I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose and motivation lately. How we (the college folk) come to college because of our dreams and there ability to become reality at college. From waking up early five days a week to workout till we drop, to going out of our comfort zone to make friends, we all strive to better ourselves. I think knowing your purpose alone is not enough to succeed in life. I believe that it is purpose and ambition that define success. When we have ambition and purpose we have almost a sort of magic about us.
I like to use JFK as an example with his purpose to push our country beyond its limits along with his ambition. JFK stated that he wanted to land a man on the moon and return him safely in 1962, a time where even the most wide-eyed physicist would have thought it was inconceivable. Everything was working against them, the energy required to reach escape velocity along with fuel and the fact that the super computers at the time had less processing power than a modern day phone. Despite those nearly insurmountable odds however he was able to make it happen. Even in Oswego at a time were money is being taken from schools and publically funded universities president Stanley was able to get millions to build a new science building which is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
I like to think we can all make this magic happen if we are willing to do what it takes to reach our goals. For those of you who don’t quite know their purpose I urge you to examine your life to find the things that make you feel fulfilled and to not be afraid to experiment to see if you truly have found it. I want to try and emphasize this as much as possible because of the tremendous security and motivation boost that comes along with it. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to motivate myself to do something I don’t like if I didn’t know I needed to get through it to fulfill my purpose.
I’ve known since I was maybe 7 that I wanted to be a scientist, but that alone wasn’t a purpose, it could barely even pass as a goal. This is because a purpose like a goal is much more specific and with all the niches in all the science fields the probability of me feeling fulfilled just picking one would be roughly the same chances of finding a diamond in a coal mine. It wasn’t until much later that I decided I wanted to be a chemist and even that isn’t enough to be a purpose. I had to find out what it was about chemistry that drew me to it.
It was the possibility of creation that excited me, the ability to make something that had never been made and discover new things. It was this ability and having the equivalent of a full back stage pass to the universe which made chemistry irresistible and made me realize I had found my purpose. I really like to help people (the reason I started blogging), cooking, trying to find out what makes people tick and eating candy but these are interest. I could do those things everyday and not be fulfilled so it is a difficult but important distinction to make.
Once you find your purpose and if you have the ambition, I implore you to take bold steps and to set tough but realistic time limits for your goals. I ask you to do both these things not because they are easy but because they are hard and will serve to push you to the best of your abilities.