Have you ever wondered how a person finds their purpose in life? I have had the opportunity to talk to several people and have heard “rags to riches” stories, “addict to hero” stories, and “I am lost and cannot find my way” stories.
Let’s face it, most of us begin our adult lives by heading down a different path than we ever would have imagined for ourselves. Sometimes, we get pulled back in, other times, we continue wandering.
I spoke with a number of women who are successful in their careers but still have an empty feeling inside. They mentioned feeling unfulfilled, as if they were lacking something important in their life or feeling like they did not fit in. I also spoke with both men and women who felt they had an exceptionally good relationship with their spouse but nonetheless, they were having an affair. Again, they felt they were lacking something important. What causes people to want more? Is there another life hidden inside of us?
As children, we look for guidance. As adolescents, we often try so hard to fit in that we succumb to peer pressure. Adults tend to have a different mindset. We fall into life’s trap of feeling the need to achieve wealth, and in doing so we often take the wrong path to achieve it.
Many people set out to search for their purpose in life instead of listening to their inner self. In “Let Your Life Speak,” author Parker Palmer writes, “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” Finding one’s purpose in life is not as easy as it sounds, or maybe it is. Maybe it is right there in front of you like the glasses you are looking for and later find on the top of your head.
From Middle-Class to Crack Addict to PhD and Ambassador of Inspiration:
I recently read a story about an amazing woman who grew up in a middle-class family, went to church with her family, graduated high school and began college. She dropped out of college her freshman year because she felt she did not belong. She began doing whatever needed to become accepted and eventually became addicted to cocaine. She spent 10 years living on the streets as an addict. She had been shot, stabbed, raped, beaten, and burned with cigarettes. One day after her shoes had been stolen, she was forced to walk over broken glass, crack pipes, used needles, condoms, and dead animals in 115° heat to reach the public park where she called home. When her bloody feet reached the grass, she made the decision to end a decade of homelessness and addiction. She entered treatment, went back to school, is now a best-selling author, an Ambassador of Inspiration for a University, a motivational speaker, and has a Doctorate in Education. It took hitting rock bottom for her to find her purpose in life.
You are Never to Old:
We may not get it right the first time around, but it is important we keep moving forward and do not give up.
Ray Kroc had passed his 50th birthday before buying his first McDonald’s, which he later expanded worldwide.
Vera Wang was first an accomplished figure skater before becoming at designer at the age of 40.
Harland Sanders had gotten fired from multiple jobs before starting his own restaurant. He went out of business and was broke at the age of 65. He later sold his first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise and his life turned around.
John Paul Jones DeJoria went into foster care as a child. He spent two years in the Navy and afterwards worked as a janitor and sold encyclopedias door to door. He then went into hair care and was fired from Redken Laboratories. He was homeless and lived out of his car twice in his life. A self-made billionaire, he is the co-founder of the line of Paul Mitchell hair products and The Patron Spirits Company. He believes that “in the end, everything will be ok, and, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”
The Point is:
Always believe in yourself. Never give up. Allow yourself to dream.
If you find the resources within yourself, you just may find your purpose in life.