Purpose and Course Correction

February 09, 2020 4 min read

If you follow me on Instagram or have read my website, you’ll know that my grand passion is about living into our purpose. As far back as I can remember, I have always been 100% certain that each of us has a unique purpose in life, a gift, and that when we find it and live into it we feel whole. I still believe this, more than ever now.

For some people, finding their purpose is as easy as waking up in the morning. Take Beethoven and Mozart for example. Those guys were performing in public at seven years old, already on their way to full-on prodigy mastery. At that age I was obsessed with Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, devoting hours each day to honing my superpowers. While I didn’t have nearly as good a read on my purpose as Beethoven and Mozart, I do think I was on the right track. I still have a bit of Jaime Sommers inside of me. I mean, I just may have superpowers but I keep that to myself. Nobody likes a braggart.

What did you love to do as a kid? There is always a clue in there about purpose. For me, it truly was about the possibilities. What was I capable of? I still wonder that each day. What are we capable of if we fully commit?

Even when we know our purpose and work toward it, we can get off course. Perhaps we get complacent with our discipline and good habits; maybe a challenging life situation tosses us in the waves until we don’t know which end is up; or daily life tasks begin to take over until we no longer prioritize the quiet time we need to connect to ourselves.

This had been happening to me. In the last two years I have been laser focused on my work because I know I am on the right path. Still, a few months ago things began to feel off, sort of wobbly. While I was on the right path, I could tell something was amiss. I figured it out: my coordinates were off. It is best if this is caught early because the further one travels with faulty coordinates, the greater the distance from the planned destination.

Course corrections become more important the closer we get to our purpose. Aim is important! We may be heading the right direction but just a few degrees of deviation can be like trying to travel to Los Angeles only to find you bought a ticket for Louisiana.

Course corrections take some time, at least for me. They require a deliberate slowing down and listening, without judgment. It is always a process of growth and we usually can't know exactly where we should end up until we are on the path. When I decided to take January off to course correct, I compared it to pulling the Andon cord, a concept popularized by Toyota. It consists of a pull cord or button that workers activate to stop production and warn management of a significant issue.

While taking a month off feels indulgent, it was worth every perceived judgement-laden sideways glance from friends and family. When it comes to purpose and meaning, feel free to take some time off if necessary even if it is just a day or two. It deserves some uninterrupted time. This is your life!

Taking January off was perhaps the best thing I have ever done for myself. While I continued to see clients, I stepped away from social media and emptied my calendar of all non-essentials. I also was fortunate enough to be able to spend ten days rebooting in Costa Rica.

In all that quiet and rest, I learned much more than I thought I would. The quieter I became, the more obvious were the consequential but seemingly inconsequential patterns in my life that were holding me back. A few of these are:

  • I spend too much time doing things that are not essential to my life;
  • Learning to say "No" has a million billion benefits;
  • My habit of wine with dinner each night steals my energy the next day;
  • I need to stop buying shoes.

Here are a few of the whoppers I learned:

  • My natural desire to swoop in with my Jaime Sommers superpowers and save the people I love is detrimental to myself and to them. It steals from both of our life journeys; 
  • I sometimes procrastinate because doing the big work takes chunks of time and requires strict boundaries to protect my quiet space;
  • I am loved no matter what I do. I do not need to give myself away for it;
  • I am filled with an enormous amount of gratitude for all of the people in my life. The best way to pay them back is by giving all I have to living into who I am capable of being. This goes for everyone. The best place to put your energy is into any action that brings you closer to your potential.

No matter where you are in life, I believe with all my soul that all of our life experiences were meant for us, leading us to our ultimate purpose. Maybe you don't need course corrections right now but if you do, get to it! I am doing it all the time. I feel like Madonna. 

Book Recommendation: The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling -- Author: Stephen Cope. 

I wish you all a beautiful week. Go, Do, Be!


Notes of Inspiration