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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Lehman

The Journey Beyond Inspirational Quotes: Finding My Life's Purpose

I, like most people, love inspirational quotes. Their ability to condense profound wisdom into a few words is something I marvel at. However, I often found myself pondering, “Okay, this quote has stirred my soul, but how do I put its essence into action?”

There is a popular quote that I continue to see over social media, “Your whole life can change in one year - your career, your relationships, your home, your routines, your finances, your dreams, and your reality. All you need to do is believe that you deserve and then do the work.”

Let’s be honest: This quote, along with many others can be simultaneously beautiful and misleading. It tells us life can change, inspire us to set lofty goals, and drive our intentions. But where many of us falter, myself included, is the elusive concept of "the work." What does it mean to actually do the work, and how does one go about it?

For me, "the work" began with self-reflection and therapy. This provided me with essential tools to address and process trauma. I then immersed myself in reiki sessions, learning to administer it to myself. Meditation soon followed as I embarked on a daily practice, fueled by a dedicated course.

During this period of deep self-reflection, I started to ask myself pivotal questions: “What do I see as my life’s purpose?” Am I currently working towards that purpose? Are my work and relationships in alignment with my values? Was I truly living my most authentic and vibrant life?

Such introspection brought me face to face with uncomfortable truths and realizations about where my life was out of alignment. For instance, if health was a priority, why were my decisions leading me down a path of unhealthy habits? If spending time with my family and being truly present for my friends is such a priority, why am I working and living in a way that does not allow for me to be fully engaged? If making an impact on the lives of others is so important to me, then why is my work centered around how much money I make, what accolades I acquire, and the concept of “winning” taking precedence over all?

This realization demanded a drastic paradigm shift. I became so uncomfortable with this misalignment that I felt like I couldn’t keep going in the same direction. This realization demanded a drastic paradigm shift.

Embarking on a self-reflective journey can be daunting. But with deliberate steps, we can infuse our lives with purpose, clarity, and peace. Here’s a distilled guide, based on my own experience, to help you "do the work":

  1. IDENTIFY YOUR CORE VALUES: What truly matters to you? Is it family, health, career progression? Defining these can illuminate the path forward.

  2. ASSESS YOUR LIFE'S BALANCE: Use tools like this 'wheel of life' sheet to pinpoint areas where you may be living incongruently with your values.

  3. SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS: If health is a priority and you've been neglecting it, start with something simple like a 10-minute walk post meals. Small, consistent actions can snowball into significant transformations.

  4. MEDITATE AND PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: A daily meditation or PQ practice can center your thoughts and align you with your intentions.

  5. CRAFT YOUR PERSONAL MISSION AND VISION: Document what you stand for and where you see yourself. This acts as a compass during uncertain times.

  6. SEEK EXTERNAL SUPPORT: If burnout has consumed you, therapies like acupuncture can rejuvenate your spirit. I also found immense value in hiring a leadership coach. The clarity, accountability, and strategies she provided were instrumental in my journey.

Ultimately, realigning with your values doesn't demand a complete life overhaul. With intentionality, patience, and consistent action, we can craft lives that truly echo our deepest desires.


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