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.
I knew I hated working for others, preferred to work from home, wanted to be in an urban environment, enjoyed working one-on-one with clients and wanted to focus on making a real impact on their lives. The data gave me a point of origin, but there was still more work to be done.
3. Risk Nothing, Gain Nothing
Once I had some data, I knew I had to get out there and see what helping others achieve success might look like. I tried it all, from working with kids at non-profits to taking a job as a Director of Operations at a socially conscious start-up. I even started amassing various certifications in yoga, Reiki, and success coaching. These were all calculated risks. My goal was to gain more clarity about the unknown factors that could derail me that I had not yet encountered through my lived experiences. I put my time, energy and resources on the line to gain more clarity about my purpose.
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” — David Lloyd George
Endeavoring to unearth your purpose is not easy. It requires a willingness to take risks in order to collect more data. The more data you have the easier it will be for you to hone in on your true purpose. Once you connect with your intuition and embrace the known, its time to tackle the unknown by taking calculated risks.
Ultimately, these calculated risks lead me to realize my zone of genius: helping individuals 1-on-1 create a strategy to pursue and achieve success on their own terms.
Take The Leap. Experiencing clarity of purpose is like realizing you are standing on the edge of a cliff about to jump into the sea. It’s scary and exhilarating. Once I realized what I was put on this earth to do, I had to choose to do it. I had to brave enough to take the leap into the coaching world without any reservation.
4. Taking the leap
is not something you can’t skip over or avoid, and will be different for each individual. It is an inevitable part of pursuing your purpose once you have unearthed it. Taking the leap is as scary and exhilarating as jumping off a cliff, the only difference is that when you take the leap to pursue your purpose you are actively and intentionally re-establishing control over the direction of your life.
“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Everything in life is a choice. You can choose to live a life that travels a well-worn path even if you don’t enjoy it, or you can also choose to clear-cut your own path armed with sharpened clarity of purpose.
If you choose the latter listening to your intuition, embracing the known, engaging in calculated risks and taking the leap will help you unearth and pursue your purpose with confidence.
Life is what you make it, there’s no benchmark or a defined way to ‘LIVE’ it.
Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone’s pace is different. Most importantly, everyone’s true purpose is different.
Check out this interesting video below:
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