When I left college to pursue my first full-time job as a marketing assistant, I stood at the precipice of my future. The world was spread out before me with so many fields ripe with possibility. As the question of my ultimate career path loomed, I pondered the nature of my vocational pursuits. Should I chase the glimmering allure of cash and status? Or should I follow the compass of my heart to create something meaningful?
Conformity pressure urged me relentlessly to prioritize material wealth above all else. But well before I took my first step on a college campus, I recognized the traditional university track wasn’t for me. I had a powerful yearning to eschew a degree for a greater cause, to create value for others in a way no one else could.
Even at age eighteen, I understood that the glittering temptress of money was merely a reflection of value. If I could manifest abundant value for others, the money would soon follow; at least, that’s what I came to believe even before I ever attended my first college class.
How Could I Create Something Extraordinary?
I resolved to live my life with both passion and compassion, as well as a desire to create something extraordinary. Of course, the adventure I embarked upon wasn’t without its trials. Life is often full of many storms which test the mettle of even the most stalwart of souls. Yet through the ongoing tempest, I still clung to the belief that if I could create something uniquely valuable, the riches would soon follow.
But, money was never my main focus in seeking earthly riches. In fact, I sought not to amass a fortune purely of cash and assets. My dream was to bring forth a treasure trove of hope, inspiration, and joy that others could cherish. Unfortunately, that hope has been dashed more times that I’d care to count.
In my darkest hours, as doubts threatened to engulf me, I reminded myself that the journey was about more than money, something I was often lacking. My journey as a writer was always about illuminating the world with the radiance of my creation. I sought to author works that would shine as beacons of light in the shadows. I wished to etch my essence into the hearts of others. My mission was to leave an indelible mark on the world through creating value over time.
How Long Does it Take to Find Your Purpose?
I chose an arduous, winding path to authorship. Many times, I stumbled along the way. But each time I’ve faltered, somehow I found the strength to rise again. I continue to be fueled by the knowledge that it’s not the pursuit of worldly riches that drives me. My chief motivation is the ongoing quest to create works unparalleled in their beauty and significance, regardless of their commercial value.
Any time someone reads my words, my thoughts inevitably become intertwined with the lives of others, even if only for a moment. For me, the true nature of wealth doesn’t come from gold, silver, or diamonds. My satisfaction comes from the knowledge that I’m crafting things that can and have touched the souls of those around me in a way that no one else could.
Now, here in my mid-thirties, I finally understand my purpose. I continue to gaze out into the vast expanse of possibility, and my heart swells with anticipation for the next chapter in my journey. I often wonder about the legacy I can leave behind. Only by creating value for others in ways only we can will we find the true measure of our worth. It’s unfortunate that it took me decades to learn this truth.
How Do You Create Value Over Time?
Your career should not be about how you can make money at, but rather, focused on how you can create value for people. After all, money is just a reflection of the value that you create that people are willing to pay you to acquire. So, how do you create value that compounds over time, like interest from a certificate of deposit?
It all starts with being creative every day. Learn how to identify a problem that you have, then find out who else may suffer from the same issues. Once you know these things, work to find solutions, and make a little progress every day. As long as you keep working, even if you fail more than you succeed, it only takes one success to attain a lasting victory.
Sure, you’ll make many mistakes. I often ponder the many I’ve made until this point. But rather than mull over them at length, I learn what I can from my failures. As long as you continue to learn and put those lessons to good use, you’ll find a way to create value for both yourself and those around you.
While I could delineate the steps of creating value over time, what I may have to offer won’t necessarily be the steps you should take yourself. Each one of us has our own diverse skillsets, specialized knowledge, and unique circumstances to draw our value from. I have plenty of weaknesses, but I finally learned to acknowledge them, while simultaneously bolstering my strengths.
These few pieces of advice are the best I can offer in a singular essay. But, over time, I will share how I’ve learned to create value in my own way, something I will always aim to do in my essays going forward. Hopefully, sharing the lessons I’ve learned will help you to find value in yourself the way I’ve learned to find it within myself.
Image created with DALL-E through Bing Chat.