Week 1-On Purpose

Week 1-On Purpose

When one asks someone what their purpose in life is, they can’t always expect a simple answer. It’s quite difficult to pinpoint that one thing that your life on earth is supposed to be devoted to. For me, I don’t think I can really know for sure. I’ve hardly experienced what life has to offer. But, I believe to find one’s purpose, you find something that gives you fulfillment and joy beyond anything else. I’ve found a joy like this when I serve others. I’ve been told by others that I have a gift for working with and understanding children. Perhaps this is my purpose. I plan to explore the things that bring me joy in life and pursue a career in medicine and working with children.

I often find myself preventing myself from trying new things or taking risks because I’m afraid of failure, vulnerability, and not being ready or skilled enough. I counteract this by being optimistic, being more comfortable with vulnerability, and knowing that it’s okay to fail. I am learning to take risks because I know that it will only lead me to the goals I have for myself and to a life of happiness.

I found Larry’s choice to end the talk with unless interesting. The unless gives the audience the chance to look into themselves and think about what excuses they are making, and about how they can pursue their passion in their career in life.

8 thoughts on “Week 1-On Purpose

  1. I appreciated your discussion on the word ‘unless’; certainly small and succinct words as this one can produce echoing effects in the way which we as humans perceive ourselves as well as the impact that we can make on the world around us.

  2. I really enjoyed & related to your responses to the “On Purpose” prompts…I too find answering the “What’s your purpose in life?” question overwhelming. I’ve thought a bit about my purpose, at least career-wise. I think discovering this involves examining your values, getting feedback from others, and self-reflection, as well. My grandparents and mother both work/worked as healing professionals (doctor, nurse, social worker) and have taught me that a career helping others can be incredibly fulfilling. Serving others is definitely one of our family-wide values. Just like people have told you that you work well with children, many people tell me that I am easy to talk to and am supportive in times of struggle. Personally, I really enjoy spending time talking with people, especially if it means I can help them feel better about something or solve a problem. For these reasons, I am confident that going into social work is my career-wise purpose in life.

  3. I agree with your stance that the idea of purpose is an ambiguous one. Yet, in order to find what we are I believe we should not be fully devoted to one idea. As time goes on we change as people. What an individual values and their purpose in life changes as we get older. The easiest example is our intended job when we were children. When I was a child, I thought I wanted to be a paleontologist because I loved dinosaurs. But, today my current passion and career path is Biomedical engineering. Due to the dynamic nature of our interests we will eventually find our passion and by extension our purpose.

  4. I agree that answering the question, what is your purpose in life, can be quite difficult. Personally, I like thinking of my purpose in life as being divided into different sections similar to the example that Dr. Strecher gave in his speech. Two purposes, out of many that I currently have, are to get my eduction so that I can serve others through Density and to stay connected to my family as I study here at the University of Michigan. I feel like sometimes we get stuck in choosing our purpose in life because we may feel like we have more than one purpose (we may have the misconception that we can only have one purpose in life).

  5. Everyone has a purpose in life, but it is often hard for people to realize that. It must take time for people to see what their purpose is and along the way they may get discouraged. I know that there have been many things to knock me down along the way. At times I feel like I don’t have a purpose or that I’m not smart enough go to fulfill my purpose. Things in life get hard and as humans we need support to keep moving on.

    I know that when I don’t have support, I tend to achieve less. I get discouraged and I don’t put my all into the things I know I should. I fill my head with thoughts of negativity and I’ve actually been told that I can be a negative person at times. When you doubt yourself and your purpose you bring negativity and failure upon your life. The only way to fulfill your purpose is to strive for the best everyday, stay encouraged and keep a positive mindset.

    I do believe that once you find something you love and enjoy then you can fulfill your purpose in life.

  6. I would agree with your assessment of what our purpose in life is and how it is challenging to identify what it exactly is. Our purpose in life is swayed from our core values that we hold. With my strong family values, there has always been a constant reminder in my upbringing to keep good and healthy relationships. These values spill over into my goals of having a good rapport within my profession and to turn those into good strong relationships. It is refreshing to see how you have embraced your purpose to serve others and that you can use your profession to fulfill that purpose.

  7. I agree with your statement on how “It’s quite difficult to pinpoint that one thing that your life on earth is supposed to be devoted to.” People often have a vastly different array of interests and talents that put them at two different sides of a spectrum, with them asking the question of “Do I do what I enjoy, or do I do what I’m good at?” I’d like to say that I don’t have this problem, but given the transient nature of both college and life in general, it’s impossible to say there are any certainties.

  8. Unlike some other posts on this topic I appreciate your admitted lack of uncertainty when it comes to defining your purpose. So many of us seek a specific definition, when to me it seems that a definition will confine us to a viewpoint from others. To me the most important aspect of one’s purpose is that it makes one feel happy and fulfilled, and you and I seem to agree strongly on this. My direction in life could easily change multiple times in the next year simply because I am still seeking out what will light a passion within me. I was also very empathetic with your reasons for oftentimes not pursuing your purpose- that is you avoid it because of fear of failure. All too often I find that I actually am worried not only about my own failure but also of what others will think of me if I do fail. To counteract this aspect of failure I have to remind myself that it is impossible to please everybody and also that failure is oftentimes necessary before success.

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