DTD Episode 21 Show Notes
What’s Your Life’s Purpose?
2 Simple Steps to Help Reveal Yours
We say, I can’t do anything about that, or there’s nothing special about me. I’m just one human being, what difference could I make?
Many people have the yearning to make a difference or know deep down that there is a purpose they are not fulfilling but are unable to discern what that purpose is.
I experienced this more than 10 years ago, before I launched my business. I was a stay at home mom for a few years. I loved being home with my two boys but I could not shake this overwhelming yearning. I KNEW to the core of my being that there was something I was born to do. I didn’t know what it was. But I knew there was something. At times I would feel anxious. What is it? When can I start? How can I figure it out?
I wanted to know! I wanted to begin. I wanted the desire that grew in me to be fulfilled. But how do you begin a journey when you have no idea of the destination you are aiming for?
Often as I rocked a sleeping baby, I would pop on the television to catch an episode of Oprah. She had a reoccurring segment called “Use Your Life”. You may have seen it yourself. She would invite guests on to share the stories of going from a regular person to someone who felt a huge passion, went out into the world and made a huge impact.
Those segments became so painful for me! I didn’t feel jealous of the people. I wasn’t interested in doing what they had done. I was interested in doing this unknown thing that I had been put on this earth to do.
Tears would stream down my face as I watched and I would hold my breath so I didn’t sob out loud. The pain was unbearable. But, without a specific direction there was no action to take.
I then experienced a catalyst that got me evaluating, analyzing and determining what it was that I was supposed to be doing. My marriage of the time had become abusive and I needed to create an exit strategy. I was a stay at home mom with no means to support two boys and myself
I began to evaluate my strengths, passions, and experiences. I created a mission.
Out of that period my coaching business was born! I am happy to report that I no longer have those unbearable yearnings. I am certain that I am doing the work that I was put on this earth to do! I may not be 100% at the bulls eye but I am in the zone!
If you’ve had this yearning towards a goal unknown I want to give you some steps to help you gain some clarity.
I have a simple two-step process that I have shared with many clients experiencing since then. I want to share it here with you now.
I believe that passion is the litmus test that tells us that we heading in the right direction. Passion is also the fuel that generates tenacity and a single-minded focus.
I believe that we are all given gifts to use in service to others. You might use these gifts as part of your vocation or maybe as a volunteer. Often we minimize our gifts. Because they come easily to us we assume that other people can easily do what we do as well. I often hear clients say, “yes, but that’s no big deal. Everyone can do that!”
To that I answer, “no, they can’t!”
Think about the activities that you love to do. How do you love to spend your time? What tasks would you do for free? What activities can you do for hours but leave you feeling as if only 10 minutes have elapsed?
Gifts come easily to us. There’s an ease, a knowing. It’s just who we are. It feels natural and gives you energy to spend your time that way.
Do some brainstorming about the things you love to do. Don’t let the creativity be thwarted by thoughts of, “yeah, but I can’t make money doing that.” This isn’t necessarily about starting a business or changing careers. It may have nothing to do with your vocation.
It also isn’t necessarily a requirement to move to India to help orphans to fulfill your purpose. Don’t worry about logistics, logic or anything else. Just create your lists. You never know what you’ll come up with.
You may also want to ask the opinions of trusted advisors in your life. Ask them, “what do you see in me that I might not be seeing in myself?”
This was part of my process and I found it very helpful. During my research I had 3 trusted advisors tell me that I should be a coach within the course of two weeks! This was about 11 years ago and I was not in the work world at the time so I had definitely not heard that term. I decided it was an avenue I’d better explore, however. As soon as I read the first definition I thought, “Wow, I’ve been accidentally doing this my whole entire life!”
See, I have this innate ability to see people for who they are. I see them through their issues, junk brokenness. I can hear stories of all kinds and respond without judgment. I also see relationships and where breakdowns in communication happen. I understand the filters people are seeing the world through.
In high school my friends called me the Ann Landers of the school. I had motivational quotes all over my bedroom and I never let people say negative things about themselves in my presence.
My trusted advisors saw something in me that I didn’t know was unique. And they were able to attach my gifts to a professional opportunity that I didn’t even know existed!
If you don’t have trusted advisors make sure to listen to my episode number 11 where I share the specific characteristics that a trusted advisor must have to give wise counsel. http://podcast.defeatthedrama.com/ep11-7-key-characteristics-of-a-great-trusted-advisor/
What are your gifts? Start with a blank sheet of paper or a Word document and start your list!
So, that’s step one. Gifts are not the only variable to the equation, so let’s move on to step two.
I believe that each of us feels calls to action. Different circumstances will ignite this internal rising. That thought of “How can something like this exist in the world?” Or, “someone needs to do something about this!”
That someone may be you.
Stop and think for a bit about times when you’ve felt a call to action around a news story or a happening in the world. Maybe you saw a Facebook post or a friend shared an experience. You may have taken some action or written a check to support a cause. Or, perhaps, you just let the moment pass and moved on to your normal daily activities.
That feeling you had, that rising, is unique to you. No, you aren’t the only one in the world who feels a call to action around the cause or incident. But, not everyone has the same reaction that you did. It is your unique reaction.
If you look back through a lifetime you will likely see patterns to the instances where you felt incensed or concerned. Seek to find the patterns of population and issues that caused the reaction.
So, for instance, one of my clients is drawn to concerns of the earth. She speaks and posts about Fracking constantly. She is consumed with the health of the earth.
Others feel a call to action when they hear stories of the elderly being taken advantage of or for elders who can not pay for their medicine. For some it is babies or drug addicts or puppies or horses or the solar system. Maybe it’s students who don’t have access to books or technology or malnourished puppies.
I feel driven to help where relationships are struggling or, you might have guessed, where drama is overshadowing the goals of a business or non-profit. I feel incensed when entitled employees seek to avoid work. I feel empathy when leaders feel unable to make their visions happen or where individuals struggle to find focus and tenacity.
I am lucky! I am using my gifts in the way I feel called.
I’ve now helped hundreds of individuals work through this brainstorm and I can’t think of one instance where the combination of gifts and call to action were duplicated.