I'm not too proud to admit this (well, actually I am, but it's part of my therapy - see previous blog, My Therapy), but I am struggling in this season of life, in my new role. I'm really struggling.
I'm used to being fairly competent at what I do. I'd venture to guess that most of us could say the same. We've been educated in our field of expertise, or we've been doing our jobs long enough that experience has made us experts in our fields.
In this new chapter of my life, operating a golf course and a restaurant simultaneously -- two things I've never done before -- I'm not an expert. I have no education and no experience at all. I'm a beginner, a fledgling, a neophyte.
I know that God will not call us to a new role for which He will not equip us, And, looking back over my experiences in life, I can see how He has prepared me for this new adventure through many of the skills I've learned here and there. But, I'm standing here right now feeling ill-equipped. Therefore, my plan is to become intentional about equipping myself for the journey ahead. (And, I figure I'll just bring you along as my therapist.)
In the airport, on my way to a little respite from my struggles, I stopped at the newsstand to pick up a book to read. The one I was most drawn to was a series of articles from Harvard Business Review called On Managing Yourself. (I know, I'm a bit of a nerd.) That title struck a chord with me because that's exactly where I need to focus my efforts -- managing myself. I've got some issues -- big ones. I believe working on me first is going to help me handle this new life a little better. So that's where I'll begin.
The first article I read was by Clayton M. Christensen entitled "How Will You Measure Your Life?" He was adamant that we must have a clear purpose in life.
. . .
Let that sink in. I had to. I sat on the plane (not flying, just on the runway, actually -- a problem with the balancing system) and pondered my life's purpose. I thought about the different seasons in my life -- as a Christian, as a wife, as a mother, as a teacher, as a sales director -- and how my purpose fluctuates slightly with each one.
By the end of the chapter, I ended up writing down "HELP PEOPLE BECOME BETTER" as my life's purpose. But here I am two days later (sitting on the beach looking out over the Gulf of Mexico -- definitely a better place to think), and I think I'd expand that a bit. I think my purpose is to help people, organizations, situations, conversations become better than they would have been without me. I want to add value in some way to everyone I meet and every situation I'm in. (I'm asking you to hold me accountable.)
That's a tall order, but I know that's who I want to be. As I thought about my actions and reactions over the last few months, I realized that, all I'd been doing was racing from one situation to the next just putting out fires. I wasn't living intentionally. I was just making it through each day. As I continue to reflect, I realize that this issue may take more than one therapy session.
You can join me on this quest. Hopefully, you stopped at those three dots above and gave it a little thought. If not, take some time, ponder your life's purpose, and we'll talk again soon.