Last week my friend Holly Adams and I met with the team at LBA Foundation to learn more about their work and how we could get more involved. Holly and I have been brainstorming ways we can help teens understand, accept, and appreciate their story, even their trauma, earlier in life. Our experience has been that the world puts so much pressure on us to focus on goals and social media provides so much distraction, that we don’t make time to sit with and figure out who we really are.
(Follow Holly on LinkedIn for great leadership tips!)
My personal experience is that until I took time to explore who I really am at my core, sit with my pain, beliefs, and dreams, the goals were empty and meaningless even when achieved. Most of the goals I set were reflective of what culture or others wanted for me, not what I wanted for myself.
The LBA Foundation is helping with acceptance and inspiration. They start the work and conversation with these kids by asking them to write a Statement of Purpose. The framework is 3 questions (I put in my answers):
- What do you like to do? Connect with people. I love to listen and learn from others who have different perspectives. I love to read and listen to podcasts. Learning has become an essential part of my life, especially when it comes to religion, spirituality, and philosophy…consuming stories of people who have navigated life in a peaceful and loving way no matter what they face.
- What do you want to do? Find peace and purpose for myself and others. Love others and give them hope.
- What is your dream? That everyone would find peace and purpose.
This is how I wrote my Statement of Purpose:
Seek peace and purpose, spread love and hope, and give lots of hugs.
(Everyone knows I love hugs!)
What about my goals…do they now reflect my purpose? I have these posted in my peace room where I have 3 separate boards: one for goals, one for purpose and values, and one for inspiration (favorite quotes, Bible verses, etc.).
- Get closer to God
- Thank God each morning for giving me another day to spread His light and love
- Pray all day
- Read scripture daily
- Get closer to loved ones
- Spend intentional time with Mitch each day
- Send thank you notes each week
- Reach out to and pray for someone I love daily
- Get better
- Write once per week
- Learn something new each day
- Reach out to 10 businesses per week to help the save time and money
- Give 10% to charity in 2019
Yes, maybe for the first time in my life my goals do reflect and reinforce my purpose! My friend and coach, Patti Seda, commented recently that I seem more peaceful. The highest compliment! I have been doing so much self-exploration and work to get here. Studying the Bible, philosophers, and other spiritual leaders. Saying no. My friend Brooke Fitzgerald recently shared with me that if someone asks you to do something and it’s isn’t a “hell yes” then it’s a “no.” Thank you Brooke!
For the first time in my life, I feel I am authentically me in every aspect of my life. No longer a different person at work and home, different on Saturday night and Sunday morning. I have battled this constant restlessness that is now subsiding.
Until you are authentically you, nothing will feel right. You will struggle. I recently read true integrity means true integration of who you are inside and out. It means not violating your own identity, and remembering what is at the center of your being…you.
Today is a new day, and I feel new! I am not perfect, I will continue to make mistakes and need to start again but I will keep exploring, learning, growing, and becoming new each day that I have the chance. Will you?
“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.” -Viktor Frankl