How many times have you heard or been told that you just need to find your purpose?
Or looked yourself in the mirror after a long week and asked what is my purpose?
You’re not alone in wanting to find the answer to this question – an answer that sounds like it will be a cure-all for anything lacking in your life.
It sure sounds like it will solve all of your problems. It will offer you financial freedom, happiness in all aspects of your life, fulfilling relationships and the ability to truly control the direction of your life.
But finding your purpose of life is anything but easy.
We tend to have a very idealized vision of a purpose-driven life and while I think a life built and pulled by purpose provides quite the contrast to a directionless life when it comes to fulfillment and happiness… there’s certainly more to it.
I have been incredibly fortunate to interview 100 amazing guests on our podcast The Hustle Sold Separately, have published over 1,200 articles on PRSUIT and have interacted with countless readers, followers and thought leaders. Through these experiences I have come to wonder how it is that some people are able to find their purpose while others seriously struggle to do so.
How is it that some people have found their purpose at young ages and some struggle to identify it throughout much of their adult life? Why such a striking dichotomy?
When it comes to finding and living your passion, Rob Fajardo is a millennial who can tell you a thing or two about what it means to find it early and make it your life’s work.
Rob Fajardo is the founder of Leave Normal Behind, a movement that brings together like-minded millennials who are motivated to make an impact in their world. It’s goal is to educate, inspire and helps others create things that matter while helping them to become the best versions of themselves. Rob is also an advisor at Fownders (a social impact accelerator started by Gerard Adams) and has been involved in countless startups and businesses to date.
I turned to Rob to help me with this question of passion and purpose as he is someone who discovered it early on and has been living it ever since – a unique attribute of our generation.
He has truly answered the question “what is my purpose” at a young age.
Rob with friend, business partner, and mentor Gerard Adams
At only 23 years old, Rob is unique in that he can confidently say he has found his passion.
For Rob, a life of purpose is defined as overcoming obstacles towards a defined goal. In order to live a life of purpose you need to find something that pulls you… something that will enable you to overcome hard times in order to see manifest.
His life purpose is to help others become the best version of themselves and create things that matter.
“I found my purpose during my sophomore year at Amherst College one night in a moment of enlightenment and deep contemplation. My monologue with myself went something like this …
Love would change the world. If everyone loved each other the world would be a better place.
Why do people not love each other?
Well you cannot love others until you love yourself.
Why do people not love themselves?
Well you cannot love yourself unless you know yourself.
Why do people not know themselves?
“People do not know themselves because they get distracted by the media, their friends, and family who convolute their self-perception. We allow others’ opinions to create the landscape of the world around us. Their opinions affect the magnitude of our goals, ambitions, and self confidence. People do not know themselves because they do not trust the little voice inside their head that nudges at them on the daily.”
Rob with Ryan Blair (left) and Grant Cardone (right)
It was then that I thought to myself… “If I am not helping others find their inner genius to become the best version of themselves and create things that matter… then I am just as bad as the men and women who keep them weak on purpose. I realized that my actions were either helping intentionally or harming or unintentionally. Being an inactive bystander gives the same affect as someone who is damaging someone on purpose.
I drew a hard line between actively helping or indirectly harming.”
I love the way that Rob tells this story because he shows exactly how he arrived at his realization. It was simple and logical and he came to it on his own.
I think so many people struggle to find their purpose because they make it too complicated. They think there is some blueprint or process for identifying it, whereas, in my experience and through stories like Rob’s, it is anything but predicated on a formula or process. Rather, it is a natural realization that comes through introspection.
But more than that, finding your purpose often has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with and the environment you find yourself in. I asked Rob what he thought.
Why do you think people struggle to find theirs?
“I think people struggle to find their purpose because no one has taught them how or gave them the permission to do so. In a weird way we are often looking for the permission and approval of others to take action on our life.”
On the topic of permission to find one’s purpose, one of the common things I’ve heard from my millennial peers is that the only true way to find your passion or purpose is to leave your 9-5. The thinking, it seems, is that by unencumbering yourself with the responsibilities and structure of a job, that you’ll be more free to find what intrinsically motivate and drives you.
Rob on the set of Leave Normal Behind TV.
I asked Rob if he thinks you have to leave you 9-5 to find your passion.
“Absolutely not. One of my good friends Zac Hill who is doing some amazing things at www.thefutureproject.org taught me a really valuable lesson a year ago when I asked him the same thing.
He said that there are many different passions that people have. For example it may be someone’s purpose and passion to be a great family member. It may be their purpose to help in their community within their 9-5. He told me, “One of my friends who is a lawyer loves basketball and he is so passionate about it. Even though his passion is basketball it does not mean he needs to be a basketball player. Instead he uses his skills as a lawyer to provide for his family and has created a men’s league in NYC for lawyers to play basketball during the week.”
It was then that I realized that leaving normal behind is not completely entrepreneurial. It truly means to follow your heart and trust your intuition and inner genius to let it guide you toward life that feels the most happy, satisfied, fulfilled on your terms.”
If that’s the case, then when what role does money play in your purpose and passion?
“Well ideally those should be one in the same. In an ideal world you want to connect your ability to make an impact with a business model that will provide you cash for doing so. This is why you see a new wave of social enterprise businesses being extremely successful because they have built in making an impact and giving back into their revenue model. An example of this is TOMs shoes and 1Face watches who respectively donate a pair of shoes every time one is bought or give a percentage of proceeds to charity.”
The biggest lesson I learned from Rob is that finding your purpose and creating a lifestyle around it boils down to being determined to do one thing – leave normal behind.
Deep down, we all want to become the best version of ourselves and create things that matter but that requires looking at life and opportunities through a new lens. A lens that doesn’t require you to ask permission or be relegated to the status quo because it is what is expected of you.
Through his purpose to empower and create value in other people’s lives, Rob is launching a Facebook Live television showed Leave Normal Behind and he believes it will offer the lens that people are looking for.
Photo via Leave Normal Behind TV.
To live life according to your purpose, you have to let go of normal.
LNB TV is the newest television show to hit Facebook Live and it’s mission is to share news that spreads more love, more happiness, and more hope as Rob hopes to expand into an independent network.
Rob plans to provide trending news on business, technology, innovation, social impact, charity, politics, and more. Through one hour weekly shows, Rob will bring on celebrities, politicians, influencers, and athletes to give them the opportunity to share their insights on today’s important topicc and ask what does leaving normal behind mean to them, how are they becoming the best version of themselves, and what are they creating that matters.
Tune in LIVE on the Leave Normal Behind Facebook Page Mondays at 8pm ET.
Follow Rob on Instagram @rob_fajardo.