From Business with a Purpose to Life with a Purpose: A Student Perspective

Helen Keller once said, “True happiness…is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” As a senior business student in college about to graduate and enter the “real world,” there is increasing uncertainty around the path that my life will take. This uncertainty is a natural part of life that each person faces at a certain point as they make a life-changing transition; and with these feelings of uncertainty comes one question that must be answered.

What is the point of all this?

Hopefully this question does not lead us down a path of existential crisis, but instead helps us critically evaluate what we are doing with our lives and where we are going. Ever since we were little children, we were taught the pursuit of the American Dream: a spouse, 2.5 kids, a house with a two car garage, two cars for that garage, and a six-figure job. However, today we are disenchanted with this image. The American Dream is great in theory, but it leads to a robotic life fully plotted with one size fits all goals. This is not what we seek. We seek purpose.

No matter your field of study or industry of business the truth of the matter is that what we need above all else is purpose. A purpose makes a difference. A purpose has an impact. A purpose leads to something more important than ourselves. This purpose for something beyond the self-gratification of the American Dream is what makes life complete. And it is this purpose we look for as we make life’s most pivotal transitions. While people may believe they have millennials pegged in saying, “Millennials are hedonists that seek happiness and pleasure above all else!” They are incorrect in assuming our happiness is defined by self-gratification. Our happiness is derived from our purpose, and once we have found our purpose our happiness is achieved through the relentless implementation of that purpose.

As I find myself currently facing one of life’s pivotal transitions surrounded by uncertainty and without many answers to where my life is headed. The one thing I can say for certain is that the answer to the question “What is the point of all this?” is not going to be a job, a relationship, or the American Dream. Rather, it is finding a worthy pursuit that will be directed by my purpose. Thus, translating into the true happiness that only comes from living out my purpose. This then becomes not only business with a purpose, it is life with a purpose.

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