Ever since I was a high school student, I’ve always noticed that there are people who stand out from the crowd. The people I idealized the most during my high school life were my teachers. They always had something special in their eyes. They demonstrated passion in their work as they educated us. These were people with something more, something that was beyond my comprehension, but effectively mesmerized everyone around them, and I wanted to follow their footsteps. I remember my English teacher when I was an eighth-grader; she had the power to make learning special, and, at the same time, natural.

Later in life, I found that same glint in the eyes of many social leaders and some highly successful professionals. By closely observing these great leaders, I understood the meaning of purpose: passion, a reason behind goals and actions that motivate you to get up each day and do something more than just making money.

True success goes beyond stereotypes. Purpose helps you—defining and measuring what true professional success means to you. Though ideals of success exist and society has created those stereotypes, your professional achievement is personal and distinctive.

A fast-paced and stressful executive life can be defined as successful by more competitive types, while it is far from the ideal of a person seeking a more peaceful life.

Is having a personal purpose the key to professional achievement?

Although chasing what fulfills you is far more important than pursuing a great career, unfortunately many of us are not left with an option to chose the former; owing to peer pressure, and most of the times, the financial burden at a very tender age. People are usually forced into professions they find the earliest opportunities in, and then begins the endless financial life cycle.

So if you are in the early phase of your career and are yet indecisive about your career goals, find what moves you and start moving towards that direction. Knowing and accepting yourself as well as discovering and following your passion is the right path for anyone who wants to achieve true success.

You are right to believe that taking this kind of decision is not simple but believe me, not all successful professionals carry the same brightness in their eyes.

The challenges and the battles in following your purpose do not make the path simple; it remains arduous, so don’t get discouraged along the way.

The magic is in you, in your ability to believe in what you were born to do.

The strength of a purpose does not make the path simpler, but it empowers and equips you to face each obstacle. You gain strength from being yourself without fear. You begin to have more courage to follow what you want, not what society tries to tell you is necessary to be a successful professional.