For a large portion of my life, I worked without a purpose. I accomplished things, but had no good understanding of why, and I ran into few others who did.
In school, it was about getting good grades to eventually get a good job. Getting a good job sounded fine at the time, but as I grew older, I realized that there was so much more.
A “good job” often means making a salary and spending it to keep the economic engine going. This can result in stress and debt with little life fulfillment.
I worked in retail during a portion of my career. While there, I realized that marketing focused primarily on subconsciously influencing consumers to purchase goods. On more than one occasion, I interacted with and mentored young leaders who were making great salaries but yielded to these marketing messages. As a result, they carried burdensome debt. These were very talented people with great intentions, but they lacked a why.
What if We Helped Children Understand their Purpose?
If we started helping young children understand their purpose, they would mature as individuals who are more thoughtful about how they spend their precious time and energy, as well as the money earned from their efforts.
This would shift the paradigm away from a world in which people trade dollars for hours, live with high levels of stress and anxiety, and have little to show for it at the end of their lives.
My life changed dramatically when I began to better understand my purpose.
Purpose and Health: A Case Study
In the early 1990s, I was a busy person, juggling family, career, community and a number of other things.
At the time, I worked for Michelin, a large international manufacturing firm. I loved the work and enjoyed the people. We were growing as an organization. I excelled and continued to receive opportunities to be challenged and inspired.
I spent 10-12 hours at work each day. Over a period of two years, I gained 30 pounds and started to have health problems. Nevertheless, I continued to work and stretch myself.
It was not until I started to experience pounding headaches and an inability to sleep that I went to a doctor. He prescribed medication, which I purchased and took. However, I didn’t experience any relief and continued to work long, hard hours.
Ultimately, I went back to the doctor. After a few more visits, the doctor suggested a CAT scan. I went for the procedure and returned to the doctor a few weeks later, when I was told no physical medical issues had been identified.
Stress and Mental Health
The doctor suggested I address my mental health. In his professional opinion, I was under severe stress and headed for depression. I was a relatively young and healthy former college athlete. I did not think what he was saying was possible.
However, I realized I needed to change after getting additional input from my wife, who shared that my life was out of balance. She also agreed to support me.
This led me on a journey that resulted in significant life change. I ultimately became a life coach. I also gained a better understanding of my purpose and conditioning as part of that process. I took on the challenge to slow down and consider my life journey in a more intentional way.
I realized that I have a passion for serving, equipping and positively affecting others as they travel their journey.
We are born selfish human beings, and it is not until we realize life is not all about us that we begin to experience its richest blessings.
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