The Day You Discover Why

Mark Twain is sometimes credited with coining a bit of wisdom I like: “The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you discover why.” Purpose is powerful, isn’t it?

When I served as a nonprofit CEO, I found myself asking what was important. A lot. And it seemed like each time I asked it, I had a different response because I had a different (or recurring) situation in front of me to manage. Personnel issues, budget shortfalls, board members with differing priorities, regulatory changes, and turf wars were among the many things that caused me to ask what was important.

The answer for me, regardless of the situation, was our organization’s mission. But what happens when there isn’t something so clear and present as a mission – what then? From my perspective, that’s where the fun begins!

Connecting to purpose

Your “why” may not be a career, like medicine or teaching. But it could be connecting people, writing, or making people laugh. And once you connect to your purpose, you may find some answers that elude you now.

A client’s story: A woman came to me for coaching because she had a dream and wanted to fulfill it. She had been in a career she loved for 20+ years and wanted to stay in it. But she also knew she needed to make more money to realize her dream. Our coaching conversations were often focused on time management, communications, and finances. But one day she broke down crying in my office and said, “I don’t want to be a nurse!”

I didn’t know a friend of hers offered to pay for her training program. She struggled over the decision, even resisting it. But when we discussed what being a nurse could mean for her bank account, she got inspired by the idea and found even more ways to bring about her dream. Today, she’s on her way and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

In her case, she had her purpose, but couldn’t find the path to it. Our coaching allowed her to organize, see what pieces were missing, and recognize what a career change could do to support her and her dream.

Now it’s your turn

Are you ready to live your purpose? All it takes to begin is a conversation. Let’s discover your why together!

Bradley K. Ward, ACC is a leadership and transformational coach at The Mission Coach, LLC in Palm Springs, CA. Contact Brad to find out how coaching can help you do what you do, better!

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