"You have a First Class Degree and a Master's from UCL, you appeared on a live TV Panel Show, you worked abroad in a community psychiatric unit, can you explain why on earth you want to work in a low paid job supporting a young girl with educational and behavioural difficulties?"
I swallowed with fear that yet again I would be rejected from a job for being "overqualified." I scrambled my thoughts to come up with a legitimate reason; finding that my pride was now mixed and blended with a bit of embarrassment. I knew no explanation would suffice better than the truth - "because I love it. Because this is what I want to do. Because these are the type of people I want to help. Because I care more about people than I do about money."
You see, I am at a point in my life where I have finally found my purpose. The process of finding your purpose is never an overnight thing - mines took around 2 years, but in fact, when you really get to a state of personal reflectiveness (not a word - I made it up), you will recognise that actually your whole life has been about finding your purpose. In fact this is the first of my five points.
1. Your whole life is about finding your purpose.
It is quite scary that in life we are never told to think about what kind of people we want to be. We are told to think of what kind of job or career we want to get, but we don't think about how we will use that pathway to get the best out of ourselves and improve the world. When you find your purpose you will realise suddenly that things you experienced in childhood (that you thought were completely random); were actually shaping you into who you are and unconsciously making you passionate about the things you care about now. Experience is the greatest teacher and some memories become laced in our minds forever - shaping our future. Maybe it was the way you used to question everything that made you into the critical thinker you are today. Maybe it was the time someone called you ugly, maybe it was the time you were denied an opportunity because you were a girl or maybe it was your attraction for reading a lot of Jacqueline Wilson books that made you want to become an author.
2. Nothing else is random
I never believed in mystical bullshit. But I do believe in a thing called destiny. You will meet people who think like you, who do similar things to you, who are probably more like you than any of your friends or family. Scary, but true. The law of attraction is that like attracts like and I can give my testimony to that. I have met so many wonderful women who I have been drawn toor they have been drawn to me; to only find out that we went to the same university (at least 8 people this has happened with), we did very similar things either growing up or even just a few weeks ago (at least 4 people I have had this experience with), they know a lot of the same people I know (without having known this prior) and they care about the same things that I do. These people will suddenly start appearing in your life for a reason and upon first meeting them you may not even know why you are talking to them, but maybe even a year later an opportunity may present itself and usually it can be traced back to your interaction with this person. One of my personal examples is when my friend begged me to attend this Christmas function with her and I really did not want to go, but as a good friend, I went along to support her. At the function, I thought I would be interested in all the life coaches and books that were on sale, but rather, my attention was caught by this woman who was a TV presenter who had just launched her own media training camp. A few months later I signed up to one of her classes out of interest; not knowing that a few months later I would be speaking on a TV panel show; using all the training tips I was taught. All of these opportunities were not explicitly linked to each other, but looking back, I can see they were all linked to my purpose.
3. It's that thing...
Purpose is something that cannot be easily conceptualized and it has a different meaning for everyone. It is that thing that makesyou not able to stop talking about it, that thing that makes you stay up at night with that good anxiousness to get started and not the anxiety to get away from your troubles, that thing that feels as good as falling in love - not that I know what falling in love feels like, but that is another story. It is that thing that doesn't feel like hard work, but it is actually a lot of hard work. It is that thing that you want to share with everybody. It is that thing that you want to give away to everyone for free. It is that thing that people will love or hate you for. Hence point number 4.
4. You will be loved and hated
People will admire you for living your dreams. People will call you brave. People will call you amazing. People will look up to you and then there are people who will look down on you, people who will be jealous of you, people who are still searching for their purpose and never believe they will find it so they focus on trying to steal or disrupt yours. Friends will shed layers and reveal themselves as snakes. People will unfriend you for no reason what so ever. Some will even block you, because they would rather think that the light you shine is overshadowing them rather than also highlighting them. Some people will call you crazy. Racist. Sexist. Annoying. Too much. None of it will be true, but they won't care. Your ideas will be impossible to some and the possibility for others.
5. You will stop caring...and care too much
About things that don't matter. You got fired (I really did get fired!) - so what socialising with bitchy colleagues and typing up word documents wasn't for me. A gorilla escaped from a zoo - why is that important to girls without education around the world? Stacey bought a new handbag - ok great for Stacey. But you will also care about everything at the same time - So Stacey, do you know where that bag was manufactured and how many women were exploited to create it? Why is there a burger on this menu named after Donald Trump (this was actually me last week in a restaurant)? OMG this guy is trying to ask me out, does he even understand the importance of gender equality? In essence, you will care about something a lot less and other things a whole lot more.
In case you were wondering...
Interviewer: You know what, I love the way you think - you got the job!