PURPOSE OF LIFE: ARE YOU LIVING ON PURPOSE?

The state of the economy challenged many to examine their professional lives as they lose jobs they once believed would be there until retirement. Losing a job you really wanted or needed does something to your perspective. Suddenly things don’t look the same anymore.

A woman woke up one morning, went about her usual routine only to realize that something had changed. She no longer felt the same zest she had before perhaps it was because she was sitting at the kitchen table alone. Her youngest had started college a few weeks ago, her husband was off to his job and there she was. Alone!

A man who has invested 20 years in one company questions his next move. He was recently offered a job that he has waited his entire career for, but he’s not so sure its what he wants. He sits in his office and remembers the first day on this job. He was so excited and eager to learn everything. Now he barely makes it to work on time each morning, noticing that it takes him longer to get motivated each day. He begins to question what he would do if he did not take this job. Is there something more meaningful for him?
Self Revelation

The people mentioned above have entered into some level of self-revelation as they ponder their current life choices and whether they are still meeting the same level of fulfillment in their lives. Prior to identifying your life purpose you must first know who you are and what it will take to fulfill you.

There are many ways to go about this task, but the biggest step is realizing that a change is necessary, then taking steps to learn more about who you are and what things interest you. This journey can be challenging especially if you have not spent much time with yourself. The lady in the first scenario probably hasn’t spent much time with herself because as a full-time mother she has made her children her focus and was not paying close attention to her own interests.

Work vs. Fulfillment

Many people are now on the search for fulfillment in their lives. No longer satisfied with making a big paycheck or finding a job with a good company people have begun to wonder if their lives have meaning. If so, should the work they do have meaning as well? Was I created for a purpose? That is the question they ask themselves.

The American dream consists of finding a good job, paying your bills, buying a home and raising your family. Most never thought that there should be more in life. But there are some who don’t follow this path. They devote their lives to service such as becoming a nun, a priest, a minister, volunteering or creating organizations that help serve a community. These people are usually not the norm but the exception. Surely their lives have meaning right?

One can achieve fulfillment in work without devoting their entire life to the types of service listed above. There are many people who are re-evaluating their career choices and choosing careers that bring them fulfillment rather than just a paycheck.

The Next Step

Finding one’s purpose in life is rapidly becoming more important. 41% of consumer requests submitted to Noomii.com for life coaching services were related to discovering one’s purpose in life or career. Where do you stand on this question? Are you living on purpose or by accident?

To learn more about discovering your purpose, there are many resources and entry points available. Choosing one that fits you depends upon who you are. There are Christian based programs that help people discover God’s plan for their lives, one of which is the bestseller The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Another spiritually based approach is A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. Working with a Life Coach is an excellent way to discover your purpose in life as well.

Whatever avenue you choose, it is a spiritual journey that begins with God. Knowing that you are connected to God who has placed you here for a specific reason fuels the journey towards purpose and brings forth peace, prosperity and clarity.

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes

A true visionary and entrepreneur, Bishop T.D. Jakes exudes purpose. Not just when he is in the pulpit but wherever he is, he commands the attention of his audience and inspires them towards purpose. Bishop Jakes is a producer, minister, author, and talk show host. In everything he does his purpose is always the same to uplift people and help them live better lives.

Carolyn Brown from Black Enterprise Magazine originally shared Bishop Jakes’ 11 Principles to Succeed in Business and Life. 

“Here are some of the top lessons the bishop has learned about operating a business and living life authentically:

  1. “You can hire intelligence, but you cannot hire instinct. Instinct can tell you what, why, and when to do something (such as when do you launch a product).”
  2. “Intellect loads the gun —but instinct pulls the trigger.”
  3. “If you have no records, you’re a hustler, not a business person. Data is a tool.”
  4. “Every opportunity I’ve ever seen came dressed as an obstacle.”
  5. “We are aborting too many thoughts prior to birthing them—all success starts as a thought.”
  6. “You are so busy with people who drain you, you don’t have time for people who build you.”
  7. “When what is in you is bigger than what is around you, you have to crack out of that shell.”
  8. “I refuse to be a slave to who you think I am.”
  9. “Find people like you in work ethic, but different in talent. Hire someone to complete you, not compete with you.”
  10. “I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid of not living first.”
  11. “We all have a destiny. Find the courage to drive past the challenges, pains, and even the shortcuts of life.”

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is similar to sports coaching only you are the player and the sport is living the best life you can. Living by focus, on purpose and not by accident.

As your life coach I am your:

  • Cheering squad – cheer you towards victory
  • Defensive coordinator – push you to work hard and stay focused
  • Play coach – help you develop your strategy and game plan so you can focus on meeting your goals.

I listen intently and reflect on what is said to help you use God’s word to focus and implement your life purpose.

Start Your Own Business

There is so much involved in starting a business. It takes a lot of work and patience to successfully launch a business and turn a profit. However, many people underestimate the investment of time and planning that is involved before you get your first client or before the major expansion.

In 2010 my company celebrated ten years in business. I could not believe it had been that long. I started out part-time, just to have something to do while I was at home with my children. I grew to love the independence, the power in setting your own agenda, and helping others with their visions. I was making pretty good money on a part-time basis began to explore working the business full-time. But my life plan did not permit me to launch my business full-time.

Plan, Plan and Plan More

That did not stop me though. During my fifth year in business I started planning to launch the business full-time. I was going to launch when my youngest went to school all day. I conducted research and revised my business plan. I decided how I was going to expand, getting office space, adding additional services, and advertising. But it did not happen then. Life happened and I had to alter those plans slightly.

But life dealt me a pretty good hand back in December 2009 when I got laid off from my full-time job. My entrepreneurial spirit was reborn and I began a journey to revitalize my business. It feels good to see those plans come to life. In the process I added a new service, Life Coaching. Which I am passionate about and realize that I have been coaching most of my professional life.

New Opportunities

As our country recovered from the recession, companies were slow to hire. Therefore many are still without jobs. Although there is some growth in the job market, the game has changed. Now most entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. As a result many workers are displaced, including myself. But I turned this into an opportunity.

As I stated earlier, in 2010 I introduced Life Coaching. Since then it has become my primary business and I now longer have the original business that I started 15 years ago. I also returned to school to complete my bachelor’s degree in Psychology-Life Coaching to better position me for business opportunities as a Life Coach. When you are in business people want to know that you are a qualified professional in your area. Therefore pursuing additional education and credentials will lend credibility to your business.

I believe that independent contractors will fair better because companies are still weary about being saddled with the long-term expenses of carrying additional employees. Therefore, we will begin to see a trend of short-term contract positions. One of the most recent surges in this area can be seen with the company Uber, who hires drivers as independent contractors using their own vehicles to offer their transportation services. Traditionally a company would have purchased a fleet of vehicles and hired drivers. But this would have also cut into their profits. Are you ready to market yourself as an Independent Contractor? Do you know where to start?

Discover Your Passion

Start by discovering your passion and then what your marketable skills are. Look at some of the positions you are interested in and consider submitting a proposal to the hiring manager to bring you on as an independent contractor. But do your homework first. Research the type of service you want to provide and make sure that there is a demand. You must also make sure that you price your services appropriately. Ask for what you are worth but make sure it fits within industry standards and that you can justify your rates.

I am so thankful for those early years because I learned a lot about being in business, discovered my passion, and life purpose. I did my homework and planned how I to get started as an independent contractor and how to conduct my business. Those years of planning served as my foundation so when it is time to really launch, all I have to do is dust off my business plan, update some things, and get started.

In order to be successful in business your life plan needs to compliment your business plan. What ever you decide to do, do it passionately, and live your life on purpose.

Day 37 – Conquering Fear is a Key to Success

Fear is false evidence appearing real and it is a real pain. Fear grips so many of us and keeps us from moving forward. Today I listened to a sermon about fear and the preacher posed a question. What would you do if you had no fear? Keep in mind that you would still make a wise decision but you would have no fear in executing it.

If I had absolutely no fear I would attempt all of my best business ideas, especially if I had the funds. I get so many good ideas but most of the time I am fearful that they will not work. I will sometimes talk myself out of things due to some level of fear. I am pursuing many things right now based on wise decisions but they are new and I don’t know what the outcome may be. Therefore I am fearful and hesitating a bit.

It is your turn, if you had no fear what would you do? Think about some of the things that you could do for yourself that fear is keeping you from. Then take it a step farther; what would it take for the fear to be removed?

No fear equals boldness, confidence and faith. No fear means as long as I trust in my God-given wisdom there is no reason not to proceed. No fear means the world looks different, things look possible, and success is within reach.

Day 36 – Developing a Plan is a Key to Success

I have a challenge for you. It is time to develop your 2011 plan. The other day you spent time writing your list that stated this is the last time I… Now that you know what you want to end I want you to focus on what you will build this year.

First let’s break the year up into quarters, the check in dates are March 31, 2011, June 30, 2011, September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2011. I want you to write two goals per quarter that you will work towards for the year. Make sure that the goals are SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-specific

When setting your goals for 2011 make sure that you clearly identify what you want to achieve. Use the check in dates from above as possible due dates. If the goal requires more than three months then use the check in date to measure your progress and then adjust your plan accordingly.

I think a yearly plan is much better than making resolutions. How many of us actually keep the resolutions? By developing a plan you will set up a process to hold yourself accountable and it will become more real. If you need help with accountability, then find an accountability partner. If one of your goals is to lose weight or exercise, find a friend who has the same goal and work together. Hold each other accountable and encourage each other when things get tough.

If your goals are more detailed you may want to hire a Professional Life Coach to help you implement your plan. One of my 2011 business goals is to bless two people with a Time to Soar Coaching package (a $1349 value). If you are interested in one of the packages, please complete the Are You Coachable quiz and make sure to include your email address. You will be contacted to schedule a free consultation. The selected candidates will be notified by January 31, 2011.

Day 35 – Learning is a Key to Success

I love to learn new things. The problem is that sometimes I jump around to many things. I am a naturally curious person and love to know how things work. A friend called me today to ask me to do her taxes. As I thought about it I realized that I have taken so many courses in so many fields.

To date I have been trained to do taxes by H&R Block, to become a Realtor (just did not take the license exam), hold an Accounting certificate, HTML certificate, Life Coaching Certificate, and Business Writing Certificate. Yes I have learned many things over the years.

Although I did not stay in the career paths for some of those professions, the knowledge has proven to be an asset. Little did I know then that all of these courses would end up becoming a foundation for me as I started and operated my own business.

Constant learning keeps your skills sharp and ensures that you stay in the loop with the latest trends in your field. You can never learn too much. You may not have to take courses all the time; you can also increase your learning through reading, trade associations, conferences and workshops.

Constant learning is a key to success. Never stop seeking knowledge.

Day 31 – The Eve of a New Year

It is New Year’s Eve and I want to share my day with you today. I started my day with the intentions of going somewhere tonight. I did not want to sit at home for New Year’s. I really wanted to be in the sanctuary of my church in Baltimore. But I cannot drive my car right now; therefore I was trying to get two of my friends to go with me. I asked earlier in the week. I was not upset when it turned out that they would not go. One of my girlfriends moved into her first home this week. I am so happy for her and was not upset at all that she was tired.

So I sent out a text message this morning to about ten people to see what their plans were. I was really trying to text one person but it went to ten. Six people responded. All had wonderful plans. I was happy to hear that they were going to be bringing the New Year in with people they loved. I was going to go with one of my other girlfriends to a gathering at one of her friends house.

I took the children bowling, which seemed to be such a big deal. I don’t know why I was so emotional, so edgy, so just not there. We got through the bowling. The excitement wore off half way through the first game, that was not good since I had paid for two games. We painfully got through the next game and needless to say were very ready to go. But the trip was good for the children; everyone fell asleep in the car on the way home.

So I connected with my other girlfriend, the new homeowner. I want you all to know that I am extremely proud of her for achieving such an important goal. She really deserves this and the many more blessings she is due to receive. But she even offered to go with me this evening to the gathering because I did not want to be a third wheel hanging with my other girlfriend and her man.

I was still very undecided about what I really wanted to do. By the time I got home I was very emotional and did not really want to be anywhere but in Ohio. See I know where I wanted to be tonight and with whom I wanted to bring the New Year in with. But I knew that I was not able to be with them. This made me very sad and disappointed. I felt it very hard when I returned home.

So I ended up home and about 8:30 pm it was sealed that I was not going anywhere. So I turned on my computer and watched my pastor preach. His sermon was entitled “I Need a Break”. God was waiting for me. The words that he said came right out of my heart and out of my mouth just about an hour earlier. I said those very words “I need a break” and why does everything have to be a challenge for me.

The words blessed me so much and I got some much-needed answers. I was not meant to go anywhere but right to the alter tonight. As the tears rolled down my cheek, I did not realize my heart was so heavy. I could not take notes, I could not talk, all I could do was cry. But there is so much peace and excitement in knowing that God listens to me and knows what I need before I do.

I am ready for my new year and excited that I can leave these tears in 2010. I can look forward to new beginnings, double portions and peace. The word my pastor spoke said that I would never have another year like 2010. So as I look forward to 2011 I am glad to say goodbye to wandering, to feeling lost, to having less than what I am entitled to, to disappointments from the same people, and to faithless people.

Happy New Year!

Day 29 – Being True to Your Self is a Key to Success

I have been quoting a lot of Bible scriptures in the last few posts. God is always present in my life and the Bible gives me inspiration, direction and peace. I know that not everyone shares that but I am sure there is something that does the same for you. It may be the words of wisdom from a mentor, an author, a motivational speaker, a religious leader, Buddha or other religious texts such as the Qur’an. Whatever it is you should seek it diligently and use it to find the truth.

I gave both of my sons study Bibles for Christmas so that they could begin their journey toward their truth. Each Bible has additional content that is geared toward their age group. I have found myself drawn to my younger son’s Bible. It is the Guy’s Life Application Bible and written with extra text that relate to the issues of boys between the ages of nine to thirteen.  I really liked the scripture on the first page that states:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

Very adequate considering the Bible is geared towards young boys. However this scripture is not about a young boy. It is about a prophet named Timothy who was young in his ministry. Paul admonished him to not allow others opinion of him to lessen his self-confidence. He was chosen for the task at hand and was well equipped to carry it out. But people may look at his youth and think that he was not qualified. Instead he told him to become the standard, be an example in all you do and say.

We can be our own worst critics and may feel unworthy, under qualified or say to ourselves. “Who am I do this?” But I say to you “Who are you not to do this?” Let your light shine! Find your truth, your passion, that thing ignites you and brings a smile to your face and do it. Do it just because you want to, because you love to. If one of your friends or family members looks at you and says, “What are you doing?” Just look back at them, smile and keep going.

This happened to me the other day. I was feeling really good and I like to wear nice pieces of jewelry, different styles not typical ones. Well on this day I was wearing a choker necklace I have had for many years. I never wore it much because I did not have matching earrings. Well a few months ago I found a unique pair of matching earrings. I wore the set earlier this week. It looked good on me and was quite sexy.

Well a family member saw me wearing it and commented. They said, “Is that choking your neck?” “Why are you trying to be so fancy?” I did not comment, I simply smiled and kept going. I felt good in it and it looked good on me. I was not going to allow some else’s negative opinion of it to make me stop wearing it. In fact, I can’t wait to wear it again. I am setting an example and will continue to do so.

I am living my life on purpose, not by accident. I am doing things deliberately and with much passion. It was a decision I made a few years ago when I found myself suddenly single again with three children. The world is mine and before me stands a clean slate. Yes I made some mistakes but they were yesterday. Tomorrow is open for discussion. I want to enjoy my life and seek to do so. I no longer try to bury my passions instead I use them a fuel.

Find your truth, embrace your passion and use it to fuel your life! Get going!

Day Eighteen – Following Your Calling is a Key to Success

I talk about change quite a bit. Perhaps its because nothing in the last seven years of my life has remained the same. There has been change in every area of my life. Not bad changes just major changes. Today my life does not look like anything I am used to. Next year my life will look even more different.

My goal is to live the life that God has already predestined for me. To surrender my wants and to adopt his will. I have been seeking what would please me and not God. Thinking that I could not do without those things I was holding on to so tightly. I can specifically remember that God told me to let go of something almost two years ago and I was disobedient. I did not do it. But that thing has since become something that I cannot stand. It has become something that is detestable to me. I know full well that my feelings about it will not change. I don’t know why God said to let it go but I will never know why if I don’t. Therefore today I surrendered it to God.

Season of Calling

My path is already laid out and it is very specific. There are many things that God has for me to do. They require all of my dedication and determination. January marks the beginning of that season. The season of calling where all that do will be related to the calling on my life. Every person in my life will have place in that calling. Not that I don’t still love my friends but I have to be obedient and focus on what God has given me. So I ask my friends to understand in advance that it is not personal. I still love them dearly but right now it is all about God and my calling.

Are you ready to prosper? What will it require for you to position yourself to follow God’s chosen path for your life? Do you realize that is your road to prosperity? Living your calling, whatever it is, is your path towards prosperity. If you want to learn more about finding your calling or being able to clearly understand how all of this relates to you, please contact me. I will give you a free initial consultation to help you determine your path towards prosperity.