“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
I was pushed out of America and pulled into Asia by a ‘perfect Storm’ as I wrote in my recent book, Playing by the Unwritten Rules: Here is What I Think, This is What I Know. I sat on telling that story for three years because of the shame, guilt and anger brought about by three incidents. I stated in the book “To move from shame to sharing, from fear to forgiveness, and from pain to power. That’s what my perfect storm was all about!”
All the while, I spoke at conferences and offered services based on diversity, change and performance which are three legs to my career stool, i.e. products and services. I’m passionate about those three things, but I have since learned that such is not my purpose. I have made millions speaking, consulting and delivering programs around those three areas, but let me tell you… earning money on something doesn’t mean that’s your life purpose!
I’ve been called for something greater, and I believe each of us gets the call. I’ve listened, observed and even had intimate conversations with people from all walks of life, who all express their frustration of how things have seemed stalled or not moving in the right direction fast enough. Often, what it boils down to is not feeling respected for their choices; thinking that they aren’t valued for what they do and/or feeling as if they are not living up to their full potential. In fact, many people are downright irritated or even disgusted with themselves because they made choices that don’t seem to align with whom they have become. It isn’t your choices that are nagging at you, it’s who you have become in the absence of living your purpose. You are being called to something greater: are you going to answer that call?
I thought my three-legged stool was my calling since I gained great notoriety and success from such when in the US. However, I’m no longer the person who owned that multi-million-dollar business; I’ve changed. “When we
change the things we see, the things we see will change,” said Wayne Dyer. Don’t look at whatever circumstance
you are encountering as a mistake or misstep but rather a stepping stone to something greater.
But I’ve been hesitant, and like many of you…you either aren’t hearing the call or answering the call; whatever,
‘the call’ may be for you. So, if you are becoming disenchanted with your job, restless and discontented in life or
even wondering why you are here, those are notifications that a call is coming in. If this resonates with you, you
are ready to take the next step. Here are three key questions to consider if you aren’t sure:
What Keeps You Awake at Night?
As children, it was the monster under the bed that frightened us. But as an adult, it is FEAR. It all boils down to False Expectations Appearing Real (FEAR). We fear what others will think, loss of status, income, friends, etc. or we may have a fear of failure and, in some cases, even success which can prevent us from stepping into our greatness. Tossing and turning while you lay awake wondering what is next may be indicators that you need to be doing something different. When you don’t feel settled, you take sleeping aids, read into the wee hours of the night, or use various methods to rest your mind, you must explore why. It’s not Are You Listening your mind that is conflicted even though your thoughts are racing: it’s your spirit that is trying to get your attention. You can be a great dad/mom, an excellent employee, volunteer at several places, but until you get on the right path to your purpose you will continue to toss and turn through the night.
Are you listening ?
I had on my business card over 20 years ago, “Learn to Listen to Your Inner Voice for It is God Whispering to Your Soul.” hat is your inner voice calling you to do, and are you listening and answering the call? It doesn’t have to be something as life altering as quitting your job or moving to another continent, but it could be taking on a new role in your company, spending more time with your children and not using work or the ‘Help’ as an excuse, it may mean leaving a relationship that no longer feeds your soul, starting a hobby, or it may mean being still and listening to yourself.
I have learned that when our spirit wants to get our attention s/he’ll nudge and eventually pull out a megaphone. So, listen with your heart, your mind and your gut instinct. When I was contemplating becoming a minister, my pastor shared with me that God speaks to us in several ways – directly, i.e. through scripture based on your religious beliefs, prayer, and meditation; or indirectly i.e. through nature, people or occurrences. My intent is not to sound preachy or religious; on the contrary. I just want you to understand that you can find the answer to what you seek by listening.
Is Awareness Driving Your Actions?
Living abroad hasn’t been easy because it brought about awareness; whereby, I have more questions than answer about myself coming from America. This will be the second time that I have done some heavy lifting to put in the work for self-introspection. Some believe that you do it once, like going through a mid-life crisis. But that is not going to help you rediscover yourself. You need to enter the rabbit hole to become aware of not who you were yesterday but who you are today and who you will become tomorrow through introspection. And, that will take some sweat equity and heavy lifting as you sort out what got you from there to here.