begin creating our legacy. Start talking it out with someone you trust. Begin to tell them the dreams, passions, and frustrations that you carry. Be vulnerable. Soon they will start to hear the common themes that you say, without having heard them yourself. This is how we find purpose. It comes from the very depth and essence of who we are.

Living outside of your purpose is a leading cause of high disengagement amongst employees. In fact, Gallup Inc. shows us that up to 70% of us are not at all engaged in our jobs. So we spend one-third of our 24hrs disengaged at work, another third sleeping, and the remaining third trying to figure out why we’re so disengaged!  We are not functioning inside our strengths, and therefore we are living outside our purpose. Should we stay inside this cycle, or should we break out of the box and engaged with the world around us, learning how to make it better for ourselves and those still to come? Gone are the days of punching in and punching out of our nine to five jobs. Unless you love your nine-to-five, maybe it’s time to change your thinking.

Here’s my suggestion. Find your purpose. Live it out. Never move outside of it again.

At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture, and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.