We are who we are not because of our parents’ status, our place of birth, our education, or even our initial success or failures, but mostly because of the decisions we have made.
Each decision affects our journey through life, especially our careers. In fact, recruiters often look at the decisions you’ve made in the past to determine whether they can trust your character and judgment. This includes both right and wrong decisions because few things speak louder about a person’s character than how they respond to wrong decisions.
How can you ensure that you make the best decisions and respond positively when you make the wrong ones? By knowing your purpose and asking some hard questions:
KNOW YOUR WHY
According to startup coach Thomas Oppong, “Nothing gives a person inner wholeness and peace like a distinct understanding of where they are going.”
What is your purpose in life? What drives you to get up in the morning? Do you know your “why”? It’s an existential pursuit that we’ve been grappling with since the dawn of humankind. But why is it so important to know your purpose in life? Why should you know your “why”?
It provides clarity in your life
When you know your purpose, there’s a motivation to get up in the morning. It gives you clarity about what you want to achieve in your life and what you need to do to get there or at least the direction to take.
On the other hand, people who don’t know their purpose often waste a lot of time pursuing random ventures that never fulfill them. That said, you’re never too old to find your purpose. There are many famous examples of people finding their purpose only later in life and achieving great success.
It infuses you with passion for your goals
Once you’ve found your purpose, you’ll notice how much passion you have for achieving your goals. Achieving goals isn’t easy, and you may experience many setbacks, but you’ll see these as mere bumps in the road to ultimate success.
It keeps you focused on your goals
Knowing your life’s purpose will give you a laser-sharp focus on what you need to do. You become better at blocking out distractions and keeping your mind locked in on your goals.
It helps you live healthier and longer
Studies have shown that knowing your purpose doesn’t only make you feel fulfilled, it can actually make you live longer. The research shows that people who know their life’s purpose can take control of their lives and live happier, more productive lives.
Read an article from the National Institute of Health on this subject.
It helps you develop resilience
When you know your purpose, you are in control of your life. Having control is very empowering, but it also makes you more resilient. When life throws you a curveball, you might miss it the first time, but you learn from it and smash the next one out of the park.
It allows you to live a life with integrity
We all want to live authentic lives and be our true selves. Knowing your purpose gives you the confidence to do just that. You don’t have to pretend to like a job that you hate anymore, you find one that aligns with your goals and performs it with genuine passion.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS IN LIFE?
Whether you’ve found your “why” or not, setting life goals is essential. In fact, many people have discovered their “why” while pursuing their goals. There are many benefits to having goals in your life.
Goals set a direction
Having goals gives you direction in your life. It takes away the stress and anxiety about what to do with your life or what decisions to make because you know in which direction you are going, and it guides your decisions.
Goals motivate and make life more interesting
A goal to work towards motivates you and gives you something to work towards. It also keeps life interesting because often, you will do something in pursuit of your goal that you would never have thought to do.
Goals help you focus your mind
Having a goal gives you something to focus on. It helps you to ignore distractions and not waste time on things that will not bring you closer to your goal.
Setting a goal is like having a roadmap
Goals give you direction, but the direction is often not enough. To achieve your goals you need a roadmap of what you need to do to get there.
Setting goals creates confidence
Fewer things crush confidence than just floating through life without direction. Without a clear goal, you question your own decisions, you don’t trust your judgment, and you waste time. Having a goal makes you confident because you know where you are going, and each decision you make takes you one step closer to accomplishing it.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS IN YOUR CAREER?
Your career is a big part of your life, and it features in many people’s life goals. So why separate life goals and career goals, and why is it important that you set career goals?
Helps you to stay focused
A career is like a little life journey and similar to life goals, career goals help you to stay focussed on what needs to be done because it helps you to ignore time-wasting distractions to use your time productively.
It becomes easy to measure your progress
How well are you doing at your job? How do you know if you are growing? Having a career goal helps you to measure your progress and see if you’re improving, and make changes if you’re not.
It makes you happy and satisfied
Success feels good, but if you don’t have a goal, you won’t experience success because you won’t know what you are working towards. Every time you accomplish one of your goals, your self-esteem gets a boost, your confidence in your ability grows, and you become more motivated.
WHY ARE YOU DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING?
Finding your “why” doesn’t just apply to your life. It applies to your career too. Why are you following your current career path? Who chose your career? Is your career suited to you? Does it help you to find your “why”?
To figure out why you are doing what you’re doing, you must ask yourself some questions:
What are your interests?
If you are interested in animals but you’re working in finance, then it might not be a good fit, and you might not get fulfillment from what you spend most of your waking hours doing.
What is my personality?
Are you a people person who loves to work in teams, or do you prefer to sit at your desk and be left alone? There are jobs for both kinds of people, choose the one that suits you best.
What skills do you have & what can you learn?
Do your skills fit what you are doing? What skills would you like to learn? These include hard skills like fixing computers and soft skills like being good with people. If you want to have a more fulfilling career, make sure your skills align with your job or learn skills that do.
What are your talents and strengths?
What are you naturally good at? Are you playing to your strengths with your current job? Natural talent makes it easier to achieve your career goals because you are competent and confident from the get-go.
What is your motivation?
What’s your motivation for pursuing your current career? Is it financial security? Is it because it allows you to contribute to society? Or do you seek a good work-life balance? If you take money out of it, would you still do what you’re doing?
WHAT IS IN YOUR ‘WHY’ THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING TODAY?
Are you doing everything you can to achieve your purpose in life? If not, what are you not doing? Often these include things like thinking long-term, building genuine relationships, making difficult decisions, making excuses not to start, and letting go of certain things or people.
THE HINDSIGHT OF THE FUTURE YOU
The decisions you make today will affect your future. But how do you know if you’re making the right decisions? No one can predict the future, but history tends to repeat itself, and one of the ways to prepare yourself for the future is to look at the past. If you look back in 20 years, what decision would you make today?
Look at the decisions you’ve made in the past and see how they have influenced where you are today. What were the consequences, and what path did it set you on? Did you miss any opportunities? What could you have done better? What have you learned?
Would you make the same decisions today?
The decisions we make say a lot about who we are, it speaks volumes about our character and how we approach life, and the many obstacles it throws our way. The good news is that you can learn how to make better decisions and become a better, more successful person.