Finding life’s purpose can be intimidating.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” ―W. Clement Stone
I felt like I had just flushed $100,000 down the drain, and I was secretly happy about it. I failed the Bar Exam and there was no part of me that wanted to take it again. I had dedicated 20 of my 25 years of life to becoming a lawyer, but as soon as I realized I couldn’t practice law part of me felt relieved. Deep down I had known for a long time that I didn’t want to be a lawyer, I just didn’t want to accept it and I didn’t want to let anyone down.
Ironically, failing the bar would be the best thing to ever happen to me. It forced me to decide how I wanted to move forward in life. I had to choose my next move. Was I going to continue towards a career I clearly didn’t want just because I had the education to do the job? OR was I going to do the work of unearthing my true purpose so that I can live a passion-driven & purposeful life? Not an easy choice, but an incredibly important one.
Every day someone new is faced with that same choice. For those of you who yearn to leave the well-worn path behind to clear cut your own path to a passion-driven and purposeful life, here are the 4 lessons I learned from failing the bar that helped me unearth my true purpose:
1. Listen To Your Intuition
Most people assumed I would take the bar exam again. They were always shocked when I confidently told them I had no plans on taking the exam a second time. Suddenly a look of ‘has she lost her mind’ would creep across their face, followed by the same two questions: “well what are you going to do? What about all that money you spent on loans?” They were scared of me, but I wasn’t worried. I had a secret weapon….my intuition.
“Think for yourself. Trust your own intuition. Another’s mind isn’t walking your journey, you are.” – Scottie Waves
Your intuition is always sending you signals by way of quick insights to guide your journey. Some people can easily connect to this sixth sense leveraging it as a tool to help them along the way, while others are completely disconnected from it and struggle to know what to do next. In order to connect with your intuition, you have to be willing to ask yourself hard questions and listen to yourself.
Failing the bar made me brave enough to get still and ask myself: what do you want to contribute to this world? My intuition responded — To help others achieve success.
2. Leverage Your Past By Embracing The Known
Initially I had no idea how I was supposed to help others achieve success. But focusing on what I didn’t know wasn’t going to get me anywhere. Instead of worrying about what I didn’t know I chose to embrace the things I did know in order to help me decipher what to do next.
“The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.” ―Thomas Carlyle
What do you know? All of your lived experiences until this point have provided you with important data. It is that data that holds the key to your next step. Do you like working for someone else or do you dream of being your own boss? Do you like being in the office, working from home, or being in the field? DO you want to be in a rural or urban environment? What type of environment do you thrive in? Do you like to work directly with clients or indirectly? Your past holds the answers to these questions. When you take a moment to reflect on those experiences through the lens of these questions you are able to leverage your past to inform your present and shape your future.