There is more to this life than...
When I started my first business in 2000 it was so exciting. It took off like gang busters right out of the gate and I had to learn, trial by fire, all the basics of business. But, actually, the exciting part was creating something from scratch that was a legit, quality service that was needed, employing women (most of which were single moms) who enjoyed the work, and helping my clients and employees with whatever they needed. For ten solid years that was enough, it provided purpose and meaning by being of service to my clients and employees, until it wasn't any more. That did not stop me from continuing because I just couldn't let go of the things we are told will bring you happiness: time flexibility, calling your own shots and being able to dictate your financial threshold.
I longed for an existence that mattered. I longed for purpose and meaning. I thought, there must be more to this life than amassing things and money because I had all those things, or at least enough of them, I had homes, the marriage, the family, the trips, the cars, I even started a non-profit that was meaningful, yet when I wasn't involved in it often, just like the other "things" that I had, it lacked luster for me too. And, the amount of stress, overwhelm, anxiety and worry I was experiencing was through the roof, at times.
Recently I listened to an audio book about how to find your purpose in life and I was thrilled that what I heard is exactly what I know to be true and what I love to shout on the roof tops, and it is this: "Everyone has a unique gift to bring to this world. A gift that you are uniquely qualified and positioned to share with this world because of your personality, experience and talents." Everyone is in bold because if you are reading this and have not discovered yours, I want you to know that you are not the only one (in case you thought you were absent the day they doled them out) and you are not alone in not discovering what exactly it may be.
As I got older I began to think, very responsibly, that I needed to make so much money and amass assets and build a retirement because that is what I was told was the "right" thing to do, as I got older. And, I am not saying there is anything wrong with these things, it's just that enjoying my life and having meaning and purpose were not in these responsible conversations. I really don't believe in either or thinking now, but back then I thought that I needed to put my nose to the ground and grind out results in my business so that I could create a future so that I would be "set" for the rest of my retired life. Basically, I bought into the idea that I should sacrifice so many more years so that I could enjoy myself when I retired. (Just FYI, that would have been another 20 years.)
As it turned out, I just wasn't mentally, emotionally and spiritually able to pull it off, to keep doing something that had little to no meaning for me. If you had asked me at the time I would have said, "This business is sucking the life out of me." In fact, I think I did say that many a time, but I didn't know what to do about it.
So, what changed? What was the impetus? It started with a divorce which sent me to a dark place, a magical book experience that gave me the answer (joy), a seminar (I bought without even knowing what it was) that taught me how to find my joy and a training to teach a workshop that when I stood up in front of the first audience it was made crystal clear that it was my calling, my purpose. Now, I teach others how to find their calling, their purpose, so that they can have meaning in their life now and everyday, and in turn I derive meaning in my life, everyday. I'd love to fill in the gaps on this story over a call so that you may begin to discover purpose and meaning in your life now. What works for you next week?
Peace, Erin "on the joyride of life" Mac