Get To Know Yourself Again

In 2009, I found myself searching for my life’s purpose.  I was a first-generation college student so I had to figure out a lot on my own through trial and error.  I was so conditioned to survive that I didn’t know what it meant to live a life according to what my natural born talents were.  
I began working at 14 years old in the effort to help my mom pay bills—and afford any luxury items I wanted.  I worked as gym receptionist, a bank teller, waitress, a hair salon assistant (by far my fave), a brand ambassador for big companies, private tutor, an after-school nanny, and everything in-between.  I hustled, I survived, but I was anxious and unsettled.
It wasn’t until I asked my aunt how to find my purpose in life that she recommended A Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. I read it and soon found that I didn’t even know how to begin the journey of finding my purpose! 
In typical Type-A fashion, I consumed so much information on how to identify what I was good at that I confused myself, got exhausted, and eventually just stopped the journey all together.  
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until I revisited the question two-years later after being fired from a post-college job I hated, that I had no choice but to focus on what I wanted.  I avoided the mistake I made before of consuming too much information too soon, and too fast, and simply asked myself one simple question.
What talent or skill did I believe I was meant to share with the world? 

I reflected on my personal feelings and my greatest dreams (regardless of how silly they seemed) and wrote them down. I noticed a pattern. I realized that the experiences in which I felt like I wasn’t working was when I was helping someone else become their better selves. This journey, unknowingly, started in my family. 

It eventually spilled into my odd-in jobs as a private tutor, and after-school nanny.  It was this exercise that revealed my purpose in life: education. I felt like I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! I highlighted and circled that one word with an abundant amount of self-assurance. 

This one exercise would define the next several years of my life. I enthusiastically went on to pursue a master’s degree in English language teaching which would take me to several different countries and land me my dream job managing an international education training and academic exchanges program for the U.S. government. 

I soon realized, however, that as my day-to-day responsibilities increased the harder it became to keep my sights set on the reason I started this journey in the first place. I reached a point in which I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I’d say yes to aimless projects, give my time to things that didn’t align with my beliefs, simply for the sake of “getting it done.”  As a result, I experienced fatigue and extreme stress (read: panic attacks). 

We encourage you to simplify the journey of (re)discovering your purpose by quieting the outside noise to be able to hear what it is that you want.This isn’t what is expected is of you from your family, friends, colleagues, or bosses.This is the part that speaks to your soul’s deepest desires.  

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P.S. Ready to move forward in the other sections? Check out the blog post on Defining Your Legacy and Defining Your Why here. 

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