I've been on this mad quest for the past few years to discover my life's purpose. With each passing year, I was starting to panic that I was missing out, wasting time, or somehow not connecting with the real reason I was put on this earth. I didn't want to die somehow not fulfilling my destiny. Oprah knows what her life's purpose is...how come I don't?
I read book after book trying to discover my passion and yet the "answer" seemed to elude me. What was I truly put on this earth to do? Time was running out -- why am I really here?
And then when I was at Tony Robbins' Date With Destiny seminar last December, I found out the answer to my question. FINALLY! I didn't expect to discover this answer at that seminar, but I did and the realization of it finally put me at ease. I knew my path.
Tony had us do a guided visualization exercise. Yes the lights were dimmed, our eyes were closed, and he had quiet, meditation music on as he asked us a few questions which led me to my "AH HA!" moment. I had finally figured out my life's purpose!
And so I'm going to go through this exercise with you right here and now (cue the meditation music) to see if you can figure out what your life's purpose is.
Sit down someplace, relax, close your eyes, put on some relaxing type of spa or meditation music and just be quiet for a few moments. Then think back in time to when you were 7 years old. Picture yourself at the age of 7. What were you doing back then? What did you look like? Do you remember what you used to wear? Who you used to hang out with? And back then when you were the age of 7, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Have that answer? Now jump ahead to when you were 15 years old. What were you doing back then? What did you look like? Do you remember what you used to wear? Who you used to hang out with? And back then when you were the age of 15, what did you want to be when you grew up?
And then at the age of 20 or so (if you aren't there yet, good for you — you have plenty of time), but at the age of 20, what were you doing back then? What did you look like? Do you remember what you used to wear? Who you used to hang out with? And back then when you were the age of 20, what did you want to be or do?
See any connections?
For me, at the age of 7, I wanted to write. At the age of 15, I wanted to write. At the age of 20, I wanted to write. And even now, what I love to do more than anything, what comes naturally to me, and what I excel at, is writing.
So after years and years of anguish, soul searching, and struggling to figure out what it is that I was put here on this earth to do, I had the realization that I've actually known all along! My purpose here on earth is to be a writer.
The funny thing is that I've always known writing is what I am best at. When I was 7 years old, we had a competition in class where we were asked to write a short story. We had to do at least one story, but we could do as many as we wanted. For each short story, we got a little rocket symbol next to our name at the bottom of the bulletin board in the back of the class. The student who had the most rockets won a prize. My line of rockets went all the way from the bottom of the bulletin board to the top. I won. And it wasn't even hard. I would get up early each morning, write a short story, then go down to my Dad's workbench in the basement and sketch out a little cover for my story in crayon or magic marker, staple the pages, and run off to school to hand in my story.
I knew without question I would go to school and major in journalism (even though my Dad wanted me to study business because he said I would always be guaranteed a job).
My first job out of college was at a magazine and then I went to work for a public relations agency before starting my own agency at the age of 27. I've written personally and professionally for as far back as I can remember. It is what I do and what I am: A WRITER.
For some reason I was expecting this lightening bolt to strike me and tell me that my life's purpose was to be a doctor, a chef, an interior designer — or something that was entirely outside of my wheelhouse. I'm not quite sure why I would think my life's purpose would be so foreign to me and not at all in line with what I already love to do, but that is where my thinking went. Yet the reality is that deep down, we always know what we are drawn to. We know what excites us. What we will spend all hours of the day and night on without it feeling like work.
Yes, I know that I'm a storyteller. I've told stories in the magazine I worked for. I've written and told stories for the clients I represent in my PR agency, I tell stories in my personal writing and in the book I've written, and I tell stories here, when I share my own history or write about those who were inspired to find their own passion.
While I am not exactly sure if I know each and every way I will write and tell stories for the rest of my life, I know that in some way, in some form, at every possible step in my life, I will write and be a storyteller. It's what I was put on this earth to do.