Three years wandering in the desert of, “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” has led me to a new place in life. And I’m glad.
But getting here required a journey that included all of the lions and tigers and bears you can imagine. The secret is that those lions and tigers and bears all belonged to me.
My wandering occurred in three basic stages.
Stage One: I’m Unhappy and I Don’t Know Why
My change started with a general discomfort concerning what I was doing with my life. Suddenly:
Basically, my life sounded a lot like Charlie Brown’s teacher — waa waa, waa waa waa waa. No distinct messages, just some noise. I decided to change my life, and the fears flooded in.
Stage One Fears
Stage Two: If Only I Had a Destination
As I finally confirmed that I needed to change my life, I failed to understand what that change was supposed to be. Suddenly:
This period of chaos was absolutely terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Every day I had a new destination that was absolutely “IT.” These ranged from a corporate job to returning to my last consulting client to selling shoes. Each time, I was wrong.
Stage Two Fears
As I stood in the tornado of change, my greatest fears were:
I finally learned to sit still in the chaos and listen. I signed up for a coaching program that taught me to isolate my fearful thoughts and dissolve them. I had a very special coach that I highly recommend named Terry DeMeo who said, “What would it be like if you woke up tomorrow and didn’t need to find your ultimate calling?” I realized I’d have more energy and less anxiety. I decided to focus on one step at a time.
Stage Three: The Next Step is Clear, and That’s Enough
While I’m still wondering about the financial aspects of my change, I know that I’m going in the right direction. I still see-saw between complete peace and slight panic, but I no longer feel lost. It’s like I’ve found my yellow brick road, and my mind is learning not to make the obstacles so terrifying. Instead, I listen to the lessons they teach me and keep moving.
I’ve realized that if I crave the end of my journey then I might be craving an end I don’t want to face. I have the honor of traveling every day, the thrill of discovery, and the adrenaline that comes with each challenge.
I’ve let go of most of the fear and found a heart that has been under-utilized over the past twenty-five years. Maybe my heart’s desire is just the desire to serve the heart.
Whatever it is, my purpose is not the destination. It’s the next step. And, that I can do.