Get clear on your life's purpose with one conversation

Legos, Ninja Turtles and horrible knock-knock jokes. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say those are my little brother Johnny’s favorite things.

He’s at the age (five years old) where every new experience is a test-drive for a hobby and every new skill has endless potential. As he jumps from kindergarten to fifth grade, he’s going to find things he loves even more than Leonardo and Rafael, and he’ll maybe even understand the complex comedic structure of a knock-knock joke. So very much can happen in five years!

When I think about myself graduating the fifth grade, putting on my big girl pants and entering the doors to the trench of hormones and peer pressure we call middle school, I feel like I kind of had it all figured out. Yes, I was naive and awkward, hadn’t really grown into my nose yet and probably had some pretty skewed priorities towards boys in bands that sounded like Good Charlotte. But I have to say I knew what I was passionate about.

In those formative years, I taught myself to play the guitar and wrote music. I had a book light that I’d sneak under my covers so I could get lost in Hogwarts in the middle of the night. My seventh grade language arts final was a creative fiction story, for which I wrote seven chapters, intricately illustrated and formatted as a book in Microsoft Publisher.

My friends were discovering they had passion and talent to be athletes, scientists, musicians and more. When we’re young, we find the things we love so much we could do them all day long, because we have the time, energy and imagination to try anything new on for size.

When you're wondering why to put pants on in the morning

In life, there are bound to be times when we feel out of touch with our life’s greater purpose. Maybe you feel like nothing more than a cog in a machine at your job. It’s possible you have relationships that aren’t going anywhere, or don’t make you feel like the best version of yourself. You might be going through something really hard that devours all your energy, or even just feel a little lost.

10-year-olds give great advice

If that ever gets to be the case (and it’s okay if it is), have a conversation with your 10-year-old self. What would you, as a kid, totally freak out about if you knew you didn’t have the time or wherewithal to do it anymore? 

Start taking ballet classes again. Call your childhood best friend more often. Find a job where you can do what you love to do every day. Make your 10-year-old self proud.

And if you can’t remember what you used to love, start all over. Start with the Legos, Ninja Turtles and confused knock-knock jokes. Open yourself to every experience imaginable. Try something new every day, be okay with it when something doesn’t stick and cherish the things that do.

Once you put more purpose into your life, you stop living an everyday life. You live Grand.