When I was searching for my purpose in life I questioned where do I start to look?
Years of hearing my mother preach of the virtues of a steady job with benefits conditioned me from an early age to do just that. And so for 28 years I did just that, until one day I decided I had enough of working just to pay my bills.
The struggle to find my purpose was a daunting one because at that point in my life I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that I wanted to find something that would make me bounce out of bed every morning because it brought me so much joy. I would daydream about having a lasting impact on people’s lives. My legacy would leave a lasting impression on everyone I came in contact with. I would be counted alongside Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah, Lady Diana or Bob Marley just to name a few.
As I started to examine my life, cataloging my accomplishments. The most profound thing I had done was to raise my children as a single parent. I found it challenging to manage work, finances, recreational activities and leisure time. I found myself in constant search of the work/home balance, and at the end of the day I think that is what was at the root of my quest for personal development.
A shift in my thinking was the order of the day. I began to read books like 177 Mental Toughness Secrets Of The World Class by Steve Siebold, Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute, Becoming A Person of Influence by John Maxwell and my favourite, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill! I started to seek out people who could spill out a mess of self improvement as I was a sponge looking to soak up anything that would bring about a permanent shift in my thinking; anything that might lead me closer to enlightenment and point me in the direction of my purpose. Many times I asked myself what does all this even mean? The answers rarely came quickly and yet I did not give up on my search.
My husband and I often discussed how we’d like to spend the next 10 or so years before retirement. We both knew we’d prefer to not keep working at the jobs we currently had until only to then be forced to choose between extreme corner cutting and part time minimum wage retail work to make up for holes in our pensions to make ends meet after a lifetime of soulless labouring for large faceless corporations. Our thoughts immediately went to becoming entrepreneurs. But what kind of business could we create? He’s an amazing cook and talented songwriter and I’m a domestic goddess; cleaning and household organization are two things I thrive on. For sure he could start a business songwriting and producing beats or we could open a mom and pop sandwich shop, but neither of these spoke to my soul so I continued to search. One day it occurred to me how amazing it would be to write a book. One that was a resource where single parents could find a blueprint for balance in their lives. Something with structures for managing parenthood, health, finances and work.
From there I went to work using my faith to manifest all the things I needed to publish a book. Here are some of the steps I followed:
- Asking God for confirmation
- Believing in myself
- Enrolling my husband in supporting me
- Speaking to other authors
- Speaking to someone who markets and brands people
- Researching my target market
- Creating the framework in which to write the book
Now, I’ve learned in the past to never be attached to the way I think things should look, or how I think they should go. So when I spoke to a professional brand engineer and she suggested that the way to really fulfill my dream of impacting millions was to write a memoir, I asked God for confirmation. Once I got clarity, I decided to trust God and move forward in a new direction. After all, people love a story of triumph with characters that they can relate to.
So I leave you with this: when searching for your purpose, pray for clarity, speak to professionals, follow your intuition, and last, but by no means least, don’t be attached to how you think it should look.