We are the purpose generation, and we will be engaged with our work because we have to. The challenges facing our generation are simply too serious to ignore. They’re too serious to only worry about on the weekend, or too serious to only worry about after 5 PM. We can’t be stuck in a high school crisis, a quarter-life crisis, a third-life crisis, or a mid-life crisis. We can’t climb the career ladder to nowhere. The stakes are too damn high.”

People often refer to Millennials as the selfie, “me me me” or even the lazy generation. Yet Adam “Smiley” Poswolsky, himself a Millennial, thinks otherwise. He argues that they’re rather more “idealistic” and that they move from one job to another simply because they want to do something more meaningful. He said they’re The Purpose Generation.

Smiley also believed that one can live a fulfilling life even when choosing the path less taken. It’s a longing most Millennials can relate to and when it’s not fulfilled, a quarter-life crisis happens. So how does one become purposeful and still live a fulfilling life? Smiley has these tips:

Surround yourself with “believers”

These are the people who will not laugh at your dreams but encourage you instead. They believe you can climb that mountain. They will remind you to take that first tiny step until you’ve finally reached your destination. “Because a crazy thing happens when you find believers: you find accountability,” said Smiley in his TEDx Talk “Refusing to Settle: The Quarter-Life Crisis” in 2015.

Focus on meaningful work

“Meaningful work provides personal meaning, reflecting who you are and what your interests are, allows you to share your gifts to help others, and is financially viable given your desired lifestyle,” Thin Difference quoted Smiley as saying in his book “The Quarter-Life Breakthrough.” The best example would be the “believers” he cited on his TEDx Talk. They used their resources in order to focus on work that they could make the world “more innovative, compassionate, and sustainable.” They didn’t do it for money, corporate success or fame.

Hustle and take risks

Hustle “with intention” and “with purpose.” When you know that you’re working on something that truly matters, you don’t count the hours. What’s more, people will inevitably support you when they see that you’re hustling with purpose. So do the asking and make the first step.

Dish that career ladder mindset

Smiley explained that the stressed job market and the fast-growing advances of technology makes a career ladder mindset “no longer relevant.” He advocates the breakthrough career mindset instead wherein “motivated and purpose-driven people make frequent career jumps based on their changing interests and desires in order to maximize their impact.”

You can have more than one calling

With the career ladder mindset out of the way, the belief that there’s only one calling or purpose for you also become irrelevant. Do not settle until you’re doing meaningful work. Do not be afraid to become a beginner again. Explore your options and create your own path.


Watch Adam “Smiley” Poswolsky’s full TEDxTalk below:

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