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Finding Your Purpose, Part 2: The Sports Wives Guide to Finding YOUR Purpose In Any Season
How to know your life’s purpose.
It’s a big question, yet a common and simple question. Who am I and what was I put here to do?
My definition of purpose or destiny is doing that thing, or things, that when you are doing it you know you are in the sweet spot: It’s relatively easy, you enjoy it, it brings you satisfaction and it contributes to your legacy in the world.
Personally, I have wrestled with this question for decades. All the while, waiting for it to be delivered to me in some form of complete package. For me at least, it didn’t really happen that way.
For us, Sisters in Sports, the answer to that question often is a bit more muddled than it is for most people. How do we, as the support system for our athlete husbands, have the time, energy and focus for our own self-reflection when the sports life is so demanding and stressful?
I feel ya Sister! We are not immune to the pressures of this world as a woman to be accomplished, beautiful, fit, and powerful and being an all around super woman. But it is often in that craziness that we LOSE ourselves more than FIND ourselves, and our value, in the shadow of our husband’s high-profile careers.
So I want to break this down into some smaller points to guide you to do some introspective work and to give you permission to discover what you are all about, why you are here, and how you can live it out even when your life is dominated by the schedule and stresses of your husband’s career. I promise you that this time is only a season, literally and figuratively. It will be over quicker than you ever imagined, and when that happens, a world of possibilities will open up to you and what you want to do next.
I have broken this process down into 3 phases, Discover your Purpose, Activate Your Purpose and Live Out your Purpose. And over the next several weeks, I will be sharing articles with information and action steps to help you to word through those step. At the end of the series, my hope is that you have at least a bit more clarity on your purpose and some specific things you can do now, no matter what phase of life you are in currently.
Part 1- Discover Your Purpose.
The simplest way for you to realize your purpose is shown in this simple formula:
Design + Desire + Delight = Destiny
- 1. Design: This is all the things that are part of your wiring, or who you are at your core. Things like your personality style, your strengths, your talents, and also includes your experiences and skills as HUGE clues into what your purpose is. These things come easily and naturally to you, so much so that at times, you may not even consider them a gift or talent, because it flows out of you so easily.
- 2. Desire: These are your passions, the things that light your soul on fire, the things that you do that when you do them, or think of doing them, you easily get lost in time. It also includes things in the world that you see that you know you want to impact positively and in a big way. It isn’t always something you have done, it can be something that you KNOW you simply MUST do before you run out of time. A strong desire provides amazing fuel for dreams and purpose to become reality, so don’t ignore them!
- 3. Delight: Certain things in our life bring us delight, and joy. It is slightly different than desire, which is more of a fiery passion. Delight is warm, pleasurable, appealing and maybe even peaceful. These are the things that when you are doing them, smooth the rough edges of your soul, sometimes they are quite spiritual in nature.
- 4. Destiny: Now comes the fun part. How do you put together the other 3 components to formulate and discover your purpose? This can be sliced and diced a ton of ways, so don’t be hesitant to trying looking at it from a variety of angles. It can be a huge thing that stretches as wide as the world, or something on a small scale.
Here is an example based on my Design, Desires, Delights:
- Strength: I am good at putting people together and getting them moving in a single direction.
- Passion: Making life better, safer and longer for Type 1 diabetics.
- Delight: Being around, playing with and loving on dogs.
- Potential Destiny or Purpose: Working with, or starting, a foundation that matches service dog organizations with people who need dogs, and putting the people with money together to fund it.
That is a huge undertaking, and not something I can do right this minute or tomorrow!
But, just imagine if I were doing a little bit every day to learn how to put that together? I would be moving toward my purpose!
The Matter of Multiple or Changing Purpose….what if I can’t choose or stick to one?
There are some people who are absolutely wired to focus on one thing to completion. Others still are serious plate-spinners and are not happy unless they have multiple projects going. So when you are working out the details of your purpose, that piece about personality or motivation style comes in handy. You simply must do it how it best works for your natural wiring. However it feels and fits into your head, heart, soul and day to day life, is how you are going to want to do this.
This can mean that you are singularly focused on a purpose for a time frame (predetermined or not) or that you switch between a couple of them, depending on what you want to accomplish, and when, as well as what, is going on in your life peripherally!
For example, when I was younger, I wanted to be a Mom and a Veterinarian. I loved kids, and I loved dogs. It wasn’t until I discovered I’d have to cut dogs open on occasion that I changed my mind about that! Subsequently, I was married young, had my kids before my 20’s were over and was on the parenting track until I turned 45. Now, I am super excited about rekindling my love of dogs in some capacity that won’t require me to get a lengthy education or see the insides of a precious pup!
We change, we evolve, we learn and grow…and if we are not, then there is a huge PROBLEM! (and that’s another article completely!)
I hope you have found value, insight, and at least a tiny bit of clarity from this short exercise.
Part 3 will be all about how you take this new knowledge and get moving on it in big or small ways! Stay tuned! If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here!