The last Christmas I got to spend with my mom, she gifted both my sister and I the same book called “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. You might be familiar with this best seller for it’s Christian affiliated reputation. If you aren’t familiar with it, the best synopsis I have is written by Wikipedia as “a 40-day personal spiritual journey, and presents what Warren says are God’s five purposes for human life on earth.” While I am a woman of faith, this isn’t a soapbox about religion or me push my beliefs on anyone here…that’s not where this is going…
This book had a profound effect on my mother and therefore, on me. Spending time with her towards the end of her days, I remember very vividly, her saying more than one time, “I still haven’t figured out why I’m here..” or “What has my purpose been?” in an almost desperate way, as if she felt aimless. It broke my heart to hear her say this, because I of course knew her purpose: to be an amazing mother to her daughters, providing them the most perfect role model and hero they could ask for as impressionable young women. But her musings made me think to myself…”Why am I here?”
That question is scary as eff. There’s no quicker way to make you feel like a grain of sand on a beach and make you read don’t kill yourself books than pondering of the meaning of your life. At the time never really troubled myself with this intense thought. I had found the love of my life, had great friends and family, involved in healthy hobbies, and was solid in my career path…plus, being 25, my youth made me invincible and unconcerned about “the big picture.”
Recently I’ve really been forced to acknowledge this topic though. It’s unreal how many things have been glaring “signs” if you will, that have me looking at this all a little closer; looking at “my purpose.”
Last week a good friend and training partner posted a blog that reopened this can of worms in my mind. But this time, I felt more confident in knowing the answer. I mean, I don’t know ALL the answers or how IT ALL works out, but right now, I know I’m meant to help people feel good, inside and out.
When we think about careers in high school and college, when someone asked what you think you want to do, 75% of answers are “I want to help people”…and that can literally be the definition of ALL occupations. So, I’m not playing that card. But knowing I make an actual, lasting impression on a person to make their day or their life even .01% better, is extremely fulfilling. But, through what type of “work” would I get to have these experience day in and day out?
They also tell you, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” The only thing I felt seriously passionate about was my own personal wellness- eating properly and living at the rec was what I was known for. Doubt that’s a career choice. I was coming up short for the “ideal occupation” of combing my desire to truly help people while doing what seriously i enjoy: working out.
All along I’ve felt my fitness endeavors have been somewhat of a selfish act; my CrossFitting has all been done in vein, for my own fun. It wasn’t until recently I realized THIS is HOW! THIS IS HOW I DO IT! Never in my life would I ever imagine being approached by complete strangers saying how inspiring my performance is, how motivating it is to compete next to me, or how “tough” I am. Receiving those sorts of affirmations is by far one of THE BEST feelings I’ve experienced. Knowing that what I love doing is bringing good to others in some way is incredible. It has become one of the major reasons I want to pursue this sport in the way I do.
While I have this extensive background in nutrition education, I never thought I’d find such a platform to share that knowledge with others. It is no coincidence that this has all aligned. I have been blessed with a talent. Using this talent as a means to reach out to others, to aid in making positive change and improve their quality of life…that’s it’s intended purpose. That’s my intended purpose- at least for right now. It will surely change, as it should- we should always grow and change. But for now, I know I must use my gifts…as the saying goes…
“When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” – Maya Angelou
Though I admit, I haven’t read the book the whole way through yet…but since having this experience, it’s at the top of my to do list. Bet on that.