We start getting asked from a young age, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Similar questions continue through college. For some people, a life purpose or calling is an easy answer. But that isn't true for most of us. On average, Americans have 11 different jobs in a lifetime.
Goals and aspirations are important. But we often cling to them. Following any plan too closely can result in missed opportunities.
Even if you know what you're passionate about and find a dream career, jobs end. Life circumstances change. In my case, I thought I knew what I wanted to do for a living and realized it wasn't a good fit once I got there.
Life purpose is bigger than a job. For most of us, we will contribute to society in a variety of ways: our hobbies, interests, and talents. Whether we make them careers or not, there are unique ways for us to serve the world around us.
There are phases in our lives where our typical plans don't work for us. We can do better at noticing opportunities and preparing ourselves to go in new directions.
If you pay attention, you will start to see patterns about what you're interested in and what comes naturally to you. Follow them. Keep learning and trying new things.
Here is an excellent TEDx Talk by Emilie Wapnick on the topic: