Know Yourself

Aaron Hurst, the CEO of Imperative, a site that helps people find their purpose and act on that knowledge, and the author of The Purpose Economy, has advice for recent graduates: Know yourself.


College may have taught you certain things—hopefully!—but your twenties, says Hurst, are about getting to know yourself.

Hurst says that he’s jealous of people graduating right now into what he calls “the purpose economy.” Now is the time, he says, to find what sort of legacy you want to leave behind. That is the driver for young people today: seeking to make a positive impact on the world.  Of course, figuring out what that impact is takes time. And college may not have prepared most people to find it. “In some sense your twenties are about getting your real college degree by going out there and learning in the real world and learning about yourself,” he says.

This may be a shock, especially after years of working hard for a high G.P.A. and an expensive degree. When people graduate college, that’s when the “real work"—getting to know oneself—often starts.

“I think too often we look to outside influences. We look at what people expect of us instead of just trying to really figure out who we are, what drives purpose for us, what matters to us," he says.

For more on Hurst’s advice for recent graduates, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:

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