Living on purpose.

Different beaks for different birds.

What if success meant living a life of purpose?

What if your high school and college educations were designed to help you do one thing: to discover what you are truly good at and what you love to do? That instead of emphasizing test scores and grades and cutthroat placements in prestigious universities and high starting salaries, the system acknowledged that we are all born with different skills and abilities, needs and wants. And that we all need a mission to guide us.

What if we said you don’t have to be good at math or science if you have no natural aptitude, that you might be better at building something with your hands than constructing a paragraph? That we will help you discover if you are more visually oriented, or more intuitive about people, or better at concrete thinking or abstractions or that you were born to be a great chef or a gardener or a cab driver or a banker. What if that was the whole purpose of your education — to help you lead a life that perfectly fits who you are?

What would a planet full of people working with passion and conviction look like?

What if it was the norm to pause every decade or so and assess whether that purpose still fits you, whether you need some variation or specialization, new skills or new experiences? What if was expected that every major decision you made was measured against the yard stick of your purpose and your mission, not your salary or your retirement package? That each person was expected to be true to their nature and their passion. That each of us did what we did to genuinely be of service to the greater good. Not because it was tax-deductible but because it felt right and part of who we are.

Would things unravel? Would certain jobs never be filled? Or might we discover that some people were genuinely born to enthusiastically empty septic tanks or write parking tickets or run hedge funds, to do things that now people seem to do only for money? Would we still dread Mondays? Or would we work with passion and conviction, doing more and better things than we could conceive of today.

What if everyone in our society did what they did because they loved it, were born to it, were passionate about it would do it just as a hobby? What if we all lived authentically according to our talents and drives? What would a planet full of people working with passion and conviction look like?

What would it take for that to happen? An act of Congress? An act of God? Or a commitment made by each of us as we lay in bed and pondered the road ahead. A commitment to who you truly are.

Could you make one?