Recently, Mark Zuckerberg spoke at Harvard and his commencement speech went viral. Many found it inspiring and soon what he said will be forgotten under the ever increasing pile of content each of us consumes every day. In his speech Mark communicates a very actionable sense of clarity, making us realize what we all should be seeking from our lives.
Zuckerberg talks about having a sense of Purpose. He illustrates with an example of a Janitor at NASA. When JFK, on a visit to NASA, asked him what he did, he replied, “Mr. President I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
He says,”This sense of purpose makes us realize that we are a part of something bigger, that we are needed and that there’s something better ahead to work for. Purpose creates true Happiness!”
Purpose creates true Happiness! When you feel you are providing the world something it needs and dedicate yourself to the cause. That’s true purpose. He states concrete steps we could take to make a sense of purpose for all.
If you haven’t already watched the video, I recommend you watch it.
However, isn’t it opposed to the common wisdom of following your passion? At the time of creating Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was passionate about coding and his purpose was to connect humans through computers. So which one did he actually follow, passion or purpose? So, it seems, that his passion enabled him to learn to code but his sense of purpose put his acquired knowledge to good use. After all, there must be better coders than Zuckerberg but they didn’t build Facebook.
Passion by its very nature seems to be fickle. We may be passionate about one thing today and even more passionate about something else tomorrow. So, finding your passion, although a very important thing to do, is not an end in itself. Where you choose to take that passion is the choice that will make an actual difference in your life.
In fact, just by the having a strong sense of purpose, we can find that true meaning. Passion (for the purpose) will follow and if we become hell bent on providing the world something it really needs (having a sense of purpose), we will learn how to reach that purpose. In other words, I am saying I feel there’s a good chance Zuckerberg would have built something like Facebook, similar at least in the magnitude of the impact that Facebook has on our daily lives, even if he didn’t know how to code.
You learn along the way! Gandhi didn’t know how Ahimsa (Non-voilence) could be a tool to fight the British in India from day one, yet he was so dedicated to the cause that he found the way to make it happen. Today, Gandhi uniquely known not for his role in Indian Independence (even thought that’s a big feat) but for his non-voilent ways to nearly independence.
What is impeccably clear is his life is driven by the simple question, “What is that the world NEEDS that I can provide?” I feel Zuckerberg is right but he’s not the first one. I’ve heard Sadhguru Vasudev Jaggi say it too. I think it’s high time we ask ourselves, “What is that the world needs that I can provide?” & based on this answer “What is my purpose?”
You know what! its just 7 mins. I think you should watch it for yourself.