Even though I was stir ‘awoke’ in April 2017, it wasn’t until September 2018 that I really began to question if I wanted to live the life that I had been.
My job, though well-paying and respectable, was draining me. I was working tirelessly, but the sense of purpose was missing. It felt like I needed to do something more, something that helped other people on a more direct and compassionate level. But what? I couldn’t understand.
Day after day, I spend hours talking to people that I look upto, seeking their advice.
Should I take up a job at some NGO? But what cause would I associate myself to, I wasn’t that passionate about anything yet…
Should I become an artist? I knew my paintings weren’t good, but I enjoyed the skill, so what if….
Should I take up writing as a career? But I would need to walk the path more professionally and seriously, such as journalism..
On and on, the ideas and questions, and doubts went on. It felt that beyond my education in Computer Science, I had failed myself. I knew nothing else.
It had been weeks thinking about all this, non-stop. I was beginning to feel that same air of helplessness I did before my first wake-up call. If you want to read that story, check this blog post out.
This time, meditation and burning essential oils wasn’t working either.
Until one day, an idea came to my mind.
The Purpose Matrix.
Broadly speaking, the idea is, to lay out all your talents, interests and hobbies, and analyse them critically, to see what is the best fit for you. Here’s what you can do, to make your own.
STEP #1 – CREATE THE BLUEPRINT
Make a table on a piece of paper, or pull out an Excel sheet. You should have 10 rows, and 5 columns.
STEP #2 – LAY DOWN THE INTERESTS
Your first column lists down everything you like to do. Trust me, write down everything. You should atleast have ten interests, no matter how vague.
I even wrote down going to the gym, and long-drives, and allowed myself to believe just for a few moments in the possibility that I could perhaps become a personal trainer or driver (neither of which I am remotely talented at, but I wrote it anyway).
STEP #3 – HOW TO MAKE IT A PROFESSION
Your second column should list WHAT you can do about this area of interest. For example, if you write down ‘working out’, you can consider training other people, creating YouTube videos of workouts or writing about working out. You can further consider becoming a dietitian.
NOTE : The key is to be as creative as possible, and NOT restrict yourself right away in any of the possibilities. The upcoming steps will help you refine this matrix anyway.
STEP #4 – EARN FROM YOUR PURPOSE, PROFESSIONALLY
Being able to earn from your passion and area of interest can be a mental barrier. But in today’s day and age, the message is clear – spiritual people can both be humble and live with affluence. So why live a deprived life? This column is a self-assessment of how well you can earn from each interest. Don’t be overly critical here, just practical.
For instance, you may earn better if you work for an agency, than as a freelancer. Rank your professions accordingly.
STEP #5 – THINK IT THROUGH
Time to evaluate the struggles and efforts you’ll be putting in as you pursue your path. This can take a while, so don’t rush the process. Sit with each profession and write down as thoroughly as you can.
STEP #6 – DECIDE
The last, and my favourite column is the one where you finally reach consensus with your heart and brain. The YES/NO/MAYBE column. Or in other words – do you want to pursue this professionally?
For the clear YES’, you know that it’s worth the effort. DO IT!
For the maybe’s, I would say, TRY. You never know where you get your breakthrough.
And for the NO’s, well, let’s just say that somethings are good for you, even though YOU are not good at them. Continue enjoying them in your own company. 🙂
My matrix had a lot of maybe’s and no’s, but there were only two clear YES’s. Hypnotherapy, and writing.
I would encourage that you revisit this matrix a couple of times, let yourself brainstorm through each step, and allow yourself to think outside the ‘society-says’ box.
As silly as may this exercise sound, thankfully, today, there are jobs like Social Media Influencer or Food Critic, which pay off too, and quite well. They are a beautiful mixture of fame and fortune, which otherwise is left for the elite few.
There’s no need to confine yourself in the 9-6, 5 days a week cycle, unless you really want to. Either way – more power to you!
The only thing left now, is to act on this purpose, and to live more purposefully! 🙂