If you forged into 2021 full speed ahead with expectations of a fresh start but are finding yourself let down and struggling to find purpose, you are not alone.
Maybe you feel like you are on the wrong path and the success and satisfaction of others around you makes you feel like you are falling behind because you are not feeling that same success. What can you do to find your path to success? Jay Shetty shares his techniques on how to take the pressure off yourself and ease the exhaustion, anxiety, and burnout you may be feeling as you strive to find your passion. It is never too late to do what you love.
A Path to Purpose
Do you feel pressure to hurry up and find your passion and double down on it as fast as possible?
Jay Shetty shares a story about a man named Rich who attended Stanford University, a very prestigious and competitive school. While there, Rich’s friends would spend hours every night studying. His friend Bob was the prime example of study and focus, as he would fill his backpack with soda, sit at one of the desks in the library, and work and work. Bob went on to graduate with honors, attend Stanford Law and become a successful corporate lawyer. Rich did not have that same focus, even though he gave it his best shot. Rich spent his time in fifteen-minute intervals of studying then reading Sports Illustrated cover to cover.
Rich did okay at Stanford. He got mostly Bs. After school, he spent a short time as an editorial assistant at a sports magazine, then worked as a security guard, then as a dishwasher. Compared to Bob, most people would say Rich failed and wasted his Stanford education. Fast forward twelve years. At that point, Rich was working as a technical copywriter, and he had a family and an okay salary. One day Rich’s friend Tony saw Rich creating a newsletter on his desktop computer. Tony was ambitious and had been looking for a great idea that would land him fame and fortune. He asked Rich if he could design a magazine for him. Tony's vision was to create Silicon Valley's first business magazine. He took Rich's initial designs to a venture capitalist who funded the idea, and they were rolling. Faced with the challenge of turning their idea into a magazine people would want to read, Rich opened his mentor file cabinet and turned his brain back to those issues of Sports Illustrated he had read at Stanford.
“All that time spent in the library, Rich wasn't just procrastinating. He was learning,” Jay Shetty shares. “He was observing and digesting all of the elements of what made a great compelling magazine, only he didn't know that at the time. It was only later, when he was called on to create a great compelling magazine, that he looked back on that experience and realized how much he'd learned.”
Rich later wrote, “Those hours reading Sports Illustrated might have wrecked my grades, but curiosity made my career.”
Who is RIch? Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes magazine and author of Late Bloomers, The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. Rich may have taken the road less traveled, but he got to where he was going in his own time.
An economist compared the education systems in England and Scotland. In England, you decide as a teen what area of work you want to specialize in and apply to University in that specific area. In Scotland it is similar, but you do not have to pick a specialization so early on. You have a few years to sample different study areas, meaning fewer years of focused, specialized study. Logic would suggest that the kids who specialized early would perform better, experience more tremendous career success and financial stability, but the exact opposite was true in the long term. Those that chose their specialities later life were better at match quality.
What is match quality?
Jay Shetty explains match quality as how well the work we do matches the work we want to do. When you have match quality, you are motivated and more deeply engaged, resulting in more success. The study showed those who waited longer to choose their area chose better. After an average of six years, they caught up with early specialists in financial earnings and then passed them. They also stayed in those roles longer than early specialists, and their professional careers weren’t the only parts of life that are affected by waiting.
“We see this now, with the trend of millennials choosing to get married later,” Jay Shetty explains. “They're still dating and living together but getting married later. Later marriages are less likely to end in divorce.”
Are you still searching for your passion or purpose? Has it changed over time? According to Jay Shetty, that is a good thing.
“By trying different things or pursuing multiple paths, you are not failing. You are sampling,” Jay Shetty explains. “You're not falling behind. You’re learning, and you're not off the path. Your path just doesn't travel in a straight line, and that's a good thing. It's not necessarily better than specializing early, but both are fine.”
Jay Shetty admits he is no stranger to sampling. “I spent all of my twenties sampling,” Shetty explains. “I started in business. I lived as a monk for three years. I then went on to work back in management consulting, strategy, consulting, digital strategy. I moved into working as a senior host and producer at HuffPost, then progressed into the world I'm in today. I got trained and qualified as a life coach, a purpose coach, a relationship coach, and a meditation coach. I’ve sampled so much in my twenties and thirties that has now become a real place of feeling, focus, and purpose.”
Your purpose may change and evolve over time. You are not a failure if you do not find it right away. Sampling teaches you lessons and gives you tools to be successful once you do find your purpose. Jay Shetty has built a program called “Live Your Passion, Build an Income.” This program is a roadmap to discover your passion and help you earn an income doing what you love. Don’t settle at being one of the 70 percent of people who are disengaged, unhappy, and burnt out in their job.
Two Tactics to Develop Your Range
Many people who experience early success either end up switching careers later because they're not fully satisfied or stall out because they've gone as far as they are happy going in their current career. Many of them even take a step or a few steps back to start over in another area.
You need to reprogram how you think about what your career path is supposed to look like and what achievement is. Stop comparing yourself to others!If you're not sure what to pursue or what you're interested in, Jay Shetty recommends you go to a library and start looking around until something catches your eye, or go to a bookstore or Amazon and look at some books to see which areas pique your interest. He also encourages people to try the following three strategies.
The first strategy is to shift your mindset about sampling.
Write down three jobs or activities you have had that you don't think apply to your current job or desired profession. For each item, list one skill or piece of information that you learned. This will help you reflect on all the broad skills you may not realize you've developed and reprogram how you assign value to different experiences and what you interpret as meaningful and useful.
The second strategy to help build your range is to experiment.
This does not mean you dye your hair purple. Simply put, try something you have a genuine interest in. “Every month, take one weekend that is dedicated to trying something you're interested in,” Jay Shetty explains. “You may enroll for an online course or try a Zoom class. Maybe in your area, you're able to go to a physical class. Allow yourself to experience something with a coach, an expert, a teacher, a community, a group, or a guide. Do something every month, and you will have tried and sampled 12 things in 2021.”
As you explore these different activities, ask yourself how much joy and happiness you feel in each activity. Do you have a natural skill set that lends itself to you being successful in that area? Is it something you are determined to get good at? “You have to give it that time, energy, and focus to try and build it up,” Jay Shetty says. After you've done that sampling, take your list of all the things you've sampled and choose one that you want to explore in a more meaningful way. Jay Shetty suggests you carve out 30 minutes per week for the next month to spend doing that one thing. At the end of the month, ask yourself if you are still interested in exploring it. If so, continue to spend 30 minutes with it each week for the following month to help you decide if you want to continue to pursue it. “Maybe you've gone as far as you want to,” Jay Shetty says. “In which case, you can switch to something else on your list. Or maybe you've developed a new curiosity, and you can switch to that. But at each stage before switching, you want to reflect on what you've learned. So go back to tactic number one, and write down at least one broad idea, skill, or concept you learned in your exploration.”
Jay Shetty encourages listeners not to fall into the trap of thinking that your curiosity has to be monetized. The two tactics are not only about broadening your horizons and expanding your skillset but also loving and embracing who you are right now.
“The point is that you do not need to know where any of these things are going to lead,” Jay Shetty shares. “You have traveled to this point. No matter how indirect, looped, and curved you may be, you are creating a masterpiece out of your life.”
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “4 Reasons Why It's Never Too Late To Do What you Love” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
Take my new quiz to discover your deeper purpose.Take the Quiz
Looking for greater meaning? This quiz shows you how to live with purpose every day.Take the Quiz