Am I Looking for Purpose in the Wrong Places?

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Am I going to do this for the rest of my life?” For almost four years, that thought crept into my mind every day as I drove around town for lunch. I always felt guilty — selfish even — just for thinking about it. I had a career in human resources. I made enough to afford an apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area. And I guess, I was pretty much where you’re supposed to be in your 20s. But yet, I couldn’t shake that nagging feeling that something was missing.

I tried looking for it in a master’s degree — I even submitted applications to a couple of industrial psychology Master degree programs, thinking maybe I could help people in the workplace? I studied for my LSATs when I was convinced that I would become an immigration lawyer. And finally, I looked into becoming a history teacher. The world had so many things to offer, and yet, I kept going back to the same question — was I going to do this for the rest of my life?

Do these feelings sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone.

According to a 2017 LinkedIn published research, 75 percent of 25-to-33-year-olds have experienced a quarter-life crisis, defined as, “a period of insecurity and doubt that many people in their mid-20s to early 30s go through surrounding their career, relationships, and finances.”

So what’s there to do when you find yourself in that situation?

Maybe it’s time to pivot and ask a different set of questions, like:

What are you thankful for? Make a list and ask: what are God’s gifts to me? Sometimes focusing on what is missing leads to missing out on what you have around you. So look up from that smartphone and see the awesome blessings God is allowing you to experience.

Where do you seek your happiness? What’s your most prized possession? Is it in what your career is able to afford you or the experiences that life brings? Is it your family? Your friends? List them out and narrow it down to the number one source of your happiness.

What is the meaning of life, or more clearly, is there a particular purpose that God created you for? This one seems tough, I mean, how do you even start to figure out why God created you? But it really is the easiest of the three because the answer is already written out for us in a book called the Bible.

And don’t just ask yourself these questions. Set aside time to pray to God. Ask Him the hard questions that keep you up at night. This part is key. Looking for Purpose in the wrong place

This is an exercise you can do regularly — at any age. Because the truth is we all fall into a rut sometimes, but reminding ourselves of God’s blessings, seeking to understand His purpose for us and regularly praying to God can do more than any life coach or self-help guru can offer.

How do I know? Well, I no longer drive around asking, “Is this what I’m going to do with the rest of my life?” Eight years ago, I left the corporate world to work in Christian media. Today, I spend my days telling inspiring stories of God’s work. How’s that for purpose?

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the only “life” question you’re asking. In fact, it is pretty much guaranteed that it won’t be the last one you ask. So why not take some time to ask God what is it that He wants you to do.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 New International Version (NIV)

But the Bible can open up more doors to answer many of your questions about life. Have a particular question in mind? Want to learn God’s plan for you? Listen to what the Bible has to say about the amazing opportunities God has in store for you.

About the Author

Renezen Benedicto is that introvert you probably saw in the corner reading articles on her phone.   She worked in Human Resources for over 8 years until she found her true purpose of sharing God’s words to people around the world.  When she’s not on her computer or her phone, she’s usually out running in San Francisco or trying something that makes her uncomfortable, like socializing and boxing.