Originally posted August 26, 2016 on LinkedIn Pulse:

finding-yourpurposeLet’s face it … one of big buzz words out there today is “purpose”. Apparently, we all have one. Surprisingly though, it’s also hidden from us … ? Hence, we need a half dozen books and a mid-life crisis (or two) to help us find the courage and tools to go discover it. Or maybe that’s just my story?

All kidding aside – I have come to discover that the truth is, we do need time to figure this out. I think it’s less about “discovering” it and more about digging it up. Our “purpose” sits inside us … it’s embedded in us and, as such, it never leaves us. It just gets buried beneath the distractions, detours and craziness of life.  Hence, we all need a shovel of some sort to dig it up.

As a Life Coach, this is pretty typical arena to work in.  Seems in today’s culture, many of us have lost our passion somewhere in our journey.  So let’s “dig” into this diagram and I’ll show you how I use it.  First things first.  Start at the top … not the bottom.  Don’t make the mistake of figuring out what you can get paid to do first. Start with what you love to do first.  As I tell everyone I coach, if you start with what you love (your passion), your career will never get old.  It might be the ONE thing I’ve done better than anything else in my career … I gave up my job in accounting for a career in fitness that turned into wellness and coaching.  I honestly never looked back over the past 25 years … not even once.  When you’re passionate about what you do and it has meaning, not doing it isn’t an option. You simply always find a way.

Once passion is identified we need to take a hard look at our skills – because you simply need skills to back up your passion and make it your profession. In my case, it meant returning to school initially.  It also meant taking a huge pay cut to change the course of my career. I was young(er) and I was able to do it. Granted it gets tougher when we’re older to make big life changes, but it’s also tough to stay where we’re knowingly unhappy.

I recommend simultaneously looking to what the world needs as you identify the skills necessary to make yourself proficient. Be vision or “mission” minded.  What are you wanting to solve/accomplish? It has to be a proper mix of what you love, what you’re good at and what the world needs.  Because, as you can imagine,  if the world doesn’t need it, you might have a hard time getting paid to do it! This is where the rubber meets the road in life coaching my clients. This is where you have to decide what to do and go do it. Depending on life circumstances, this is HARD as it typically impacts your family as well as you.  You need supporters and encouragers around you more than doubters and naysayers.

Once you’ve made it here though, you will typically feel energized by the opportunity ahead to get paid for what you love to do. It’s not an easy road especially if you are going it alone. If you need help identifying your ‘why’ and your ‘what’ seek guidance from a trusted friend or a coach who can champion for you. Truth is, the answers are within us all … sometimes we just need someone to hand us a shovel. Happy Digging.

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