I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. A twenty-something woman was at the desk making her next appointment for a checkup. She said it had to be at the beginning or end of the day because of her job.
She must have been acquainted with the person behind the desk because they asked what she was working at. She responded that she was (I didn’t hear it), even though she double-majored in journalism and communications, minoring in business. She said she really didn’t know what she wanted to do, or could do with all that.
She said she loved to draw. Someone mentioned art therapy. She then said, somewhat forlornly, “But then I would have to go back to school…”
She went on to say her mother was a nurse. She wondered if she should just go into a conventional occupation and get it over with. Someone behind the desk said, “Yeah, that’s understandable.”
I could no longer stay seated. I walked up to her and said, “This is none of my business, but you have a right to do what you love.”
I didn’t know what kind of response I would get. I’m always prepared that I may have overstepped. Thankfully her face brightened. She must have thanked me 5 times before she left the office. She was smiling ear-to-ear.
Purpose is apparently a popular thing.
I went on with my appointment and didn’t think about it again. As I left the office, one of the workers behind the counter whispered to me, “You know what you said to that woman? Is it possible to do what you love? Are you a coach? Can people actually find their purpose?” [NOTE: I’m not making this up.]
Another employee walked up. We were silent. He looked at both of us. He said, “Are you talking about careers?” Hmmmm. I don’t remember him being there when I spoke to the young woman. The staff must have already talked.
The woman behind the desk went on to tell me about the two prestigious degrees she achieved. She is in her late 30’s or early 40s. She still didn’t know what to do with those degrees.
The look on her face broke my heart. There was such longing.
We talked about meaning in work. Conceivably you can find meaning no matter what you do for work. (I once knew a TSA employee who found her work deeply meaningful, but that’s a story for another time.) If that doesn’t cut it for you, you explore and discover.
What YOU want matters.
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” – Jim Carrey
You have a right to follow what is written on your heart. You would not have the desire or interest if there weren’t something there for you. In most cases, it is not a pipe dream. You are not just fooling yourself.
Society, families, and practical concerns can lead you to put your desires and dreams on the sidelines. In some cases this conditioning is so strong, you doesn’t even know what you really want — what makes your heart sing.
Look for what interests you, even slightly. Check it out and see where it leads you. It’s like a treasure hunt.
Our collective gifts are essential for our world to thrive.
We are here to do more than work to survive. We all have a skill, a quality, a passion, a project, or a dream that is meant to gift the planet. Give yourself permission to seek yours out. Don’t you want to be smiling ear-to-ear like the woman I met today? Take a step in the direction of your dream. You never know what might rise up to meet you that leads you to touch others’ lives profoundly, and is deeply satisfying for you at the same time.