This is one of the heaviest questions one can ask and I don't assume to know all the answers. But, I'll tell you what has worked for me in terms of guiding me in the right direction. Growing up, I was all over the place: piano lessons, violin lessons, finance degree, tennis lessons, you name it, I probably tried it. But, there is a difference between finding your passion and living a purposeful, meaningful life. Often times, we want our kids to be the best at an activity that we forget to teach them that the most important thing is to live with purpose.
So, how do you find your purpose?
1. Watch documentaries. If you don't already have a Netflix subscription, get one, and cancel your cable. What I love about documentaries is that we only have a limited time here on earth, and while I would love to read all the books, I simply don't have the time. Documentaries are faster ways of giving us important information and if you find a topic you're very interested in, then by all means start reading more about it and dive deeper. Some of my favorite documentaries right now are: Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, and Zeitgeist.
2. Cancel your cable subscription. Why not get Netflix and keep your cable subscription, you might ask? Because commercials are evil. In fact, it has been proven that children who watch commercials eat 45% more than those that watch TV without commercials. I can attest to this. I remember coming home from school as a kid and watching Growing Pains reruns on the Disney Channel. The commercials would always make me so hungry and I'd pour myself a bowl of ice cream. This eventually became a habit that I would have to break. If you don't have food commercials shoved in your face every 10 minutes, you miraculously stop thinking about food. The most ridiculous commercial I've seen lately is on Hulu about a pill that you can pop in your mouth to control your hunger. LOL ok... so they want you to become food obsessed to then sell you a pill to control your hunger. Hmmm no thanks.
3. Get involved in your community. Sometimes it seems that my generation wants to either make a HUGE positive impact in the world (i.e. Silicon Valley) or no impact at all. Or maybe it's because you don't hear very often about the positive impacts in the middle, I'm not sure. But, we live in a time when things are going back to becoming more local. Farmer's markets are now cool and we want to start buying our food more locally to cut down on all the transportation gas emissions. However, this doesn't just have to apply to food. Think about what your community needs and start helping. Do they need a new website? Could you teach a class at the public library? Is there a meet-up group you can start?
4. Embrace the fact that you're multidimensional. We live in a society that wants to pigeon hole us. Don't let yourself be pigeon holed. I remember being a kid and thinking it was weird that I had to choose one career and that was all that I had to do for the rest of my life. I remember asking my mom "but mom, I want to do it all. I want to be a teacher, a psychologist, an architect, it all sounds fun. Why can I only choose one?" We don't have to choose just one. You can be a kindergarten teacher, but that is not who you are. That is just one part of you. Maybe you also love baking and have a blog where you post all your recipes and you'd love to someday write a cookbook. The most interesting people are those that have grown in all areas and have many passions in life.
5. Stop taking life so seriously and just have fun. If you think graphic design could be fun, start designing stuff. Find out how a software works by reading the manual and try to do cool stuff. Forget about a "certification" and just have fun with it. Right now, I've picked up one of those meditation coloring books for no other reason than to have fun.