“As the search starts to yield benefits, we start to actually codify for ourselves the things we stand for,” says Wadhwa. Now, this definition is an ever-evolving relationship, so don’t feel like you have to name your purpose and stick to it forever–it’s allowed to grow and change as you do.
For example: “I was very drawn to nonviolence early on, but my understanding of what it truly means to be violent in a practical way in the world has been very much evolutionary,” says Wadhwa. At first, it was purely about avoiding physical violence, but as he grew older, it became so much more. “It became more about toning down the impulse to engage in emotional violence–hurting somebody or doing something that has an emotional impact on the other person that is negative,” he continues. Then he realized that sometimes you do have to make difficult calls for the greater good that might hurt somebody else’s feelings.
“Who knows what my definition of nonviolence will be five years from now,” he explains. Point being, don’t be afraid to tweak your purpose during this defining stage. “It’s a very vibrant stage, a very active stage. It’s not a simple black-and-white, write five things down, and then you’ve made it. It’s ever evolving.”