Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

January 1, 2018


I think I speak for most people when I say that every time the new year rolls around, I start thinking about my purpose.

Every day I think about how I can help people. How I can help them improve in business. How I can help them grow personally. And how I can help myself in those areas as well. 

It never fails, I end up sitting in my office staring at the wall pondering life while my family catches up on the newest season of their favorite show. 

Yesterday, I started thinking about the month of January.

And I was thinking about purpose. My purpose. The purpose of this group and our EDGY movement. I was also thinking about what other people usually think about in a discussion about purpose.

And some of the big myths surrounding the topic of finding your purpose. 

By the way, if you aren’t part of the EDGY Empire on Facebook, I’d love to see you there, because in 2018, I’m doing things a little differently. 

Each month, I am going to tackle one big topic. Each day. Each story. Each list. Each podcast. For a month. It is going to be an obsession. We are going to go deep into a topic and figure it out together.

The topic for January is purpose.

And to get started, I’d like to start the month by debunking some popular myths about purpose you might have heard or believe.

Here are a few of those damaging myths:

1. You only have one purpose

Life is a long and beautiful journey. Even when you are a teenager, you have a purpose. And just like your first crush, your purpose will change over time.

Sure, some people know what their calling is from a very young age, but that is more the exception than the rule.

As we grow and figure out where our true passion lies, only then does our purpose start to become clearer. 

2. Finding your purpose is supposed to be easy.

Making up with your best friend after a silly fight is supposed to be easy. Figuring out what you are supposed to do for the rest of your life (or just your life now) can be as difficult as trying to find warm flip-flops in a blizzard.

If it were easy, the world would be a utopian dream. What you thought was your purpose yesterday may not even look the same today.

Take a deep breath. It’s OK if it changes. You will find your purpose. 

3. Not everyone has a purpose.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing. 

Just because it hasn’t slapped you in the face yet, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

We all have a “thing.” That stirring inside of us that pushes us in the direction we need to be going.

Maybe your thing isn’t to save the world, but to save as much money as you possibly can. That could very well be your purpose and you should embrace it. 

4. Some people have a more important purpose in life.

Gauging the value of somebody else’s purpose is as absurd as trying to gauge the love a mother has between her children.

Your purpose is just as important as the next person’s. Do you know why? Because once you find what it is that you are meant to be doing right now, you will exude a happiness that can change the direction of the wind.

So never devalue what it is that you are doing. 

5. If you screw up big enough you lose your purpose.

If this were true, none of us would have a purpose.

We are collectively a universe full of screw-ups. You aren’t in this alone. It is only from making the big mistakes that we can truly figure out what we should have done in the first place.

And sometimes, our mistakes bring us closer to our purpose than our perfection. 

6. You are supposed to know what your purpose is.

Do you know what you are going to have for dinner on July 17th? I don’t either. That’s the beauty of getting to live and enjoy each and every day. You share it with people you love.

You figure out what you love to do. Then you figure out how you can do it to help people.

Slowly, your purpose starts creeping out of the corner and musters up the courage to demand that you be great. 

7. It will be delivered to you on a silver platter.

Sure, we’ve all heard stories of people who woke up from a power nap one day and quit their job because they suddenly knew what they were supposed to be doing and they lived happily ever after.

We know those stories because nobody wants to tell you about the struggles and the hardships they had to face before they found their purpose.

Your future is not going to be delivered to you on a silver platter, but it will be delivered. 

8. Once you know your purpose, life will be perfect (finally).

Sometimes, things are exactly opposite this. Enter Murphy’s Law.

Every time you think you know where you should be going and you get that excitement in the pit of your stomach, the universe decides to close the road, fill it up with water and put a hole in your boat.

There is no such thing as a perfect life. And getting where you are meant to be is not always easy. 

9. If you don’t know your purpose, you are doing something wrong. 

Seasons change. People change. Times change (they wrote a song about it).

Even if you are getting ready to touch 40 like I am, it’s OK not to know what your purpose is. You may just have a purpose for now. Or maybe you already fulfilled your purpose and the next one hasn’t made its way around the bend.

Be patient. Be open-minded. You are doing great. 

10. Your purpose is directly connected to what you do.

It’s not always about what you do. Sometimes it’s all about who you are.

The way you treat people, the way you are always smiling, the way you light up a room, the way people flock to be around you because of your calming energy, those are purposeful traits.

Sometimes just being who you truly are–a breath of cold refreshing air–is your purpose. So you get to be one of the lucky ones whose purpose follows them everywhere. 

11. You won’t find your purpose without losing your sh*t.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had my share of losing it. But that isn’t a prerequisite for finding your purpose.

You don’t have to teeter on the edge of a bridge. You don’t have to submerge yourself in a bathtub of self-help books (though it probably wouldn’t hurt and we have a book club for that).

You don’t even have to cry and scream into your pillow before your true purpose arrives. Sometimes you just have to show up to life every day and keep on pushing. 


And purpose seems to follow the exact same formula. So don’t get bothered about not have it all figured out.

Keep an open mind. Commit to doing the hard things. And realized how powerful you really are.

Your purpose awaits.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.