I’m getting to the age where if I don’t figure it out soon, I may never figure it out. And frankly I’d rather not leave this earth still wondering. I like things done. Scratched off the list.
So – for the past year I have worked on myself. I looked deep. I measured my life based on my career path, my friends and family path, and my personal path. I looked for milestones that resonated with me. DEEP in my heart. I relished the awesome times. I grieved for the truly gut-wrenching ones.
This soul work is NOT an easy task! Some days I gave up. Some days I beat myself up over a lot of missteps and serious failings. Guilt? Got it. And then some. Some days I questioned why I was even trying to find my purpose. Did it REALLY matter? To me it did.
AND THEN. This past weekend, at a company retreat designed around leadership growth, it hit me. We were in a very, VERY raw moment where people were digging deep. It was emotionally draining, to say the least. But the BEST. THING. EVER.
Because … I found my words. I was actually doodling on my notepaper because I was trying not to fall into a million tear-dripping pieces.
Those doodles turned into this:
I didn’t actually realize what I’d written down for a while – I was listening to our speaker and making blurry-eyed contact (damn those tears) with some of my best friends and cherished mentors. But then I looked back at my notes to write down another profound thought. And there it was again.
At that moment. I knew. I KNEW. I am on this earth – I have ALWAYS been on this earth, to EMPOWER OTHERS. From the very beginning of what I can remember of my life, I’ve wanted to make lives better for the people in my life. For the people I’ve known all my life, and for the people I meet for the first time. To offer my help. To offer my hand, my heart, my friendship, my support, my experiences, my knowledge, and a pinch of the wisdom I’ve gained in my sixty-ish years. To help them be confident in the knowledge that they have whatever it takes to be the person they want to be. They have the smarts they need to have whatever career path they choose. They have the skills they need to follow their path.
I want the people in my life to know that they have choices! They can start down one path and then decide … ‘Nope, Not working’ … and find a new path that is a better fit.
(For the record: I’ve been down several paths, made some gigantic errors, disappointed people, and at one point broke the hearts of people dear to me. I’ve BEEN THERE. And I’m here to tell you that as scary as it is … as hard work as it is … if it’s right for you, you have everything it takes to find the RIGHT path.)
From the depth of my soul, I want to EMPOWER OTHERS. I want them to have the skills and tools they need to create a life of meaning. A life that gives them joy and passion. I want them to know that they have a mentor and confidant in me. To know that I care, and that I will do everything in my power to hold them up. Or lift them up. Or push them to be more than they thought they could be – if they want my nudge.
I want the people in my life to KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if they want or need more out of their life, and I can do something to facilitate that change, I’ll be right there with them every step of the way.
The two simple words that are going to shape the rest of my life.