Discovering Your Purpose

Ashton Jones
Insight Owl
Published in
7 min readFeb 22, 2021

How I discovered my purpose after dropping out of college with no plan

Photo by Smart on Unsplash

Do you know your purpose in life? I mean, really, truly know your purpose — your heart’s deepest desire?

I discovered my initial purpose by chance at age 25, after I dropped out of college and forged my own path.

Before I tell you how I discovered my purpose, let me tell you what lead me there.


Prior to discovering my purpose, I was convinced the traditional school-to-work path was the way to go.

I never thought too hard about it; I did not consider alternatives. The only narrative in my head was ‘academia-is-the-way-to-success’.

I did not know what my purpose was. I did not have one. I never thought about it, actually.

I was too focused on getting to the next step: the next exam, the next grade, the next class, the next school. The crazy thing is I did not even have an end goal in mind. Even crazier, I unconsciously (and wrongly) convinced myself I enjoyed what I was doing.

The truth is, I was constantly suffering in the present moment in hopes of a better future. I was following a narrow, well-defined societal path. I hated what I was doing, but I wasn’t aware I hated what I was doing.

It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I realized I was not on the right path and was forced to make a change..

My Awakening

I started graduate school in Economics, excited to be on the last leg of my academic journey. But during this time, I started having trouble sleeping.

I clearly remember the crippling experience of laying in bed for hours not being able to fall asleep. It is tough to write about this because it brings up such dark memories. I would crawl into bed exhausted and ready to sleep.

But I could not fall asleep.

My mind simply would not shut off- I had a never-ending stream of thoughts cycling through my head. Random memories from years ago would suddenly come to mind.

It was not only one night, or even a couple nights. It was every night. For months. I went months only sleeping 2–3 hours per night.

Ashton Jones
Insight Owl

Sharing my personal stories and experiences 🌐