It's Time... Own Your Purpose!

 Tulip about to bloom - photo by Todd Sechel

Tulip about to bloom - photo by Todd Sechel

Do you really want to live the life you are meant to live? Do you really want to look back without wondering what could have been? Do you really want to find the spark that wakes you at night and tells you there’s something more? Are you all in?

I have great news for you… You can do it. No matter what your circumstance, your background, your income, etc., you can find and live your purpose. It might be a long road. It might require big changes. It might take totally unexpected twists and turns. It might be met with resistance. You can overcome all of these challenges.

I have more great news for you… It’s all up to you. You don’t have to apologize. You don’t have to fit into others’ expectations. You don’t have to live in a certain place, go to a certain club, or fit in to a certain circle. You don’t have to carry on someone else’s legacy. You don’t have to sacrifice your dreams to work for someone else’s.

Are you noticing a trend? It’s you. There is nobody out there who is going to do this for you. If someone is holding you back, you are letting them. If you are comparing yourself to others who have stepped out and feel they were in a better “position”, you are hiding. If you let fear of your dark side prevent you from facing it, you will never escape. If you let your circumstances determine your destiny, you are making excuses.

Here’s another observation… the more successful, affluent, healthy, etc. we are, the more likely we are to let others hold us back, hide, remain handcuffed by limitations, and make excuses. Why? We have so much to lose…

There are countless amazing stories of people from poverty who rose up, people from war torn countries who got out, people who came back from a terminal illness and started really living… just to name a few. We hear these stories in awe… the strength, courage, and resolve these people demonstrate to find and live their purposes… we are inspired. And then go back to life as-is…

Do you have to face losing everything to find and live your purpose?

I had to ask myself this question, and there were days when I wondered if my answer was yes. Those were sad days… I was scared and fell into all of the traps… I hid, I made all kinds of excuses, and I let others define me. But, at some point, I realized that I am responsible for my own happiness. I needed to follow the spark and I couldn’t hide anymore.

So, what’s holding you back? I get into lots of conversations with people about following dreams, life transformation, finding the spark, living with purpose, etc. Reflecting on these discussions, there are three themes that come up a lot… I have to change my career, I don’t have enough money, and my purpose is making a specific idea into a business…

Theme one… I have to change my career to live my purpose. If this is what you think I urge you to stop and do a lot of self-exploration before making a change. Sometimes there are directions you can take a career that align with purpose and don’t require major change. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with the career and it’s just a likely target because it takes up a lot of time. Sometimes a career change is right but needs to wait a bit… I stayed in my prior position for almost a year after deciding it was time to make a change for a whole bunch of reasons… financial, professional, to leave in a positive way, and to make sure I felt the same after making other needed changes in my life.

Changing a career in the heat of the moment doesn’t solve anything. Unless a situation is truly unbearable (i.e. ethics, harassment, legal concerns, etc.), stop and take a deep breath. Dig deep within yourself and explore to make sure the career is what needs to be changed. You might find that other changes give you a totally different perspective on your career.

Theme two… I’m not in the same position financially as you (me in this case), so I can’t make a change I need to make. I hear this from people at all different income levels, including people who make $1,000,000+ a year. The reality is that we all make choices and can choose today to change the way we handle our finances. If you are earlier in your career and haven’t reached a higher income level yet, great news, you don’t have as much change to make! If you’re not willing to make financial changes, own your decision.

Theme three… I have a great idea and turning it into a business is my purpose. Be very careful here… equating your life’s purpose to whether or not an idea comes to fruition is a trap. There are all sorts of reasons good ideas don’t translate into businesses, and many are out of your control. Further, if you’re laser focused on one idea evolving in a specific way you may close yourself to other ideas and from seeing a big picture that changes as it evolves.

Instead of focusing on the idea, think about why you are so passionate about it… Do you want to help others? Do you have experience that you want to share? Is there a need that you see that isn’t being met? Is it truly unique and you feel it’s a great opportunity? Make a mental shift to focus your purpose not on the idea, but your passions behind the idea. While taking steps toward the idea, take steps that expand beyond and use your passions to fulfill your purpose in other ways. If the idea works out, great. If the idea doesn’t work out, you are living your purpose and will likely start to see all kinds of other ideas in your expanded view of life.

My path is my path. Your path is your path. We were all put on the earth for a purpose. We may be at different places in our evolutions, however there is one thing that is no different… you are the one who is going to make it happen for you. As soon as you own your purpose you will be miraculously closer to holding your spark as a torch and lighting the world on fire!