Most of us, at some point or another, seek purpose in life. We consider the path we are on and wonder if it is the right one...we contemplate the decisions we have made and wonder how things might have been different had we chosen door number two...we struggle to understand how and why we have come to be who and where we are. More importantly, we ponder what it all means and how it might offer clues as to where we are going. As we do so, however, we often fail to recognize and embrace ALL of our journey as valuable, discarding and ignoring events, phases or experiences we believe to be mistakes, irrelevant detours or missteps along the way. Unfortunately, this self edit of our past can very well cause us to overlook and fail to embrace aspects of our journey that lead to identifying an underlying purpose.
To understand the recipe of who we are and thus, the contributions we have to offer, we must investigate what ingredients are in our recipe. The key is in recognizing that many of the most valuable tools we have acquired along the way are not borne from the events we have put on our "personal highlight reel". For example, we may not want to linger upon thoughts of having experienced poverty, abuse or neglect...but these may be some of the very factors that have fortified our strength, character and integrity, allowing us to accomplish goals we might never have imagined. We may eliminate a dead end job from our resume...but in doing so we overlook the moment when we believed we should and could want for more, a self-realization that encouraged a wave of personal growth and promotion. We may remove all of our "fat pictures" from our photo albums as a way to withdraw attention from a uncomfortable phase, yet we must not forget what personal resources we had to develop and draw upon in order to break through to where we are now.
When we look at our past, and even present, and identify the value in our whole story...we can begin to recognize recurring themes. We may discover, after following the chronology of our life's events, that one of our unique gifts is the ability to live by the motto, "When life gives you lemons...make lemonade". We may find that the internal process we followed in order to overcome anxiety, fear or self-doubt can be valuable to others who are currently paralyzed by these states of mind. We may find that a failed business venture can lead to a book or seminar designed to prepare aspiring entrepreneurs for the realities of ownership. We may find that every job we have ever had, no matter how insignificant we believed it to be, contributed to the unique set of skills and knowledge that only now makes us qualified to pursue a dream vocation. Remember...there is purpose hidden everywhere...littering the path we have frequented along the way. Discover it.
Please share your thoughts by commenting...
Erin Williams, Houston Life Coach