If I were to ask you right now what's your purpose in life, what would the answer be? What's your mission statement? What does the end game look and feel like for you? See, so many of us are going through life with no real destination plugged in.
We wake up, go to work, pay bills and the cycle continues.
How does one truly measure success? How will you know? What do you stand for, what are your values? What drives you? Why do you do the things that you do? What fuels you?
I remember having a conversation with my husband and feeling pretty sorry about myself. As I sat there, I remember asking why me?
"Is this one of those situations where I'm just listening or do you want me to talk to you?" Against my better judgment, I said I want you to talk. He took a puff of his cigar and asked "why not you"?
In all of the years I've known him, he's never let me feel sorry for myself. Not quite sure why I expected this time to be any different.
Why not you he asked again? What makes you feel like others are more deserving of the pain you feel? In life it's inevitable that you will experience pain. It's not the pain that's the problem, it's what you do with it. You have the ability to channel that pain into something bigger than you.
Pain compels us to action, whether it be negative or positive action is on you. To have pain is to be alive. It's what you do with that pain that matters most. You can let it cripple you or you can let it motivate you. You have the fuel you need to alleviate the pain, so do something about it.
Not quite the response I was looking for. Not quite sure what I wanted to hear, but I know his words repeated over and over in my head.
Pain of not being able to provide for her kids is what fueled my moms decision to risk her life on a migrant boat headed to the USA in search of a better life.
Pain of being orphaned at a very young age is what fueled my dad to migrate to the USA, also in search of a better life.
Pain from the grief of losing my mom is what fueled my depression.
Pain has been the source of so many choices I've witnessed that were good and bad by so many, yet I never took the time to analyze just how I could use the pain to my benefit. With each encounter of pain I faced, I had to decide if I would let it fuel me in a negative or positive way.
So what was my purpose? I've always been goal oriented and at the time on paper I'd accomplished most of my goals.
Start a family
Open a business
Make 6 figures
Buy my parents a house
Travel the world
Yet I still wasn't happy. I still didn't feel fulfilled. I couldn't find purpose in what I was doing. I was on a rollercoaster of being angry at the world, angry in my marriage and just annoyed with everything and everyone. From the outside in I had it all. Life was good. Yet on the inside I felt sad, unfulfilled and lost.
I came to realize that goals and purpose were two separate things. You can accomplish a list full of goals and still not be any closer to fulfilling ones purpose. What do you want to be remembered for? How do you want others to feel when they are around you? If your obituary was written today, what would it say about you, what would your story be? Being completely honest with myself I knew I wasn't on the path I wanted to be. Although I was accomplished and had completed most of my goals, none put me closer to my purpose.
It was time to clear my vision board and erase all of my goals and start from step one. This time with my mission statement and purpose being at the top and my goals stemming from there.
So what was my purpose? I quickly realized it was something I never really defined for myself. How many people actually sit and answer this question? Was I the only one unable to immediately answer? I mean I had a good grasp of what my interest were, what my goals were but not what my purpose was. So I started drafting my notes.
What did I want in life? What was my purpose? I knew I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to focus on service to others, especially those less fortunate than I. I needed to somehow create a platform where others were empowered and learned how to channel their pain into positive fuel? I knew I had a passion for cooking and loved creating events around food and dialogue where others could grow from one another and share experiences. I knew I wanted to work but this time the salary wasn't the priority, but more so ensuring that the work itself would make me proud and use my talents. I knew I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and truly explore life from a new point of view. How do I use all of this information to determine my purpose? And so my journey begun. I embarked on a new quest to be whole again and to fulfill my purpose.