Archives for posts with tag: opportunity
purpose
(n) the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
(v) have as one’s intention or objective.
 
I can remember as far back as my early college working days in the Boy’s Department at Nordstrom doodling on notepads.  What did I want to be when I grew up?  I would create a radial system of spokes seemingly shooting me off to my destiny.  One arrow pointed toward children.  I loved them, and I was good with them.  I spent my entire adolescence babysitting, leaving a 12-hour workday with one family only to move on to a 6-hour work night with another family.  Kids were my lifeline.  I relished in their joy, spontaneity and humor.  I could even withstand the tantrums and meltdowns.  Another arrow directed me to medicine.  I always loved biology and could marry it with my love for children by becoming a pediatrician.  But I loved the arts and culture, too.  Scientific discovery was not my idea of a canvas.  I wanted a channel for emotional, artistic expression, whether it be mine or someone else’s.  More arrows led to other interests in the areas of design, entrepreneurship, strategy & innovation.  Soon enough, what was supposed to be my yellow brick road became an explosion of ideas with little to no cohesion.  For years, I drew the same picture with the same image, resulting in more and more confusion about the direction in which I wanted to take my life. 
 
By late-2004, I knew I had to change my career path.  Yet, it wasn’t until 2006 that I decided to pursue my original intention to become a doctor.  I applied and was accepted into a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program.  Life would be set for me until kingdom come: post-bacc for 2 years, medical school for 4 years, residency for 4 years, and if I wanted a specialization, which I did, then X more years.  I would start at 27 years old and not re-emerge until at least 40.  I no longer had to waffle over what I should do with my life.  I felt a huge sense of relief to be rid of the aching desire to find purposeful work, to live a purposeful life and to do something I loved.  Yet, something within told me that this was not the right choice.  Instead of feeling liberated, I actually felt suffocated.  In lieu of joy was dread.  These were not feelings I thought I should be having when I was about to embark on my life purpose journey.  Being a strong believer in gut responses, I took heed and dropped out of the program on the day I was supposed to start and moved to Los Angeles.  It just so happened that I was more excited to move to Los Angeles without a job or any idea of where my life would take me than to start my journey to become a doctor.  From there, life weaves in and out of various jobs and paths in an attempt to take control of my destiny.  Even as recently as last June, my desire resurfaced, and I was beckoned to try again. 
 
While my interests are still many and varied, I have been better able to narrow down my focus, which has given me a sense of direction that I had lacked years prior.  Most importantly, during this leg of my journey, I have confronted some very important mindset shifts, which has allowed me to become a lot more realistic about what purpose means and how to find it. Below are some of my lessons learned:
 
Purpose Comes in Many Guises
For many years, I clung onto the belief that purpose was tied solely to career.  I felt that having the right career in an area that I loved was what living purposefully meant.  Now, I realize that purpose permeates across all aspects of life.  Purpose is what drives decisions and choices made everyday with regards to family, friends, home, health, etc.  I can have the purpose to be a good daughter, as well as the purpose to have a career I love.  All of them constitute purpose.
 
Purpose Is Another Word for Intention
This leads me to my next realization that to have purpose means to have intention.  When we think, say or do something for a specific reason, then it is purposeful.  A way to make life filled with wonderful purpose is to align thoughts, words and actions with our value system so that they are meaningful and authentic.  I cook healthy and hearty meals to serve my family.  When I do this, I feel imbued with a sense of purpose because it is my way to show my love for them.
 
Money Can Be Part of The Purpose
A major breakthrough for me has been my relationship with money.  I always felt money and purpose had an either/or relationship.  However, after staring at my budget day after day, I concluded that money is a key factor in my happiness, well-being and health.  Money is a freedom tool for me to continue my health journey, explore more adventures and give to my family and friends in ways that I would like to.  For me, money is part of my purpose.  I have shifted my expectations and criteria so that I can accommodate my needs and wants much more comfortably without feeling greedy or guilty!   Anything that serves you should be part of your purpose because that will help build the foundation needed to create more and more fulfillment.
 
Security Increases Purpose’s Bandwidth
I realize that when my life feel scarce, a lot of my energy is dedicated to worry and stress in order to take care of basic necessities.  However, when life is abundant and my needs and wants are taken care of, I no longer have that energy drain.  Instead, I can channel my energy into more productive and creative outlets that allow me to deepen relationships, generate new ideas and create more abundance.  Fear of loss is replaced by a gratitude for all the opportunities that are now visible without the cloud of worry.
 
Follow Your Joy to Find Your Purpose
At the very base of our purpose is to feel joy.  I have no doubt in my mind that our lives are meant to be filled with peace of mind and joy of heart.  When we fill our hearts with joy, we are living our lives as they are intended.  So, when in doubt, listen to what your heart is telling you and follow the path that is filled with love and light. 
 
RETHINK PURPOSE.
 
With Love, 
theDesignLife 
 
grat·i·tude:  the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Who says that giving thanks should only be expressed on Thanksgiving?!   Everyday serves as a wonderful opportunity to realize the gifts that are being bestowed upon us.  While they may not have been asked for explicitly or even wanted initially, no matter what, every person, thought, decision and situation has the capability of teaching us something about ourselves and our world.  

Since 2013 rang in, I have been making it a point to write a daily Gratitude List in my e-journal.  I find that it provides a great reason to make space at the end of a day to reflect on what came into my life, and, if I can see them at that time, what lessons they served.  Be it big or small, significant or mundane, I write it down and appreciate it for what it is.

Below are are a few points that have helped me get my Gratitude List started and keep it going:
 
Make It Yours, Make It Yummy
First and foremost, this is YOUR Gratitude List.  It should serve no other purpose than to make you thankful for the comings and goings of your life.  If you are grateful for your daily dose of joe, then write it down… everyday!  I sometimes list ‘gratitude list’ on my Gratitude List 🙂  There is no impression to make, no judgment to be made because it is simply those things that you appreciate being part of your life. 

Size Doesn’t Matter
Write as many or as few things that you are grateful for that day.  Sometimes, my list is barely three lines because my eyes are barely open at the end of a long day.  It doesn’t matter!  The point is to make the space, take the breath and grab a moment of reflection before the day’s end.  No use carrying as much weight to bed – I know I’d rather end my day thinking about the meaningful things in my life, rather than the last conference call I took!  

Gratitude Isn’t Always Pleasurable
Pleasant people, things and events are no-brainers for the Gratitude List.  However, keep in mind that the nastiest snarls, most uncomfortable confrontations and craziest experiences can provide a meaningful dose of unexpected lessons learned for which to be grateful.  When I am faced with the unpleasant or uncomfortable, it really forces me to come to terms with something about myself – a re-defined boundary, a different reflection, a new desire.  Be open and aware of how the unpleasant can actually become the source of something positive.
 
Practice Makes Perfect
Soon enough, gratitude doesn’t only appear when you stop and think about it at the end of the day; gratitude will start to bubble up throughout the day.  Once practiced regularly, you become imbued with gratitude more instantaneously.  These days, I find myself giving preemptive thanks for everything from the food I am about to eat to the safe drive I am about to start.  Gratitude not only becomes a habit but also a manifestation.
 
What started as simply a means to create awareness and gratitude has evolved to manifest a much more purposeful life.  I have re-framed my life to be a series of gifts, or opportunities to learn.  Knowing that each person and situation is a teacher, I am more apt to slow down, listen and be grateful.  There is deliberation.  There is more meaning.  There is purpose.
 
LIVE GREATFULLY.
gratefulfeast
 
With Love,
theDesignLife