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    There's no blueprint for life. I may live one way, you may live another. It doesn't make one better or worse than the other. But how does one find purpose in life? How can I live a fulfilled and meaningful one? I can only speak from my experience and learnings — by no means whatever information and stories I share will lead to your purpose — but this is how I found mine. I hope you can find value and hope through my experiences. I'm still on my own journey, and this is just a piece of my story.

    The struggle of being lost.

    A few years ago, I was going through a difficult time in life. I was lost in all aspects; I was in a dark place with little hope. It got to a point where I was endangering myself and every moment was a gamble, a gamble for when this internal bomb would explode. But that's not the point, the point is I had this expectation for my life, and when it didn't turn out as expected, the easy way out seemed like the best option — the only option at that time. The journey's struggle brought me to the lowest point in my life, but it revealed my true character as a person.

    All my life, I blamed, complained and justified every excuse and failure — I victimized myself. All my life, I was surrounded by disbelief, and my life looked like it was set for failure — personal success seemed impossible. It wasn't until I flipped the script, and instead of playing the victim, I took responsibility — I took ownership. This took time to develop, but it began with a decision to want something more for my life and be better than yesterday. When you make that decision, the transition and transformation won't happen immediately. I needed to understand that this would take time, and overnight success was never going to happen. Being in the struggle and having made that decision, the goal was to better me daily and sometimes winning was too far of a stretch. I just needed to decide every day I wasn't going to quit — regardless of the outcomes.

    The struggle was an internal war every second. It was about making the decisions to feed the good and feed positivity in my life. I was so consumed in supplementing the sadness and depression that I allowed those thoughts to overwhelm me. It was just effortless; it was comfortable. It became an addiction. Diluting my mind with good energy and positive vibes was uncomfortable, but the more I fed my mind with that energy, it slowly restored my faith and hope. The struggle was the beginning of my journey in finding my purpose; it was the beginning of character and mindset development that would then lead me on a path to finding my purpose. Without the struggle, my character was never tested. I needed to look inward; the problem did not lie in my circumstances; it was my views and beliefs. As the saying goes, "fix the root, not the fruit". There was a deeper problem within me that required attention, and that is where education and exploration were necessary.

    Flipping the script.

    Now that I opened my view on the struggle and chose to see the good and be grateful, I must continue on my path to find my purpose; educating myself and exploring was essential.

    Initially, I feed my mind with motivational speeches and podcasts daily to inspire and build that hope in me. I then sought out reading material that focused on self-development, from communication, relationships and habit development. These materials made the hope and inspiration within, and I reprogrammed my thinking because of these things. Educating myself through building my character, and understanding my views and values, learning about communication techniques and habits of successful people gave me the confidence that it was all right to be where I was. The fact I had taken the initiative to allow myself to switch my current thinking level, these small actions put me a step closer to better myself.

    Now that I had the tools to educate myself, I began introspection and exploring myself on a level I never thought of. Using meditation techniques, creative expression and other methods, I began to discover a whole different way of living from the one I was taught and once knew. When focusing on the things you find value in and listening to your body, mind and spirit with intentionality, there is a greater sense of clarity in what it is you are searching for. I developed a personal value system, or whatever you like to call it, which I would live my life; listen, understand, accept, love and curiosity. Following these values, I simplified my life and allowed me to be open to other and new perspectives.

    Who are you?

    We have always been programmed to focus on 'what we wanted to be and not 'who'. Self-education and exploration are the roots we never thought of caring for; it was always the fruit, the result of what we wanted to become. We were never taught to educate the deeper meaning of our life and who we are as people. Our identity has permanently been attached to our titles and professions, and never our character and values. That is something I encourage everyone to deeply think about. When you take time to put significant thought into these things, it can give you that much more clarity in your life — not only in finding purpose — but also in what it means to be who you are.

    Take a leap of faith.

    Our views, values, and purpose is always progressing. Change is inevitable for growth, and as you change, so may your values and purpose. Once I gained a bit of perspective on my deeper values and self, I was already in the process of taking action towards the things I had always wanted to do. Deep introspection and taking action happened simultaneously, but I decided to look deeper into my life because of the effort. You may have all the knowledge and preparation in the world, but it is just information without action.

    My dream had always been to create my own clothing brand. All the work and designs I had done were nothing until I decided to take a leap of faith and step towards creating something tangible. I had a few failed attempts in the past, but when Gerald came to me with an idea to start something, I knew at that moment, this would become a reality. It took months of planning and concepts with no results, but what mattered was we were taking action daily to build something. We just knew we had a dream, and we would do whatever it takes to fulfil it.

    How big is your dream?

    Unfortunately, life happened, and we were hit with personal struggle — our own battles. One thing we knew, though, was the dream was still in front of us — we had each. Even when we didn't feel like doing the work, even though life kicked us to the ground and continued on kicking. It didn't stop us. It was the action we did every day towards creating the brand that saved us.

    You see, when the dream is big enough, and you want it bad enough, no matter what life throws at you, it doesn't matter. At days end, you are constantly fighting for something greater than yourself — than the life you are living.

    Vulnerability is honesty.

    We found purpose by allowing us to be vulnerable. With the dream in front of us and darkness right beside us, one thing we knew is we had each other plus a handful of trusted friends. It is never easy being vulnerable; insecurity and feeling of judgement always crept within those thoughts. However, we needed to let those thoughts go and become transparent with each other for us to have that hope for success. We were able to understand each other's situations and help each other because of it.

    To become vulnerable with yourself, you become honest with yourself. Without being truly honest with yourself, you don't understand your weaknesses and things you need to improve and work on. Growth comes from being vulnerable because it opens your heart to help and guidance.

    We found through vulnerability to let people know you're not alone; there is always someone out there willing to give you a helping hand — sometimes, you just need to be vulnerable enough to raise your hand for help.

    My purpose was developed through various circumstances, situations and actions throughout my life. I have an idea of what my purpose is right now, and there is a high chance it will change, but that is the beauty of life. If you live life to constantly grow, reflect and renewing your identity and helping others in whatever way possible, you will always find something to live and fight for. You may not know what your purpose is now; maybe your purpose is to help others succeed in theirs. But by the time you reach the end, I am confident you will live a meaningful and fulfilled life.

    By Lawrence Jasper Menor | 02.03.2021

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