I have a confession to make. At some point in 2009, I let my Why slip away. But sitting here typing out this article, I recognize that it has been a blessing in disguise.
Like everyone else, I have felt the effects of our economy. In 2008, I came to the bottom rung of my financial ladder twice. And twice I picked myself up, dusted myself off, reinvented myself, and made a comeback. And in my previous editions of my newsletter, I've found ways to encourage you all to do the same.
Enter 2009. For the third time, I watched as my financial rug was pulled out from underneath me. Only this time, the comeback wasn't so easy to find. It hit me so hard that I found it hard to reach out to the rest of you. It's true, my attitude always remained positive. And yes, going through the hardships of the past year was exactly what prompted me to take a long hard look at WHAT my big dreams were, HOW I could get there. And now in hindsight, I can tell you every single thing that has appeared to be a struggle was actually a necessary part of the journey to my purpose.
But the hardships did provide an endless quest to soul search, educate, and seek answers. And at every piece of insight, I have learned extremely valuable lessons that will serve me well for the rest of my life. But like so many of us struggling through this economy and sinking slowly, I found myself asking "Why?"
Then it hit me. "Why" is exactly WHY I've faltered. I had allowed my Why to slip
away. By Why, I am speaking of that driving desire that we harbor deep within. The motivation that gets us fired up. The measuring stick by which we measure our individual success.
Somewhere during the past year, I allowed Income to become my Why. And that, my friends, is NO way to live. No matter if we are living in a time of economic struggle, as we have been for the past couple of years, or enjoying the fruits of a booming economy like we did in the early 2000's. We should NEVER measure our Why by how much money we have coming in.
Rather, our Why is our purpose. It is what we were placed on this planet to accomplish. And I promise you, making money was NEVER what our Creator had in mind when we were brought into existence. Money should be a byproduct of our true success. And true success comes only when we live our Purpose.
Several months ago, I was reminded of my true Why. I have always lived my life knowing that my purpose on Earth was to touch the lives of others. And throughout my professional past, I have remained true to that core value. I helped others, I motivated people, I provided training, I provided assistance and tools that would make their lives easier. I laid my head to rest every night knowing that if I made a difference in just one other person's life that day, I was a success.
After remembering my Why, I set out to create the business that I've held in my heart for years. As a Single Mom of 5 years, I've known that a part of my purpose was to reach out to support and empower other Single Moms. And so it is with an amazing sense of purpose that we are officially launching the Strong Single Mom Network in the next 6 weeks. I also resurrected the speaking career that has proven to be a blessing to myself and others over the past 6 years. But this time, there's no product, service, or company behind the speeches. Now, it is simply a message of empowerment and energy.
Forgetting my true Why was what caused the struggles I faced last year. Sure, we all need to make income to live. But we don't have to make it our driving force. Since rediscovering my Why, and living my Passion and Purpose, amazing things have manifested themselves into my life. I receive miracles EVERY DAY. And you will too, when you are aligned with your true mission. And remember, Purpose and Career don't always equate to the same thing. Sometimes, our career is what provides the means to pursue our purpose. Other times, they are one in the same. It's unique to each person, and only you can truly know what that path looks like for you.
So I have to ask, what is your Why? What is the purpose for which you were created? If you truly don't know, then its time for some soul searching. Figuring it out starts by recognizing what you are passionate about. There is something that stirs your soul to distraction. Just thinking about it makes you feel that deep tingle down in the pit of your stomach...the one that makes you feel like there is Big Wide World out there just WAITING for whatever it is you have inside of you. Find this, and your purpose is not far behind.
Maybe you've known your Why for a long time. And maybe, like me, you let yourself forget your true purpose because you have been so busy trying to weather this economic storm. Consider this your wake up call! Live your Why, the reason you were created, and no matter what else happens, you will have peace, joy, and abundance. Most importantly, you WILL receive miracles every day.
For those of you that know your Why and are living it, even if you are struggling financially, you know you will come through this time a better person. You are the one that is not afraid to switch gears, reinvent your career if need be, take on a second job, stay the course, whatever the situation. You walk in strength, and inspire others to do the same.
I opened this article by telling you that forgetting my Why has been a blessing in disguise. How is that, you might wonder.
The answer is this: by forgetting my Why, and sharing my story with you now, it just may help you to remember yours. It's time for all of us to remember that simply Making a Living isn't what makes us Truly Live.
I will end with this story: I was in San Francisco on a business trip last year. While there, I met a person who had a career by day, but was a street artist by passion. During the course of my insightful conversation with him, I asked him why he would live like a vagabond during his non-working hours, even though he was a professional suit-wearing businessman in his career. To this day, I find breath-taking inspiration from his answer.
"The world awaits my gift with baited breath. The world needs this gift of mine, just as it needs air, water, shelter. But if I let that gift stay inside of me, and I never give that gift life, then the world will suffer. The saddest part is that the people in the world will never even know how much it suffers, because it won't even know what it missed out on. All because I chose not to follow the path I was always meant to walk."
When he shared that insight with me, I knew that he was right. And I knew that all of us, every single person on this planet, has their gift. So what is it that lies inside of you that the world will suffer for if you don't bring it to life? Find that gift, and share it with the world.
I, for one, am waiting with baited breath.
Jacki Semerau © Copyright 2010