There are times in my life when it seems as though the world knows just what I need to keep pressing along. It’s been a rough week in my house. I was sick, one of the cats was very sick, and we spent a lot of money at the vet. We have also gotten behind on the renovations we are doing around the house. I became discouraged. My husband and I are both working on so much right now. I was starting to doubt if I could get my new site launched by the time the semester started. I was starting to doubt if I was going in the right direction at all.
It was at that moment that I started to question myself and everything that I was doing, that my friend Kevin at Living Out My Journey wrote a post about discovering his life purpose. In the post, he discusses a conversation he had with Isabel Hundt that really made him change the way he thought about his purpose. I know Isabel as well and she is an amazing coach who really helps you see your journey in a new and exciting light. She has a gift for helping people reframe their mindset.
When asked about their purpose in life, most people including me, would have given an answer involving other people. Helping others. Caring for others. Teaching others. As I started reading the post, my mind instantly went to my own purpose: teaching others and showing them they can succeed and grow. Kevin’s purpose was also about helping others to achieve their dreams and encouraging others to make the most of their lives (it’s one of the reasons I love Kevin’s blog so much).
My mind was continuing to think about my purpose when I hit a wall. Kevin then wrote,
Then she asked the question that stopped me in my tracks.
What if no one needed you anymore?
(Insert record scratch here!) I think I was silent for about 30 seconds, which doesn’t happen often. That had never crossed my mind before. No one had ever presented that question to me.
I have to say that it stopped me in my tracks as well. My purpose was about teaching others. This just about shattered by already poor mentality. Why was I doing all of this? Luckily, I did not close the browser and walk away. Kevin found his purpose and it helped me think about mine.
I thought about it as I drove to the University for my human resources orientation. As I pulled into the parking lot, I realized that part of the reason I love teaching others is because I love to learn. My job, my business and my websites ensure that I am constantly researching and learning new things. My purpose became clear.
Always striving to learn new things is what keeps me going. It can be anything really. Learning home improvement techniques, ways to manage money more efficiently, or ways to become a better teacher/blogger/wife. Feeding my brain new information keeps me going.
As I walked to my meeting with HR yesterday, I saw this.
I walked into my meeting with a renewed sense of purpose. Life had smacked me twice and it was only 10:00 am.
The third smack came this morning. I was already thinking of this post when I opened my email this morning. The first email I saw was from Sal Khan of Khan Academy, which is a free online tutoring site which I used when I was talking calculus classes last summer. The website has a new tagline, “You Can Learn Anything.” In the email was this video:
If that didn’t just reinforce my purpose, I’m not sure what would have. I’ve decided to show the video to my students on the first day of classes.
Sometimes the world knows when you need a bit of encouragement. I got a lot of it over the past 24 hours.
I also wanted to mention that you can get Isabel’s new e-book, Identity Crisis in the World of Entrepreneurs, free on her website. It is a wonderful book for anyone who has a business or wants to start one.
Have you defined your purpose? Has life smacked you recently to push you in a certain direction?