As a child, Julie Marie Carrier absolutely loved animals and the animals adored her. Throughout her childhood she was told she would be a great veterinarian. When she left for college, she took biology, anatomy, chemistry and all the courses that prepared her for vet school. Her senior year she studied abroad. It was not until she was away from family and faculty’s expectations that she realized she was miserable. When she thought back over her last few years her favorite moments were when she volunteered at youth leadership conferences. This sparked her to take communication and media courses while abroad which set her on a new course. She graduated two years later than planned with a Leadership Studies degree and became a Senior Management Consultant in leadership training and development for the Pentagon. More importantly, she launched a national speaking career to empower youth. Today she is a trailblazer in impacting girls and women worldwide.
Reflect on what Brings You Joy (or Get Curious)
Julie Marie figured out what brings us the greatest joy is typically aligned with our purpose. If you are looking for your purpose, making a list just like Julie Marie might be the best place to start. What has evoked the most joy in the last few years? What activities, people, experiences evoked the most joy? What patterns emerge on this list of joyful experiences? What themes show up? If making a list isn’t helping, think about what you are curious about. Maybe exploring a handful of things you haven’t yet explored is the best route to find what evokes joy.
Find how What Brings You Alive Impacts Others
David Viscott said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” The objective here is not to find joy solely for ourselves (although having more joy in our lives is incredible) but to find what brings us alive so that we can impact fully other people with our joy.
Make some Space in Your Day
When we are busy, the sheer inertia of our day takes over. Busy is what is modeled to us as success. We believe if we are busy, we’ve arrived. To re-calibrate, to put our finger on the pulse of our own heart requires space. Before we can answer any questions about our joy or our curiosity or our purpose, we need to create some space in our day. Coaching is all about holding space for you to breathe, think, reflect, dream. A great coach knows how to hold space for you. Maybe partnering with a coach is your next best step.
When we are not living in a place of joy, purpose, meaning, we learn to compensate. We compensate by treating ourselves to dinner out, the latest fashion, binging a Netflix series, daily fancy coffees. We find rewards to compensate for our unhappiness. Our consumption increases proportionally to our dissatisfaction with life. What if with the creation of space, we could experience and share more joy with less stuff?
Learn to live on purpose — it’s what we’re designed for.