Friday, December 30, 2005

Helpful: Your Special Purpose

No, not that "special purpose," Steve Martin fans.
In deciding to leave work and start school, I've been trying to articulate exactly why I picked this program, and why I want to start it now. What will I do with a grad degree in urban planning? What's the purpose?

A great series of articles by Steve Pavlina got to me, and helped me define that purpose. Steve says that if you aren't working for your own purpose, you'll only end up working on:
1) your needs
2) someone else's needs, and
3) someone else's purpose

So I came up with a purpose tonight, and we'll see how this sounds:

My goal is to help governments and community organizations eliminate poverty and create opportunities for success.

Maybe it still needs a tweak, especially with that last phrase, but when I finally put that down on paper, I realized that this is where I got the most out of my job at Kaplan. I didn't care that the Washington Post Company made a great profit, but I cared that our students got into a good college and that our tutors found a successful, meaningful job. I want to try this Masters program because I believe that with advanced knowledge about how cities work best, I can help bring employment and opportunity to people who need it the most.

Maybe it's naive, but it feels like the right direction.

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