Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

35 people think this is good


  1. {{}}
  1. {{fields.video_link.url}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Your video is ready to post!

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Please enter a valid URL from YouTube or Vimeo.

Embedding has been disabled for this video.


Posting comment...

  • Trishia Jacobs-Carney

    Several things I liked about this article, but one in particular is debunking the notion that a person is 'born' with a single calling or purpose in life. (Like the myth that there is only one person/soul mate out there for you.) However, the one thing I would elaborate on is what makes something 'meaningful.' The usual examples and definitions seem to center around changing/saving the world/humanity. Sometimes what a person does is "simply" making something pretty, creating and sharing beauty.

  • Sachi Kobayashi

    In many ways I've had a fairly quintessential privileged millennial run at my 20s, including quitting a career job to drive to Alaska before getting my masters degree. Before graduating I was recruited by a startup that promised me the moon, and I bought in 110%. Now less than a year later, I've been laid off as the company pivots. All my mentors have been asking me "Who am I? What do I want? Why am I here? What do I want for the world? What is my purpose? Why?" but I feel like I don't have many answers. Meanwhile, my 30s begin to loom. So, thank you so much for breaking all these big questions into manageable buckets! Reading your article was like a fresh breath of relief! I need to remember that there isn't one set destination. Everything changes and everything is relative.

  • Arifah Rahaman-Aronson

    That is a great article. I'm re-evaluating many things in my life right now as I've spent many years not fulfilling what's in my heart...I'm 45. Having grown up with a strong work ethic and making money to provide...I'm finding myself faced with feelings of guilt in wanting to do meaningful work. It's obviously false feelings, however they are there. Great advice thank you.

    • Clara Lawrence

      49 and doing the same, also suffering the same guilt, but enjoying myself enough to drown out the nagging voice that tells me I need to go back to a 'real' job! Good luck!

      • Arifah Rahaman-Aronson

        The guilt is interesting...considering I'm intelligent and know better. So what are you doing...if I may ask? What's the dream and how much is submerged in doing it and getting you there?

        • Clara Lawrence

          Primarily the 'dream' is to work differently, hopefully with some social impact in a flexible way that allows me to work hard and yet enjoy my life. The new life is taking shape, but it's a funny old shape! Not sure if I am allowed to mention my blog here as I haven't posted before this article, but its if you find yourself short of reading material.

    • Smiley Poswolsky

      Thanks Arifah for sharing! And proud of you for being open and ready for a change... that's the most important thing! To have the intention to start. You can find more resources at and you might want to read my book! Don't worry, it's not only for 20-somethings... it's for anyone who wants to find meaningful work! "

      • Arifah Rahaman-Aronson

        Thanks Smiley. I'm excited and terrified....all good things. I am going to read your book!

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Great article, Smiley. I've put into practice nearly every point you've made. :) As a Cause-Focused Storyteller/Speaker I feel uber fortunate to have found meaningful work worldwide, it's not always easy or pays as much as perhaps what others make, but it's definitely meaningful and fulfilling. I am happy to share some of what's worked for me as well as learn from you all. I look forward to the hangout this Friday at 12! HUG!

    • Smiley Poswolsky

      Thanks Kristin! The journey is definitely not easy-- it's "easy" to go into work every day and not care-- easy but not fulfilling. Fulfillment and meaning take time, patience, hard work, love, and persistence...

  • Clara Lawrence

    Great article thank you,
    I am having what you might call a 'Half-Life Breakthrough' and after a 25 year 'old format' career I am on a journey to change the way I work and live. Whilst many of the people I have met during my career project are indeed Millenials, there is a groundswell of dissatisfaction amidst us Half-Lifers too.
    If I had any callings in the last 25 years I missed them, and so my biggest challenge has been to find a way to listen to them and just follow my heart for a change.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Have you tried setting up meetings and networking? Would love to know what you've tried. I think it helps to connect with as many people as possible who are in the field you want to get into.

      • Clara Lawrence

        Oh yes, I have been having a great time, I have been networking, meeting new people, doing courses, voluntary work, anything that takes my fancy, but like Arifah I feel guilty that I am indulging myself and struggle to get rid of that feeling that I should get back to the grindstone! I also have three kids who are having to go through this change with me and somedays it feels very selfish. I am blogging about my career change and through blogging I have discovered a 'support network' of other blogging career changers which at least tells me I am not alone!
        It's all good though - I don't have any regrets.

    • Smiley Poswolsky

      Awesome Clara! Love the "half-life breakthrough"! That should be the sequel to my book... From people I've met, age doesn't really matter. There are people having these conversations at 18, 25, 35, 45, and 65. It's all about starting now, doesn't matter how young or old you are!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      I'd love to see you share any of your stories or advice on as learns or dos. Our community is actionable and would love to get behind any ideas you have. I'd be curious to know if you have blogs on how to go about mapping your purpose.

  • Switchboard

    As you look to figure out who you are, don't forget that there are thousands of others who have done the same before you. Lean on the members of communities you trust—you might not know them, but if you have a shared experience (e.g. school) or affinity (e.g. knitting), chances are they'll be happy to offer support.