Growing up as a 13/14-year-old quiet little boy in a foreign country, whose migrant parents saw formal education as the only way to attain any form of “success” and financial stability, I struggled with the whole business on how to find one’s purpose in life.
As a proud Nigerian, academia is a quite a big deal in our culture so you can imagine that our parents would want us to study and performed astonishingly well in the “real” hard sciences, (maths, chemistry, physics and etc) so that we can all have prestigious professions that they could be proud of later in life. This wasn’t a bad plan except for the fact that I was average in these areas-I sucked at science but I flourished a lot more in the creative subjects- I run a blog- go figure eh?
The day I died a little on the inside
I vividly recall the look of shame and disappointment on my dad’s face when I returned from ‘enrolment day’ of college to tell him that my secondary school grades were not good enough to be accepted for a science course at A-levels. His reply to me was: “you might as well forget about education, drop out and get a job as an apprentice”.
I was barely 15 years old, needless to say, that his statement cut really deep- my spirit was crushed.
In a desperate attempt to “win back my father’s love” (as all psychologically damaged kids do lol) and, as a consolation to my parents, I enrolled to study Law at A-levels (college) which I then later pursued at higher education (university) and we all know how that story goes: (basically, for those that don’t know, I worked in the legal field for a 2 years and decided that I’ve had enough- you’d be extremely miserable as well if your reason(s) for doing what you’re doing is not built on a solid foundation!)
I began university at the age of 17, graduated with a Law Degree at 20 BUT I’ve hated the trajectory of my academic life since I was 16 but hey! Papa’s love and approval is priceless right babe? Lol
How is this relevant to this discussion?
First of all, if you think that I’m salty (i.e. sensitive, upset or hurt) by all that I’ve mentioned above then you are absolutely correct! My G, I was pissed! That whole situation could have been handled a lot better but now as a grown man, I don’t really care about it anymore- I’m over it. More importantly, there’s no bad blood between me and my parents and we all love each other quite a lot actually.
It goes without saying that my parents’ intentions were pure, and they simply wanted what they thought would be best for their child, as any loving parent would- they were just misguided.
However, I’m sharing this story, not for sympathy or to blame my parents for how certain things have transpired in my life, but to highlight the implication of allowing myself to be controlled by the dreams of others:
I remember disliking Law. It was boring and longwinded but, it felt like my only chance at redemption, therefore, I endured my distaste for it and perfected my fake smile so to speak, even though deep down, I was crumbling.
The truth was, I was a frustrated, confused and lost little boy and, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life (still don’t- I just know that I need to get really good at something by working hard at it and monetise it) but then again, how many teenagers truly do? So why does the society keep forcing them to make a definitive career choice at such an early age? A decision that they would potentially have to dedicate the rest of their professional life adhering to simply because they would struggle to turn back once they’re in too deep.
Anyway, back to me
“How did I find my purpose in life?” Truth be told, I haven’t but I’m okay with this.
I have devoted thousands of hours trying to find answers to the question I knew I couldn’t ask my parents at the time. Thousands of hours navigating through a lot of useless, empty calorie, new age, kumbaya, hippy bullshit advice that doesn’t offer real solutions. Thousands of hours feeling trapped in a situation I despised.
It would have been far more profitable to take some time to really consider career options that would have complimented my strengths rather than choose a course out of desperation just to please and impress my parents because as a grown man today, this is now what I am tasked with. I’m at a crossroad as to which career path to take. (Do not make the same mistakes me!)
Although I’m still learning this game called “life”, it wasn’t until I found some great mentors that I was able to resolve a lot of my deep-rooted issues and attained a better sense of direction in general. These mentors offered great perspectives and explained things in the way that I personally understand them. They taught me most of what I know today regarding personal development. And, I’ve made it my mission to keep this cycle going because I truly believe that this is how life should be. That this, sharing information for the betterment of others.
Life is all about elevation and progression.
What is your life purpose and how do you find it?
How many people truly have the answer to this age-old question? Like really.
Dude: only a chosen few know what their “sole purpose in life” is and you will probably never belong to this group anytime soon.
I didn’t write this blog to provide some magical answers but just to reassure you that it’s perfectly okay if you don’t know your purpose in life and stop worrying too much about this.
Can I make a suggestion?
Rather than giving yourself a migraine pondering on this question, why not focus on the things that actually matter such as taking the actions that will set you up for success in the future?
Here’s our problem: we have allowed ourselves to be programmed into believing that we need to have or find a singular purpose in life and pursue it for the rest of our lives so that we can feel complete. To make matters worse, we have a large number of individuals who believe that they need to have life “figured out” by a certain age. This is where a lot of people go wrong, especially us millennials.
Over the years, after following some of the teachings of the likes of Mike Cernovich, I’ve come to understand that my life purpose is not static- it will keep changing and evolving.
It’s impossible to predict for certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, what our lives would be like in the next 4 years for instance, therefore, thinking we have to find a singular purpose in life would be a huge mistake. Our priorities will always change with respect to what life decides to throw our way.
What we should be doing instead is setting ourselves up for success rather than waste our time trying to search or figure out our “passion”/ sole purpose in life. Better yet, we could re-create ourselves, focus on honing and mastering our crafts to an extent where we can create comfortable life within the confines of our definition.
What steps am I taking to set myself up for success?
- I am always strengthening my mind and simply catering to my overall mental health. Mental toughness is major keys: I figured if I learned how to control my mindset then I will always be in control of whatever happens in life. Afterall, life is all about managing problems and I want to be highly prepared for the time I might have to go through a bigger problem than the ones I’ve already conquered.
- I am currently grinding my ass off: I have a full-time job and I am saving tenaciously to continue and begin some new investments (I am developing an investment portfolio as well as my appetite for entrepreneurial risk). I also have this website that I am consistently working on updating because one of my visions is to attract 10,000 readers on a daily basis and I am willing to do what it takes to make it happen!
- I’m in the process of learning how to network and become a better conversationalist. The latter will be useful for when my podcast goes live and I have to interview guests.
I say all that to say this
I’m actively working on not living a life filled with regrets because I spent too much time over-thinking the things that don’t matter (this is subjective)- you should do the same. Life is too short, but trust me, your life will be long as fuck if you make the wrong decisions! #BeSafeTho
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