During my senior year of high school, I had a bit of a crisis. I went from focusing on my future as a nurse anesthetist to not knowing what I wanted. The majority of my friends had graduated in May. Those few months of transition started to form me into who I am today. That was hardest and most depressing time of my life thus far. Basically, all my friends were in college and I was stuck in Mount Pleasant, Iowa looking at my future. At this time, my future looked like a foggy overcast. I was stuck and I knew it. I had the belief that my parents were expecting me to go to nursing school and nothing else was acceptable. I felt my future crumble before my eyes.
I’m the type of person who has to have balance and control in my life. At this point, I had neither. I combated this depression by working and staying busy. I was working 30-40hrs a week at a convenience store, 40hrs a week helping my brother, I had an internship, I took 4 online college classes, and I had 2 classes at the high school. I became a leaf blowing in the wind. Most people at the time thought I was just a very hard working and over achieving 18-year-old. The truth was that working was a coping mechanism for me. I kept me occupied and gave me a place to focus my attention. I was still ignoring my deep-rooted problem though.
I know I needed to change, so I took life by the reigns and started working on myself. Personal development was the key to my lifestyle change. I worked on one good habit at a time and slowly grew out of my slump. I found out that the more I developed, the happier I got. This is where my addiction to success was sparked. My goals started to clearer and I had a sense of direction that was developing. The fog was starting to lift.
For me, the key to beating my slump was to find a sense of direction. If I could have my future planned, I could have something to work for. It gave me a purpose. Without purpose, we go through life aimlessly. It’s a shame most people don’t realize this until they are much older. Whenever I get down or burnt-out, I go to work. I no longer do it because it is a coping mechanism, I do it because I know it will give me the momentum to get my life back in order. My purpose is my fuel and my compass. It keeps on the right track and pushes me to get there. Finding your purpose is the true key to happiness.