Are you living your life on purpose?
I was twenty-something when my career in Human Resources started—around that same time I began saying I wanted to write a book.
By my mid-thirties, I already knew there were parts of Human Resources work I loved and parts I didn’t love at all. My job required both parts, and I did them because that’s what you do when you have a family, mortgage, other bills, and want to get ahead and climb the corporate ladder.
I didn't realize back then that in the midst of that juggling act, I had already started taking steps towards living my life on purpose.
To progress in my H.R.career, I needed a Master’s degree. As an H. R. Executive, the logical degree was a Master’s in Business Administration. MBA meant statistics, accounting, and finance, the parts of H.R. I didn’t love. I wanted to excel in coaching, counselling, and training—the work I found most meaningful. In spite of colleagues telling me the “wrong” degree might derail my career, I followed my heart—and my purpose—and earned my Masters in Health Education and Employee Counseling.
Shortly after, I accepted an HR Executive position that meant moving from Philly to the Jersey Shore. Living “down the shore” had been one of my dreams since I was twenty-something. Achieving that dream when we moved to Cape May reminded me I had been carrying another dream around since my twenties—the dream about writing a book.
I joined my first creative writing group. At my second meeting, I read three hand-scribbled pages that had taken hours to write. I didn’t know it then, but those pages were the beginning of my first novel, PEACE BY PIECE.
Three scribbly pages for my book--a huge step towards life on purpose.
That writing group led to more steps—writing workshops, conferences, and eventually earning my Masters of Fine Arts/MFA in Creative Writing.
By then, I was fifty-something and determined to finally stop doing the parts of HR I didn’t love. With the support of my boss, I set a goal to not be in my job by the end of the year. Months later, I was happily coaching and training--the meaningful work that, along with writing, I know is my work life’s purpose.
So I ask again. Are you living your life on purpose?
And, just how do you discover your life’s purpose?
If you had asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said, a nurse, teacher, or librarian. I spent my career in healthcare, teach adults, and devote a load of my time to writing and books.
My child-self was pretty close. I knew my purpose as a child. I’m betting you did too.
Want to live life on purpose? Ask yourself:
· What have you loved since you were a child?
· What gives you meaning and joy?
· How can you bring more of that into your life?
Take one step in that direction, and then take another.
With each step, you will live your life on purpose.