The pressure of finding purpose

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 11:05 am
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jodii Maguire from Think! Performance Psychology joins The Breakfast Show every fortnight. This term Jodii is focusing on purpose.

Kirste shared that her second daughter is struggling with ‘what she wants to do with her life’. She’s in year 10 and she feels pressured to know what kind of career she wants. So that she can choose the right subject in high school. Then choose the right uni. Finding direction is causing her to have a bit of an anxious time.

Jodii points out, we almost start this when they’re young. We ask questions like “What are you going to do with your life?” “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.

So when our kids get to uni sometimes they just pick something because they feel like they have to. Even if they haven’t found what they really want to do with their lives.

What do we mean when we talk about finding purpose or direction?

When we’re talking about purpose, we’re talking about something that’s meaningful to us. Not meaningful to someone else.

So where do we find purpose?

“That’s actually a really hard question, Jodii goes on to say. We often look for purpose in our jobs or education. We define ourselves by our career when really, that’s just what we do.”

Purpose should be about what we want to do with our lives, what we feel connected to, what we get joy from, what we believe in, what our values connect with. This is where we should start thinking, what matters to us. Not what others are telling us matters.

It’s so important to spend time talking about it with your kids. There is almost no doubt they will be feeling pressured by social media, seeing people “happy” and “content” with their lives – loading on the pressure to have their own career and life path sorted out.



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