My mission is to help you define and pursue your purpose
We are born explorers. It's how we learn about the world we’re brought into. Fear - learned through experience or instilled by others, causes us to hesitate more often than explore.
I took advantage of the opportunities I had growing up in suburban New Jersey, in a lower-middle class family where my parents spent more time struggling to meet ends meet than being active in my life. I followed the traditional path: school first, study hard. Get good grades, spend too many hours preparing for the SAT, then apply & attend a university pursuing a lucrative degree - engineering. I enjoyed working with my hands, so I accepted this path.
One semester into university, I began questioning why I paid $30,000/yr to go to classes where a professor told me to go read the textbook on my own time. So I left. I found a bootcamp specializing in software development and went through an intensive 4 month program.
Fast forward one year from 'graduation'. I learned and grew considerably from the jobs in the last year, and now I had landed the dream job: six-figure salary, unlimited vacation time, and the ability to work remotely every day - at age 20. I never had to think twice about my spending habits. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I traveled internationally for weeks at a time to go rock climbing or any other adventure that interested me. I had a nice apartment in New York City as my home base, but spent most of my time on various activities that interested me: jiu jitsu, rock climbing, scuba diving, etc.
Yet in this city that is always buzzing, I couldn't shake this feeling of emptiness. I didn't comprehend it at the time. I convinced myself I was being silly - I mean, I had everything, right?
I put a remarkable amount of energy into building this life that everyone had encouraged me to pursue. Then what was this feeling?
When I left NJ to live in the Big Apple, my mom moved out of the country. We kept in touch often, and even though I convinced myself and others of my success and happiness, she saw through it. She saw that I was wandering - without intention. I've always had my eyes open to the people around me, but I wasn't seeing what was apparent in myself. In the city, I observed countless people doing work that they didn't enjoy just to afford an "escape" on the weekend. I saw their toxic behaviors for numbing their minds so they could hit reset and start it all over again on Monday. Again, I convinced myself I was different - that wasn't me.
Curious about how others determined their path, I made friends with people from all walks of life. As I started to ask more questions, I noticed that there was no group of people that all had consistent happiness and fulfillment. In fact, more people than I would have originally thought that had "successful" careers by the standards of salary and title were unfulfilled. And for many of them, they too didn't fully understand why. It wouldn't be until much later that I would recognize I was doing the same thing that I once judged people for. I was in the middle of it, looking out at everyone else doing the same thing, and so blind to the fact that I was alongside them, just as stuck. My distractions were different, but the end results were the same. Through my journey, I have developed empathy for people feeling similarly lost and overwhelmed.
Confusion hastened it's hold of me. I slowly stopped doing the various activities I kept myself busy with, thinking that if I couldn't figure out what was making me feel this way, that at least I could stop ‘distracting’ myself.
Before I knew it, I was borderline obese. It was January and I found myself on the last distraction I had committed to already: climbing a mountain in snow and ice conditions. Welcome to Mt. Washington.
For reasons I won't bore you with right now, I ended up alone, halfway up the mountain. Past the treeline, heavy hail, 80+ mph winds, and only 15 feet of visibility. I was lost. I didn't know which way to go, so out of fear for choosing wrong, I sat down and eventually accepted my impending death. Weeks away from celebrating my twenty-first birthday, I had decided that this was the end for me. And that was that. By sheer luck or the grace of God, my friend who was supposed to have gone back down earlier had chosen to continue on. He noticed me sitting and berated me until my self pity had all but vanished. We reached the summit and got back down safely.
Over the next two weeks, I didn't leave my room once. I did nothing but eat delivered food, watch TV, and do everything required to ignore how disappointed I was in myself. I later understood that I was distressed because I have much to live for - such a longing for fulfillment, that I had ignored and misunderstood. I was upset because I accepted death before I truly lived.
That was my life story, and then I rewrote it.
I quit my job and vowed not to do work my heart wasn't passionate about just to earn money. I decided I would no longer ignore my purpose or the journey to discover it. Since then, I've continued learning about health through nutrition and fitness and I have improved my relationships and communication with people.