“Ambition is what we want to achieve. Aspiration is who we want to become.” Adam Grant
I have always been a goal-oriented person with a well-thought-out plan, and I’ve experienced a lot of personal and professional success (despite my fair share of setbacks) simply because I knew where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there. And yet, I spent a decent portion of my adult life struggling to find happiness.
Regardless of the progress, I made on my “Life Checklist”, I was still chasing personal fulfillment, as so many of us do. Fulfillment, meaning, purpose- it all seemed like an elusive desire until I enrolled in a personal development program that helped me get to the bottom of what fulfillment means for me. It all started with this question:
1. Are you living a life by design or by default?
I never thought about designing my life. I always assumed the “Life Checklist” I had been feverishly completing was the blueprint for happiness. But the void remained the same no matter how many items were completed on the list. It never dawned on me that this blueprint was just a sample that could be (and SHOULD BE) edited- no wonder so many of us are disappointed and unfulfilled. Once I gave myself permission to write my own rules for happiness, the real work began.
2. Clear your mind, your heart is trying to tell you something.
Finding your purpose can seem overwhelming, but it’s worth the soul searching because true fulfillment and happiness
Pushing yourself requires energy, and eventually that energy must be restored. But when you are being pulled in a direction, no energy is required. In fact, the things we gravitate to naturally are often an energy source- our passion. The more I explored my talents and passions, the more I realized how they are connected to my experiences, my journey, and ultimately my purpose.
3. Ask yourself: How will this shape my identity? Who do I want to become?
Most of us do a good job of creating personal and professional goals. The conflict arises when these goals are either A) not aligned with each other or B) not aligned with our purpose. What we do is important, but WHY we do it is more important. The WHY is connected to our identity, and our identity is connected to our purpose. Before I commit to something, I ask myself how this will help me become who I want to be, who I’m meant to be. In a world full of distractions and artificial demands, living in your purpose can be difficult. It requires focus and discipline.
4. Reflect on yourself and your purpose daily.
YOU are your biggest project in life. Not your relationship, not your career, not your children. In fact, you will be more successful in those facets of your life when you are truly aligned with your purpose. My WHY’s continue to develop and refine, just as who I am and why I’m here continues to evolve. Every day I get closer to understanding and fulfilling my purpose, and I’m a happier person for it.
Life can leave so many of us reeling, asking “Why me?” or “How did I get here?” For me, transitioning to motherhood while simultaneously maneuvering a divorce, was the catalyst for reevaluating my life and the motives behind my past choices. Going forward, I wanted so much more for myself and I believed it was possible, so I was willing to do the soul-searching work.
As a former sales executive, turned small business owner, motivating and inspiring others to reach their fullest potential has always been the best part of my job, and that took on new meaning once I became a mother. Writing has always been both fun and cathartic for me, and a talent that’s peaked its little head throughout my career.
In utilizing my struggle and combining these two passions, I’ve found happiness in my blog, Leading Between The Lines. This blog has given me a platform to fulfill what I believe is my purpose- helping women to become successful leaders at home and in the
You now have the steps to put your own puzzle together. My advice- do the work, enjoy the process. You owe it to yourself and the people you love. And the rewards will be more than you can imagine. Let us know your thoughts in the comments on Women On Topp!