A Sense of Purpose

by Tamara Jacobs


It is near impossible to live a life without a true sense of purpose. Whether or not you’re a religious person, you’ve got to believe in some capacity that you were put on this Earth for a reason. Or if that’s too deep for you, you might think ‘now that I’m here, what can I do to make this all better? What can I contribute?’

As we grow up, go to school, travel, learn, grow and live we start to figure out what we enjoy and what we’re good at. We might even figure out how to make money and build a stable life around doing that very thing. But often we’re steered off course. We’re lead to believe that there are greener pastures somewhere else. That money, corporate ladders, international opportunities, or fame are more important. So we give them a go. Why not, we’re bright and capable of achieving anything we set our minds to right? Moreover, we have lots of talents and don’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves. We’ll challenge ourselves while we’re young, push the boundaries of our comfort zone while we’re unattached, and then, if we’re still not satisfied, we can go back to that thing we were destined to do. That thing we’ve secretly been certain of all along.

This is not a bad path to take so long as you DO end up achieving your true purpose. In the popular job hunting guide ‘What Colour Is Your Parachute?’ Richard Bolles asks his readers what mark they want to leave on the world. He lists nine possible options. The likelihood is that a few will speak to you but probably one much more so than the others. We don’t often think of ourselves as being so important that we’re leaving a “mark on the world”, but it’s not a bad question to ask yourself when you’re deciding on a career path.

The recent news of Steve Jobs resignation as Apple’s CEO has resulted in a lot of inspiring editorial coverage. Not only is he an extremely brilliant and innovative man, but seeing as his health is unfortunately depleting, he is asking himself (and us) many important questions. Questions about life’s purpose and our purpose in it. He’s personally expressed great feelings of content for having spent every day of his life working on something, building something that he believes in and loves. Can you say the same thing? And if not, what steps can you take so that when death is on your doorstep you can?