Purpose, Goals & Everything In-between

4 min readJan 9, 2018
“person writing bucket list on book” by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

It’s the beginning of January and I already feel flustered. Drowning under the pressure of self-imposed commitments, tasks and expectations, I let my body sink further to the bottom of this ocean. Far from being my best year, 2017 left me feeling confused (more so than usual). Even as I think back, I am struggling to recount what 2017 taught me. Maybe it didn’t teach me anything. Or maybe it did and I am yet to find the answer amidst all the rubble and dust. I don’t know. What I do know is that I can’t let 2018 be a repeat of last year.

I wrote a blog post before on finding your purpose in life. I concluded there’s no such thing. You create your purpose. You align your passions with your morality. But what do you do when you do not know what you’re passionate about? What do you do when your passions clash with expectations and family requirements? What do you do when life is constantly throwing jabs, hooks and uppercuts at you?

Struggling to make goals, struggling to find my purpose, struggling with a plethora of things, I told myself I would use 2018 to figure everything out. No planning, no goals, no nothing. Just experience life for what it is.

5 days into 2018, I decided against that. While it would be good to just have a year with no expectations and just absorb everything, I don’t have the luxury to do that.

A close friend of mine, Timothy Armoo, was talking to me about his goals. While I am no stranger to setting goals, I accepted that if someone more successful than me is choosing to do this, why should I not do the same?

In all honesty, that was actually the last reason why I decided to set goals this year. The main reason is that, along my journey to figuring out what I want to do in this life of mine, sign-posts often help provide that direction. While it’s a nice feeling to just know you’re going in the right direction, it’s an even better feeling when you see a sign confirming your belief. I have made a list of goals, from professional to family, I want to achieve this year.

I still need to take a step back and analyse who I am, what are my values, and what type of person do I want to become. But, I have been on this journey for 21 years already. It’s time I look at all my experiences and focus on how to use those to elevate myself. That’s not to say I won’t explore other avenues. I am completely open to new things. Still, it’s time to be focused. Let’s get it.

On Twitter I asked what’s the best way to decide what you want to do in life, and below are some of the responses I received:

Convo 1:

Damilola (@_Dxmilola): Whatever aligns with your purpose and passion

Me: Problem is, I don’t know the answer to these questions — I know what my purpose is but it’s very wide and can be done in several ways…

Damilola (@_Dxmilola): That’s [a] good start, narrow it down and also identify what comes easy to you or think of your best and most enjoyable skills and align that with your purpose…

Convo 2:

Izinegbe (@Izin_A): The School of Life video really helped me — in this, and other stuff in general in life (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veriqDHLXsw&feature=youtu.be)

Me: Yooo thank you, this was very useful. But it raised another issue though: how do I get to know myself?

Izinegbe (@Izin_A): I had a look for a specific video, but there isn’t one — they have a playlist on self though — which are ideas about our inner selves etc. and i’ve not tried this set, but they have a set of cards called Know Thyself: https://www.theschooloflife.com/shop/know-yourself-prompt-cards/

Convo 3:

Michael (@michaeltefula): There’s no best way and you won’t find a single formula that solves this equation for you. Life is not linear. Instead, try a few experiments (internships, side projects, etc.) and be opportunistic when you find something that works and you enjoy.

Convo 4:

Adaobi (adaobiadibe_): ‘If you could do anything in the world, success guaranteed what would it be’ whatever the answer is, do that. Works for me.

Convo 5:

Sarah (@SarahLusack): …honestly it’s an iterative process. Following your interests/what seems interesting/doing things you enjoy will teach you different things about yourself. Be patient — it’s not by force

Convo 6:

J: Write down all possible options, put them in a hat and pick one. Let fate decide.

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I write about the personal. I write about the mental (health). I write.