I spent Saturday at a retreat to discover my purpose, passion & plan for a generous life. I was intrigued with the idea of spending the day with other women who were interested in aligning their work life with their values. I was flattered to have been invited. I had no idea how much clarity I would gain over the choices I have made over the last year.
The lessons involved watching videos of women telling stories. The idea being that each of our lives holds a story. Each of these women shared their stories of how they found their purpose. Then, how they aligned their passion and plan for giving to that purpose. The basic assumption is that our purpose is a constant, regardless of our circumstances it rings true for us and has always been there. Our passion and plan can change and often reflect our life experiences.
We answered a series of questions to find a two word definition of our Purpose from a website: www.onpurpose.com. My Purpose was determined to be Affirming Goodness. When I first read it, I thought, well that’s too easy, I already do that, give me something else. But as I reflected, I realized that was the whole point. My purpose is something that is already a part of me. It is a constant within me that I can develop and use to grow.
I am a daily gratitude list maker. I use the Journal 5 app and have been doing so for years. I list things I am grateful for in the morning and again at night. You add a picture for the day which gives it a little something extra (screen shot of my week above). Sometimes I use a picture taken that day and sometimes a memory. I often download family and friends’ Facebook photos for their Birthday or to mark a special day. (Beware).
Affirming Goodness, looking at my life as enough. Assurining others that they are enough. Offering grace and patience. Looking to be curious and appreciative of others. Allowing others to go first, even in traffic. These all follow the guideline of looking at life through a vision of abundance over one of scarcities.
Moving onto Passion was the next step. My passion is something that I believe in so strongly that I am compelled to orient my life towards it. As most of you know, Noah and I are passionate about helping families prepare for when something happens to them. The events in our lives over the last two years have given us a very clear mission. For some reason, as we talk about the deaths in our family, others are willing to share their experiences and their fears with us.
In addition to this, Noah and I have been given the opportunity to work together. We are strengthening our relationship and our family by working together. We spend more time together now then we ever have and we are learning more and more how we complement one another. This provides an interesting benefit for our clients where they have both of us to talk to.
When has my giving been the most joyful? This is the question we were given to find our passion. For me it has been in areas where I feel connection. Whether it is having a conversation with someone while painting a house for 100 Hands Rebuilding, running a charity 5K with my daughter or meeting a new client and finding out we have the same birthday. I find joy in connection.
This all sounds lovely but what does it have to do with work? Well, as I discovered with the Passion exercises, the more I enjoy what I am doing the more I am willing to do. As most of you know, I am writing these blogs weekly so you can get to know us. I have never written for work before and every time I write one of these I am uncertain if I have done it “right”. Well, weekly, someone is nice enough to email me back and let me know that they agreed with me or identified with what I wrote. Mission accomplished, and so I write again.
With regard to Plan, the last step, well, we started working together in this estate planning practice. We are still working on that plan. You are watching us as we do it.
I hope you are in touch with your purpose and that you find joy and passion with your work.