Living on Purpose: Kandice Sumner

[ted id=2616]

Living on Purpose: Kandice Sumner

Kandice boldly speaks out about the challenges of educating students in today’s public school system. Having been given the opportunity to get a “better” education as a result of mandatory desegregation and busing she shares her story and her passion for making education fair and accessible for all students. Living on purpose is about being passionate and seeking to make a difference even when the odds appears to be stacked against you. As an educator her purpose has nothing to do with making money or making a name for herself. It is all about “her” kids all 696 of them.

Thank you Kandice for living on purpose.

Video and picture courtesy of TED talks at ted.com.

Purpose of Life: Are You on a Focused Path?

As part of my new endeavor, in May 2010, I continued blogging with a new purpose under Free in the Spirit, which has its own history, as this blog originated before I became a Life Coach. I spent the past five years honing my skills and shifting my focus because I realized that it was easy to become a Life Coach but not so easy to establish a niche, as the market is huge.

So here I am again blogging but not under Free in the Spirit. This blog is intentionally related to my niche and my destiny. But I purposely included some of my old posts here as well. When I wrote 40 Days of Success back in 2010, it was my first attempt to write on purpose. I have known since I was a teen that I was a writer but I failed to focus my craft over the years.

As you will see in those posts, there were some days when I did not have a clear focused topic. But I published something anyway because the goal was to write for 40 days straight. I will admit that it was not easy either. There were days when I did not want to continue but I knew if I quit, then I would not be successful as a writer.

Never confuse activity with productivity. — Rick Warren

Focused for a Purpose

I was being proactive but was I really being productive? No, I was attempting to become productive but during that 40 days I did not produce much. Why? I lacked focus. My writing did not have a focus. I wrote about random things which as a collective did not amount to one solid piece of work. I realized this when I attempted to rewrite the series into a short e-book. Upon careful review, I found that in the entire 40 days I only produced five consistent pieces that I could bring together into one solid e-book, called The Cycle of Failure. I did have some decent posts in the last ten days, as I became more focused and deliberate about the content. But during that time the purpose of my writing was to create discipline as a writer.

Lack of focus will have you spiraling in all directions, always starting things but rarely completing anything. I continued to write sporadically until 2013, when my voice went silent. I was silent because I did not have focus nor a purpose for the blog. I allowed God to pour into me and I began a five-year journey towards purpose. I went back to school to focus my craft of writing and Life Coaching as I knew this was my destiny. But I also knew that I would not be effective in either unless I allowed God to show me how to use them purposefully. It was a long journey and it took much discipline because I had to shut people out as I became purposeful in the use of my time and energy.

Focus Feeds Purpose

Today is quite different for me. As a result of my purposeful endeavors I am focused. I have been writing consistently now for two years. I completed a book, write poetry daily, and am currently working on two other books. I write on my phone, my tablet, in many notebooks, on my computer, and anything else that will allow me to record. I now have enough content to write several books. I launched out into the world of fiction writing and now maintain two blogs producing focused, deliberate content on a weekly basis. Very seldom do I sit down and struggle to find something to write about because knowing why I am doing this empowers me to create.

My purpose for writing is to be the voice for the voiceless, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and empower them to live on purpose. Writing is the vehicle God has given me to uplift others by sharing my journey and by showing others that anything is possible when you believe, in God first, then in yourself. Allowing God to shift your focus is the first step towards living on purpose.

Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
9 Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor. – Proverbs 31:8-9 (Voice Translation)

Day 40 – My Success

Today is the last day of the Forty Days to Success journey. So I know you are asking was this a success or rather what is my success? Yes it was a success, because I finished the journey. Success is finishing what you started. But let’s take inventory of where I started and where I am now.

Forty days ago I was immobilized by fear. The fear of so many things not exactly because the fear was real, most are not. But just fearful of the unknown, today I have embraced those fears and I am moving forward. I made quite a few confessions in the past week about my real desires and did not allow the fear to stop me.

I realized that I am really at a great point in my life. I stand here at this crossroad ready to go over into an area I have been trying to get to for most of my adult life. My business is successful because in the past week I have had three new inquiries for web projects that are going to become paying clients, two have already signed. I also have another prospective client to jump start my business coaching. I am preparing to launch my final website and to officially publish my first book.

But this is about more than business. This is about living not just waking up everyday and going through the routines, but really living. Enjoying each day good and bad. Not being afraid to take the chances even when it may look like the odds are not in your favor. But if it makes you happy and brings you joy, why not?

I saw For Colored Girls today and cried through most of it because yet again here was another movie that I was able to relate to in too many ways. But the truth is that I am tired of living that life, tired of being afraid because of the things that happened to me. The truth is that they did not succeed. I am still alive, breathing, loving and growing. I am not sick, crazy or depressed. I have three beautiful children who are flourishing and happy. I am in love with myself.

This is my success!! Thank you for reading my blog and following me on this journey.

Love, Peace and Prosperity

Athena

Day 39 – Start Living, It’s Not too Late

 

I got a new client today. I was so excited because she found me in the yellow book, which means my ad is paying for itself. Life moves so quickly, one moment you are thinking about something, just an idea and the next you find yourself bringing the idea to life. This was just an idea about six months ago. Just like this journey is almost done.

My new client just turned 72 and she is still very active. She has only been retired for two years. She has so much spirit, enthusiasm, and a great desire to make a difference. At her age she has decided to take on a project that she is passionate about. I am honored to be working with her and pray that I will continue to have that much energy when I reach her age.

Life is too short to continue to make excuses for dreams not realized and goals not met. It is never too late to start over or finish something you started years earlier. Life only ends when you stop moving, stop dreaming and stop making a difference. What are you passionate about? I am passionate about making sure that people with Asperger’s have a voice and resources available to be successful. It is something I will always work on for business and charity.

Get up and start moving today. Tomorrow is too late and yesterday will never come again.

Day 38 – Life Balance is a Key to Success

We have talked about many things that are keys to success. Although many of the items refer to operating a business these keys are not just for career or business purposes. You can apply these keys towards your personal areas as well.

I have a few personal areas that I am working on as well and want to succeed in. I am applying the keys to them as well. Today I heard some good news about someone else who has achieved a level of personal success. They are starting a new family and a new life. I was so excited about that.

But at the same time it made me look at my own personal success. I cannot measure my success by someone else’s so I had to look at my personal life to see if it requires some of the same attention that I have given to my business life. The answer is yes. So I have decided to work on my personal success as well.

Having a balanced life is important. Giving all of your attention to one area will pull resources from others and cause a deficit. While my business is very important, as it will affect my ability to take care of my family, it is not worth sacrificing other areas of my life.

So as you pursue your goals make sure that you divide your time equally and don’t neglect any areas of your life. Having a well-balanced lifestyle is an essential key to success.

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 33 – Revelation is a Key to Success

Today was a revelation day for me. I know I am headed into new horizons and I need to know what I am looking for. God gave me that vision today. I have been depressed for the last few days. I was not sure about the exact source of the sadness but today my eyes were opened.

I was allowed to see the painful truth of my life, while some of it was nothing new to me. Most of it was still quite depressing and sad. Somehow I had allowed myself to have a pity party for a few days. Today as I was listening to an audio book, which will become our next journey, I realized that I have lost my contentment.

Why was I no longer content with what God had given me? Why was I so unhappy all of a sudden? I realized that the truth hurts and can throw you into a pity party. However although I was faced with some harsh reality, I also was allowed to get a glimpse of where I am going. This reality is necessary so that today will be the last day that I have to live in this harsh reality.

Okay so what does that mean? It does not mean that tomorrow I will magically walk out of the situation. It means that this path is necessary for me to get to my next destination. I will need to focus on implementing the vision that God has given me within the allotted time. It means I have to suck it up and realize that things could be much worse than what they are and return to my state of contentment.

I have never experienced a depression during the holidays. I know others who have. I did not like it and when I wrote my list of last time things I stated that this is the last holiday season that I will spend depressed.

So my challenge to you is to use the power of your voice and pen. Write out your list of last time things. 2011 holds so much for you but you have to be ready to let go of those things that will hinder you. Write your list today!

Day 32 – The New Year is Here

Well New Year’s day was quiet and restful. I enjoyed the day and the time we had off. The children go back to school on Monday and we had to do winter packages. So today was the day to get reoriented with work and school. I made some preliminary preparations for my return to work on Monday.

So now that it is here what do we do? What do most people actually do on New Year’s Day? It is not like Christmas you exchange gifts on Christmas and spend time with family. But what do you do on New Year’s Day? Planning is probably a good thing to do because it is the first day of the year.

Take some time to map out where you are going and how you will get there this year.

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 28 – The Ability to Keep Walking is a Key to Success

I wish I could tell you that you won’t encounter scary moments on your journey and that the road will be smooth and not bumpy. But the reality is that you will encounter moments where you may stand still in terror. But you need to have a solid foundation that will allow you to keep walking, despite the terror.

Within the first three years of my business I was hired to produce the 20th anniversary booklet for a local church. It was supposed to be a keepsake booklet. They hired me to do the layout, design the cover and get the books printed. I can’t remember how many books they needed but I am sure it was over two hundred.

I completed the layout and they loved the design of the book. I hired a printer and set out to get the books done. I had to deliver the books for the anniversary service. Well the printer messed up the cover and there was not enough time to have them reprinted. The colors did not come out right and the books were ruined. I was so upset and embarrassed. I don’t like to deliver less than perfect quality in anything I do. Needless to say they were not going to call me back next year. Yeah I can joke about it now but that was one of my terror moments. I was scared that this mistake would end my business. There was a part of me that wanted to go put my head in the sand and quit this business all together.

Find Your Strength

Habakkuk 3:19 says “The Lord God is my strength my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk [not stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” This was one of the many times in my life I was able to stand on this exact strength and keep walking.

I did not end my business. I went to the Pastor of the church, apologized, gave them a refund and delivered the books, all knowing that they would probably never hire me again. So it was a learning experience for me. A costly one but it helped to define the foundation of my business.

So I say to you, find your pillar of strength. Use whatever source you have in your life to lean on for the strength to keep you going when you encounter a terror moment. The ability to keep walking and not stand still in terror is a key to success.