Many college students are familiar with the anxiety that comes with the constant questioning over career choices, majors and what the future will look like.
2012 Ohio State graduate in communication, Alex Warren is familiar with this feeling and draws from his own experiences in his most recent book, “The Pursuit of You: Finding Your Dream and Pursuing Your Purpose,” with the hopes that he will be able to guide people through those times when the future feels unsure.
“(‘The Pursuit of You’) is about finding yourself and figuring out what your purpose is and what you want to do with life,” Warren said.
Warren said he knows how difficult the transition from childhood to adulthood can be. Growing up in the small city of Lima, Ohio, he felt like he had limited options and opportunities. However, once he moved to Columbus, he realized that the possibilities are endless and hopes his book will give his readers the same realization.
“I created this book to open the eyes of people who feel that they only have one option or the other, or they can only work a certain job, or live a certain type of life,” he said.
Although “The Pursuit of You” is aimed toward young adults, Warren said he believes it can be helpful to other audiences as well.
“I’m starting to realize that there’s a lot of people in their 30s and 40s who want to start that business or pursue that music career … who want to do something that they aren’t currently,” he said. “I think it could work for anybody who has a dream.”
Warren noted that happiness doesn’t always come from expected sources. In his book he mentions a job he landed where he made more money than he ever had in his life. It sounds ideal, but he felt he was becoming “worse as a person” and eventually left the job despite its pay. He decided not to settle for the life that made him financially comfortable, yet miserable, because he knew it wasn’t his purpose to do so.
“I think we’re all born with that gift, that one thing we can do continuously but still have fun doing it,” he said.
Warren didn’t grow up planning to be a writer, admitting that “it all kind of happened accidentally.”
However, he said he believes he has found that one thing he loves doing — proving that life doesn’t always happen the way it is expected to and that this is perfectly okay. He emphasizes the importance of taking action in his book even though this can be intimidating and scary.
“Life is more about going after what you want rather than having a strategic plan for everything,” he said. “The biggest thing I wanted people to understand is that there’s going to be a lot of rejection, failure and negativity that comes your way in order to pursue your dream or do something that you really love.”
Despite writing a book that gives his readers advice on how to live a successful life, Warren does not claim to have everything figured out. The process of writing “The Pursuit of You” itself proved to be a learning experience for the author. Warren spent months editing the original manuscript, titled “Dreams of Success,” for a publisher, only to have them decide they couldn’t go through with publishing his book, he said.
Rather than give up, Warren decided to go to another publisher. The publisher asked that he make more edits, and the book did eventually get printed under the new name, “The Pursuit of You.” Although he admitted the two-year writing and editing process was “tedious,” he said he felt that it made him stronger.
“Even though I didn’t want to go through this, I’m glad I did because it made me a better writer,” he said.
Warren’s college roommate Toyosi Azeez, who is mentioned in the book, spoke about the drive that Warren displayed in not only his writing but all aspects of life.
“He was extremely focused on what he needed to get done. Whether it was school or work, he had tunnel vision,” Azeez said.
Warren said he is currently continuing to pursue his dream, working on his third book, “The Sovereign Heart,” which further explores the idea of following your path and how to do this successfully. He said he expects it to be published in February.