I did not realize until my early twenties how obsessed I was with trying to understand the passions and career paths of others. I come from a family of educators, so it was only natural that I pursued a similar path of my own. However, my mother used to tell me that she wanted to be a dentist when she was younger. As a single mother of two at age 19, her career path not only sidetracked, it derailed.
I used to be so fascinated by what she would end up doing with her life once my sister and I got older. My mother graduated from high school, but she was not able to pursue college at the time. I could not begin to understand why she never tried to go back to school. She taught me things that most college educated people struggle with: establishing good credit at a young age, buying a car, and most importantly, to always follow your passions in life.
I used to say things like, “You are too smart! You need to be doing something that you can use your talents.” She said something that changed everything I thought I knew about careers and purpose. She said, “Some people are meant to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, or dentists. I was put on this Earth to be a mother. No job is as fulfilling as that. As long as I can take care of my children, it doesn’t matter what I do for work.”
I wanted to share this story because I believe that our society correlates an individual’s passions in life too heavily to a career or a job. You may know that your true passion is to coach little league, to help fight hunger and homelessness, or to just be an amazing parent. This is enough, and you can find other ways to support yourself financially. Follow your true purpose, and everything else will fall into place. For those of you who may be struggling to find your purpose in life, change your perspective from, “What career should I pursue?” to “What difference do I want to make?”
Below are some tips to help guide those who may be experiencing this:
- Think of your work showing up in the newspaper front page. What do you envision?
- Ask others how you have helped them in life or through a tough time.
- Try something you have always wanted to do. Don’t let that voice in your head tell you, “No.” We all have it.
I feel that I have a responsibility to my students and clients to assist them in finding jobs AND their purpose in life. You can be an accountant AND a songwriter. You can be a secretary AND a yoga instructor. Or you could just be an amazing mother. That is more than enough.
“Thank you Mom.”