Do you still struggle with living your purpose? Are you questioning whether your business is the right business for you? Do you seek clarity and calm in knowing you are doing what you were called to do?
These are common struggles. Maybe you were certain and felt great about your business when you started it and now it is not “feeling right” for some reason. Don’t worry, this is totally normal and doesn’t mean you have to give up on your business! Perhaps you just need to pivot a bit or add a little something to make it feel special to you again.
When a business I was running stopped feeling exciting, I tried to mold it in a new direction but the existing clients were not interested in the new direction. I was also resistant to all the new social medias the “experts” were telling me I had to master and so my business became insignificant to the online world in a way. I lost my drive and my passion for the business. After doing the exercise I am about to share with you, I gained clarity and realized that rather than forcing a change that others didn’t want, I needed a fresh start to live the way I wanted to live. I chose to start anew but that doesn’t mean you have to. You may just need to refresh what you currently have.
Let’s get started!
What were your dreams when you were a kid? What did you imagine you’d grow up to be? The President of the United States, an astronaut or perhaps an artist? Did you accomplish that dream, give up on it or are you still working toward that goal?
I am going to share with you an exercise I learned from Tony Robbins. It is a trip down memory lane to help you clarify your purpose and passion. Dive back into your memory and dig out those memories from your youth because your answer(s) will give you a clue about your life’s passion and purpose.
Plan to spend 10-15 minutes with a pen and paper and write down every career you remember wanting to have when you were a kid. As you list each job, also list what it was specifically about the job that led you to wanting to do it. What feeling did you want to get from it? How did you want that career to give? This is actually the most important part of the process, even more important than the job itself. This is going to help you remember what your heart desired then and perhaps still does.
Some feelings or results you may have desired:
- serving others
- discover new things
- be in the spotlight
- lift others up
I’ll start to give you some ideas. While there were many, including a professional rock climber and instructor for NOLS (adventure was in my soul), I’ll share just a few for the sake of time:
I can remember wanting to be a nurse when I was in first or second grade. While I don’t remember specifically what led me to want to do that, I can tell you that it wasn’t because I thought blood was cool. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think in the deepest parts of my soul, it must have been the desire to serve others.
Later in life, maybe 11th grade, I wanted to go into fashion merchandising. Specifically, I wanted to be a buyer for J. Crew. I loved their preppy style and the east coast vibe of their catalogs (no internet shopping back then, it was mail order. Millennials, go ask your mom if you are confused). Clothes always interested me and I felt they were a great way to express oneself. J.Crew had wearable fashion for every day life that was fun, comfortable and stylish. In essence, I believe my desire stemmed from wanting to help others feel great in what they are wearing.
Once I actually finished my first two years at a community college, I was on a different path entirely. At the time, my dream job was to be a corporate fitness expert. One who would set up a fitness and health plan for the employees of large corporations. I envisioned working in the top-notch health spa, helping the CEOs get healthy. Eating well and working out is a challenge when you run a company. I would be the trainer to motivate and educate them to take care of themselves. This career choice was of interest to me because health matters and life is far more enjoyable when you have good health. I wanted to share that philosophy.
In the back of my mind, if I could suddenly be blessed with coordination and rhythm, I would LOVE to have been a dancer (think J.LO pre-singing career). I’ve never had the courage to learn but I love music and breakout in dance when no one is around. I admire the energy and the strength it takes to dance well (plus the amazing body you get from all that cardio!). This dream needs to be incorporated into my current life more frequently. I’m thinking maybe Zumba at the gym would be a good place to start.
When I look back at these dreams, I see that while I may not hold a position in any of the jobs I wanted to pursue, I am definitely living the purpose of each one of those dreams:
- Serve others- my heart’s desire is to help women learn how to create the life they dream of
- Add beauty and style to the world with clothes- I teach how to dress to look your best with clothes that fit your body type and personality. It’s a winning combination that helps individuals feel amazing.
- Motivate and educate others how to care for themselves- I have experienced healthy mind/body and sick mind/body…healthy is better. Good health is a vital component to any successful life.
Now, let’s look at what I actually ended up doing after college:
I became a physical education specialist at inner city schools. I was a teacher. Teaching is what I do now only it is teaching YOU, not hundreds of children under the age of 10.
Seemingly unrelated dreams have a way of merging and giving life a new path.
Pretty cool, right? I mean, all these years of seemingly unrelated dreams ended up merging and giving me a new approach to life. I’m living my dream in a very different way than I could every have imagined! It is so cool to me how God weaves opportunities and desires to create something totally unexpected.
Is this true for you as well?
Take some time now to write down the dream jobs you can remember and why you wanted to do them. Can you connect the dots? Is something currently missing from your business or life that with this exercise you remember loving? Figure out how to incorporate it. Like me with the dancing idea… I’ll never be on stage dancing at the MTV Music Awards but I may catch on and not trip over my own feet during Zumba class one day and that would make me feel very accomplished!
When you rediscover the things that you were passionate about, figure out a way to incorporate them into your life and business. It could be a small tweak like listening to more classical music because it energizes you or it could be a major overhaul and you reinvent your business model to incorporate more travel. Keep an open mind and listen to your heart.
Once you have completed your trip down memory lane, leave a comment and share at least one career you wanted to do as a child and what the purpose for wanting to do that was. If you are unclear, keep considering, the answer will come. I’m here to help, so please, ask any questions you may have!