I envision a world where we step into our purpose by learning.
My intentional journey to find my purpose began when I turned 40. Before then, I am sure I was always searching, albeit not so intentionally, trying different things, following the obvious paths that were set before me: the path for a respectable career, money, a nice house, all the things that the world told me I must have.
When I turned 40, my world was upended. I was divorced with two kids living at my mom’s place. My law practice was dwindling, on the verge of failing. Everyday, I grinded it out and made it barely work. I think the one thing that kept me sane and from completely ruining my life was my connection to God. Luckily, a pastor came to my office week after week with a Bible and set me down for 20, 30 minutes to teach me. Of course, there were days when I didn’t feel like having a Bible study but for whatever reason, I didn’t cancel on him. He came to my office and we sat down. Most of the time it was just me and him, one-on-one Bible study. In the midst of the haze and clutter during that period in my life, I believe the weekly Bible study was the life rope that kept me stable enough to find a way out.
During this time, I became intently focused on finding my life purpose. A colleague, an attorney who was also a life coach, offered to give me a whole 10-week session of life coaching for free. It was a very generous offer and I enthusiastically accepted. We went through different exercises, writing down my purpose into one sentence, visualizing, coming up with action items, etc. I don’t remember all that much from the sessions. But the gist of it was that, I remember saying out loud, “I will move the masses. I see myself on a platform wearing a very form fitting dark navy suite with burgundy power heels speaking to a massive audience.”
Other than helping me verbalize my hubristic attitude, my colleague helped me rediscover how I really liked to read and write. Ever since I could remember, I was reading and writing. Given the chance, I would probably read for days. I can read in the quietness of my room, I can read when the kids are blaring the TV, I can read in a room full of people, I can concentrate and read in a cacophony or in complete silence.
I also wrote all the time: in my diary when I was little, in my journals, here and there taking notes. In my school years, writing came easily to me. I often received comments like, “Bravo!” “Excellent” on my writing assignments. Then, after I was done with school, I stopped writing. Well, I didn’t completely stop since I am a lawyer. But writing as a lawyer is a job. And if you have any idea what legal writing is like, that is not really writing.
One thing that became clear at the end of the life coach session was that I should start writing again. So I did. Here and there. Wrote a few pages, then some more, then deleted the whole thing. Then wrote again, deleted again. But basically, I continued with writing.
That was the beginning into my 40s. I searched desperately for my purpose. I had 3-4 hours of commute everyday and I used this time in my car to listen to audio books, Christian messages, college lectures, a lot of TED talks, everything that will help me find my purpose. But I have to admit, it was a lot of fun. I went through whole semester courses on Religious Studies, Philosophy, History, Music, so many different Christian conferences and messages, lectures by motivational speakers, famous graduation speeches, just about all the good things you can think of. It was college all over again but this time, taking all the fun elective courses.
Now that I calculate how many hours I must have watched and listened to all these things in my car from age 40 to now, it comes out to about 4,000 hours. When I talked to a friend recently about this I envision idea and how I arrived, here she said that I must’ve hit the magical 10,000 hours. They say that if you do something for 10,000 hours, you become an expert at it. I think she might be right because if I were to calculate all the hours I spent on finding myself, my purpose from college to now, especially since I majored in psychology and I’ve always been interested in these topics, I must have racked up 10,000 hours. I didn’t do this intentionally but somehow I’ve arrived at this magic number.
In addition to all the electives I took, I read whenever I could. I read about famous people, about social issues and entrepreneurs, all kinds of Christian related books and the Bible. In the past three years, I read the Bible all the way through three times. I plan to continue and read the Bible all the way through once every year. It’s pretty cool.
Somewhere along the way about three years ago, I started a women’s Bible study. First, it was just with my staff, then I started to invited more women. It never took off like the way I wanted to. It was up to about seven of us at one point but it is now down to four regulars including me. But it’s still going. We try to meet on a weekly basis. For these meetings, I would prepare about an hour on the weekends, reading the Bible and listening to relevant lectures on the topic we’ll be discussing in the coming week. Through these intimate gatherings, we’ve had many “breakthroughs.” There were so many “Aha!” moments that we shared with laughter and tears.
I also had a conviction in my heart to mentor a friend, which is something that I’ve never done before. And even though it began with the best of intentions from both of us, it wasn’t as successful as I had hoped for. I stopped thinking about what more I could have done but decided to stop thinking about it. I learned the difference between someone needing counseling as opposed to needing to be equipped. She was going through a different stage of transformation and I wasn’t the best candidate to guide her at that time. Soon thereafter, about a year ago, an assistant at the office approached me out of the blue. She had urgent life issues and she asked me if we can talk. The first meeting turned into a weekly Bible study/mentoring session. She is on her way to putting her life together and applying to law schools to begin her career as an attorney.
In 2013, as I was praying and meditating a lot asking God to show me His purpose for me, He gave me a couple of ideas about my legal practice and a fun project that I can start. Both ideas came to me simultaneously. I remember the time because I kept a prayer journal and I had written them down. This is when the idea about this adventure came: “I envision a world.” I didn’t act on this idea right away. I merely bought the web domain name and talked about the idea with my children and my boyfriend at that time who is now my husband. I did not make the connection that that was the answer. That, this, “I envision a world” is my purpose.
I believe that God gave me the talent of writing. I’m not very good at it, yet, but I like it and it comes to me easily. As for talking, I would listen to these great speakers and feel discouraged. I often thought about how these people have been speaking as a pastor, motivational speaker, lecturers for 10, 20, 30 years or more and thought how I was so late in the game. But God showed me that, ‘Hey, I’ve been speaking to people for the past 20 years.” As an attorney, I talk to people all the time. Attorneys are referred to as Counselors and that’s what I did for the past 20 years. I probably counseled hundreds or thousands of people.
Instead of using my talent to merely make a living as an attorney, I came to realize that I can use my talent to help and empower others in a more specific way. Through my writing and podcasting, I want to highlight your vision. I want to write about the regular people around me. I say, “regular” to mean everyone around us, not the celebrities or some famous people. I want highlight the visions of our children, the working moms, the stay-at-home moms because we all have dreams and visions that matter. We all have something to say and want to feel that we matter.
Especially now, more than ever, everyone wants to matter. That’s why Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all these social media have become so popular. Through writing or talking about your vision, I want to help you verbalize and visualize your dream. Let’s talk about it, see it together, and make it come alive. My hope is that you will be able to see and perhaps, rediscover what you have lost. I want to be your tool to bring your vision into reality.
This is my journey into arriving at my purpose. As we explore together, my hope and prayer is for you to learn what your purpose is, grow, and in turn, empower others to do the same. Let’s begin.