When you ask a legend, “How did you know you were destined for greatness?” the most common answer is that they never knew where they were going until they were told that they had arrived.
Most people who accomplish great things do so by taking a single step in the direction they’ve set their minds and hearts to every day- rain or shine. It’s easy to appreciate someone who stands at the top of their field for the contributions that they make to our society, but it’s rare that we acknowledge the daily effort they had to put into becoming the best.
One of the most common challenges that I see in executive clients is the struggle to maintain momentum- to keep the passion for what they do alive and burning. This becomes extremely critical when what the client does for a living defines who they are as a human being. When it becomes apparent that their professional identity is their only identity, that reality is often accompanied by a great many other challenges- difficulties with their family lives, a lacking social support network, and most commonly, a lack of self-identity.
The only way that we can overcome such hurdles is to pursue our life’s purpose. And while that sounds like a daunting task, it’s what we were made for. Every human being is unique. We each are given gifts- strengths and weaknesses- that make us into who we are and what we are capable of. It is the lifelong search to discover those talents and to use them for the greater good that secures our self-identity and puts us on the path to being great.
Monday Morning Perspective
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” –Robert Byrne
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” –Oprah Winfrey
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mohandas K. Gandhi
It’s a lucky man or woman who finds their entire life’s purpose in their professional career. The truth remains that most of us will find some piece of the puzzle in our professional endeavors, but the remainder of the masterpiece lies in the other areas of our lives.
I love what I do for a living- and thankfully that shows in the passion that I have for making people and organizations thrive. But being a consultant is not the totality of my life’s purpose. I’m a wife, a mother, a friend, and a member of my community. I’m a Christian. All of these things are the building blocks of who I am today, but none of them alone set the course for the things I am able to do in this life I’ve been given.
The truth is simple- each of the smaller “roles” I’ve chosen in life prepare me to serve others in different ways. The roles themselves are not what make for a fulfilling life. It is the service that I am able to provide in each of my roles that lead to happiness and a sense of self-identity.
Life isn’t meant to be lived in just one “role”. We human beings are created with a phenomenal capacity to extend our horizons, exploring our capabilities and developing new skills by which we contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
So if you find that life seems less satisfying than you’d hoped it would be, personally or professionally- just remember that every day presents an opportunity for each of us to move out of the rut of the familiar and comfortable and into the challenge of what’s possible. Whether that means taking on a new role at work, joining your local service club to give back to the community, befriending someone new, rekindling your relationship with your significant other, or taking more time to spend with your children- now is the time to put one foot in front of the other and move forward to what we were intended for.
After all, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been!” (George Elliot)
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2012. All rights reserved.