In the past couple of years I have been on a mission to align what I am passionate about with my life purpose. In doing this I had to first ask myself two questions; what am I passionate about? And what is my life purpose? These are not easy questions; particularly the second one that is ever elusive to so many of us. I pondered the ‘purpose’ question for quite some time. I had a desire to be more purposeful with my life. Call it a mid-life reckoning that I stumbled into as I approached, dare I say…50. I knew it was a time in my life that I wanted to reflect and rejuvenate my day to day presence in the world.
The pursuit of determining my life ‘purpose’ felt a little bit like that childhood book ‘Are you My Mother?’ Would I know it when I saw my purpose? Or would I have to ask ‘Are you my Purpose?’ What happened was an epiphany of sorts. It wasn’t while meditating on a mountain top or in the Ashram in India where this epiphany came to me. It was while pulling out of the driveway at my house – I know it must sound so mundane – but it was a moment that the thought popped into my head so clearly that I stopped the car to look around and see if maybe I had an unknown passenger! Actually I had been pondering this question so intently that I think the answer came just as intently. The message to me was that my purpose was to be in service. While it was a very broad ‘purpose’ it has helped to focus my life and it led me to diverge from the path that I was on which was a high level executive in one of the largest IT companies in the world.
Finding what I am passionate about seemed a much simpler and less mysterious a quest. I ended up with three areas of focus. First, I knew I had a passion to serve the community, local and beyond. I have expanded my service on non-profit organization Board of Directors (St. John’s Women and Children’s Shelter, American Red Cross, American Leadership Forum) and started a non-profit (Pathway to Prevention). Second, I also have a passion for diversity and leadership in all types of organizations. I decided to write a book to share my experience, start (or reinvigorate!) the conversation around the power of diversity with the intent to inspire people to see the true power of diversity. And my third focus was on my health and well-being. How could I have the energy to serve the community and inspire others without being in good overall fitness and health? I’d say, not very well. Over the past couple of decades I was focused on my family and my corporate career. There was time for little else. My kids are young adults now, out of the house, and I’ve retired from my corporate career to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and community service. This changed how my daily flow takes place. I have added a fitness regimen that has changed so many aspects of my mind, body, spirit. I’ve become a triathlete and love the cross training workouts.
The variety of work that I now do with my non-profit project, Boards, book and speaking engagements are exhilarating. I wake up every day excited to start with my cross-training, then on to my various meetings, working on my writing and speaking engagements, serving in the community. Everything I do has purpose and everything I spend time on is a passion of mine. It’s a wonderful life!