We’ve only got one life to live – don’t waste it….

On my face book page (click on link to follow on home page) I regularly share tips and tools that I hope will help my loyal Facebook followers in some part of their life. Most recently, I posted some soul-searching questions around living with Passion and Purpose. Judging by the reaction I got, I certainly pushed a button and got lots of you thinking.

For our lives to be meaningful we must have the two P’s – Purpose and Passion. But what does it really mean? Here is an example of how it applied to me.

I was very fortunate to have a great career in the Bank and while I loved the people I worked with, I got to a stage in my life where I knew I wasn’t doing what I was put on this earth to do. A bit deep – ok yes – but very true to how I felt at that time. When I looked back at my career over 24 years, the times I loved my job the most, was when I was developing, mentoring and coaching my team. I managed large operational areas with up to 100 staff, so I was lucky that I got to work with a wide variety of people all with their own unique personality and individual needs. On reflection, these were the times when I jumped out of bed and looked forward to the day ahead. Seeing people blossom and move forward in their careers gave me great personal satisfaction. These were the magical moments that made work special and gave me the Passion and Purpose in my professional life that made it all worthwhile.

As the Banking world changed so radically over the last few years, this part of my role became less and less. For all the right reasons, governance and compliance became the priority and my role changed significantly. I noticed over time that getting up in the morning was becoming a struggle and instead of looking forward to the day ahead, I was dreading what another day would bring. I got to a point where I knew something had to change. I had a ‘choice to make’ and a ‘decision to take’.

It wasn’t easy. It scared me half to death but nervously I took a giant step out of my comfort zone and left a ‘secure and pensionable’ job. Initially I decided to take some time out. It was during this time I began to acknowledge what I was good at, understand where my strengths lay and what I valued in life and appreciate what was I really passionate about. I knew I was passionate about helping others. I know I have a unique gift that can help bring out the best in people. And my natural listening skills made me think that a career in coaching would give me the two P’s that I longed for in my professional life.

Do I have them today – most definitely! Is life as routine as it once was?- no, but am I glad I am where I am today, doing something that I absolutely love – YES.

Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones and already have Passion and Purpose in your life. If not, try this simple exercise to help you find yours:

Create 3 lists:

a) What do you really VALUE in your life?
b) What are your STRENGTHS?
c) What are you PASSIONATE about?

So I will end with another soul-searching question – the average person will spend over 100,000 hours at work, surely you don’t want to spend the rest of your life not doing what you were put on this earth to do?