missionEvery summer, we facilitate a series of seminars for parents, orienting them about what makes our test preparation programs different from others. More than sharing with them the conduct of our review sessions, we also show parents parts of the materials we discuss with their children. One of my favorites is the Student Work Plan.

In one part of the Work Plan, we ask our students how they see themselves 10, 20, and 30 years from now. We also encourage them to list down five jobs which they will be happy doing.

At the same time, we gently remind parents to steer their children towards careers which would not only take full advantage of their talents and abilities, but which would also reward them with feelings of joy and fulfillment. This is a point that I emphasize time and time again.

You see, through the years, I have encountered all sorts of people, and I’ve found out that those who live with a definitive sense of purpose are the happiest.

Of course, finding one’s purpose, the very reason for one’s being, is easier said than done. Some people spend a lifetime searching for their raison d’etre without finding it. But I believe that if you sit down and be honest with yourself, you will eventually arrive at your personal purpose.

Make an assessment of your strengths and abilities. Look at your profession. Ask yourself: What are you absolutely good at? Which of your talents brings home the bacon?

You may be very good at something, but not exactly like it. This is where passion comes in. You have to find work which you’re not only great at, but which excites you and motivates you. It must be something which gets you out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face. It must be something which you cannot wait to get started.

But your search for a personal purpose doesn’t end there. You may be really excited about something, but if it doesn’t have any use in this world well then, it’s all for nothing. It must be something which you consider an important duty, a personal mission. At the same time, you’d want to make it your vocation, something you’d love to spend doing your whole life!

You will find your purpose at the intersection your passion and mission, your profession and vocation. When these four factors come together, you will find yourself doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing on this Earth—and I guarantee that you will find yourself happy, content, and at peace!