Behar says his main issue was feeling like he didn't really know who he was or what he wanted in life.
"He tried to push me to change and I really went into depression because I was trying to be something I wasn't," Behar says. "But it was just innate, I was just doing what came naturally to me. It caused a great conflict inside of me and I finally quit."
In a 2016 study of 26,000 LinkedIn members, the networking platform found that millennials (those who were age 18 to 35 at the time) felt a lesser sense of purpose than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts.
Notably, the late German psychoanalyst Erik Erikson once theorized that while young adults — in this case, millennials — are focused on building relationships, middle-aged adults increasingly feel purpose as they have contributed to society for more time.
"I've been through a lot. I've had ups and downs, I've been fired and I've made mistakes," Behar says. "But at the end of the day, I came to the conclusion that there is only one role any of us will ever have and that is serving others."
After quitting that job in his mid-20s, Behard decided to figure out who he was and what really mattered to him. He created a list of his values and what his mission in life was. Over 50 years later, Behar still keeps this list handy.
Behar began his career at Starbucks in 1989, at age 45, and officially retired in 2003. In the years while working closely with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, he coined the company's catchphrase, "We aren't in the coffee business serving people, we are in the people business serving coffee."
"I think my role at Starbucks was that, getting everybody to understand and agree to live by that idea, that we were a people-centered company," Behar says.
"From then on, I was a student of myself first," Behar says, "and then I became a student of others."
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