My Essentials of Leadership elective has had me thinking repeatedly about the importance of purpose and knowing what my ‘why’ is. Why am I in optometry school? Why do I want to be an optometrist? What’s my purpose in life? I find that the stronger my answers are for these questions, the more focused and successful I tend to be in my endeavors.
Perhaps more importantly though, a strong understanding and belief in our own purpose will become an anchor when life gets turbulent, be it during a moment of joy or sorrow. Discovering and refining one’s purpose will be an ongoing process since it will change as life circumstances do, but the process itself can easily feel like a lofty, abstract habit that’s difficult to wrap one’s head around. To help solve this, I would like to share this fairly popular 12-minute TED talk has made the process clearer: There’s more to life than being happy – Emily Esfahani Smith
Watching TED talks really helps stimulate internal conversation on what my values and goals are, to chew on these ideas and find creative ways to apply new values/habits rather than solely assigning prescriptive advice to myself like working more on fitness or hobbies (which are very important, but certainly not all-encompassing).
As an aside, this TED Talk on the subject of self-concept has been really illuminating for me. I invest a lot of money on items that accessorize my physical appearance, almost as a way to compensate for my insecurities in my professional sphere of life, but this TED talk reveals a stunning statistic that those who don’t feel confident in the way they look, specifically girls who don’t feel like they’re thin enough, will end up scoring lower than their peers who don’t care about their weight. Wow. I already derive a lot of my confidence on my appearance, but this statistic actually makes me feel… a bit better knowing that this trait of mine isn’t unique to me.
The impact of body-confidence and a positive self-concept as a whole, one that does not disproportionately concern itself with appearance should not be underestimated! But to actually apply these ideas to my life is a whole ‘nother matter entirely, lol….