For most of my life, I worked without considering my purpose. I accomplished things, but had no good understanding of why, and ran into few others who did.

In school, it was about getting good grades to 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. Getting a good job often ends up meaning making a salary and spending it to keep the economic engine going.

This can result in stress and debt with little fulfillment. It means getting on a treadmill running at high speed, which makes it difficult to get off.

I had the opportunity to work in the retail industry. While there, I realized that marketing focused primarily on subconsciously influencing consumers to purchase goods. On more than one occasion, inside and outside the company, I interacted with and mentored young leaders who were influenced by this “buy more now” message. As a result, these young people went into debt.

What if Children Understand the Value of Purpose?

These were very talented people with great intentions, but they lacked a why. 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 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. I realized that I have a passion for serving, equipping and positively affecting others as they travel their journey in life.

We are born selfish human beings, and it is not until we realize that life is not all about us that we begin to experience some of life’s rich blessings.

My Journey to Purpose

I was a busy person, juggling family, career, community and other things. I was occupied with activity, but had no sense of where I was going. 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, and I continued to receive opportunities to do work that challenged and inspired me.

Most of my time was spent at work—ten to twelve hours a day. Over a period of about two years in the early 1990s, I gained thirty 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 realized I needed to see a doctor, who prescribed medication to help with headaches and sleep. I purchased the medication and took it. However, I didn’t experience any relief. Still, I continued to work hard and for long hours.

Ultimately, I went back to the doctor. After a few more visits, he suggested a CAT scan of my head. I returned to the doctor a few weeks later for the results, and was told that the scan was clean and no physical medical issues had been identified.

However, the doctor suggested that I needed to address my mental health. In his professional opinion, I was probably under severe stress and headed for depression. I was shocked! I was a relatively young and healthy former college athlete. I did not think that what he was saying was possible.

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.

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