I took a sip of my soy pumpkin spice latte courtesy of Starbucks and scanned the small shop inside Union Station for her. “Her” was a young woman I knew from undergrad and who’d graciously accepted my invitation to interview her about what it means to live for a book that I am working on.
We caught up on post-undergrad life and then got down to business. I started asking her questions such as “What does it mean to choose to live?” “What is the meaning of life and how did you come to know this?”, and “Who are you living for?” An hour later, we had laughed, avoided eye contact when the answer to the question was clearly painful. We had talked about forgiveness, love, and change.
An hour later, I didn’t regret getting up at 6:30 that morning while on vacation to take a bus and a train for over an hour to meet with this young woman to hear and collect her story. Want to know why? Because I knew that I was doing what I was born to do. I knew I was going to spend an hour encouraging and empowering someone to use her voice and share personal stories of triumph and defeat. I knew I was going to take her story and the story of other women that I have met and will meet over the next year and put together a book that I am confident will challenge and change women all over the world, igniting for some and reigniting for others their commitment to live incredibly, victoriously, and emphatically.
I didn’t regret the early rising, forsaking my comfortable bed, the breakfast spread, the being a tourist and asking for help to make my bus and train connections, because I knew it was all for the sake of me engaging in my purpose. When you are doing the very thing that you know you were born to do, there aren’t regrets.
How did I discover that my purpose was to empower women to make the commitment to live incredibly, victoriously, and emphatically? My answer: it was a process.
First, I made a commitment to be honest with myself, open to growth and discovery, and move toward that which energized me and allowed me to be my best self.
Second, I spent time answering questions like what am I great at? What energizes and inspires me? What matters to me? When am I my best self?
Next, I spent time figuring out how to make these responses a way of life. This meant creating a personal mission statement, which I would purpose to live out daily as best as possible. My personal mission statement: To be a woman of grace and integrity who is committed to using her gifts and abilities to empower others to live incredibly, victoriously, and emphatically (if you want to know more about writing your personal mission statement, check out “3 Simple Steps To Determine your Life Purpose”).
I used my personal mission statement to begin living a more purposeful life. This meant letting go of the things didn’t fit my mission.
Over the past year that has meant:
- Quitting a job that didn’t allow me to use my gifts and abilities.
- Taking an indefinite break from my small design business, where I was product-centered and not person-centered.
- Stacking up on books, documentaries, and attending events about things that matter to me and other people doing what I want to do.
- Writing more as a daily personal exercise and seeking to write for other publications because I primarily want to write as a means of empowering others, specifically women, to live incredibly, victoriously, and emphatically.
Discovering and living your purpose isn’t as abstract as it may sound. It’s also not as easy as those who’ve discovered it and are living it makes it look either. However, it is possible.
It is possible for you to commit time to discovering and investing in living your purpose. It’s possible for you to grab your notebook or MacBook and ask yourself questions like the ones I asked myself. It’s possible to take your answers and begin to craft your mission statement and seek to live it out daily. It is possible for you to let go of the things that hinder you from being who you were born to be.
So, when are you going to start living purposefully? How about today?