I used to think that in order to have a purposeful and meaningful life, I would have to quit my job, leave the corporate world, find a new and more “spiritually satisfying “ career and of course..move to Austin.
And I almost did exactly that.
I was burnt out, lacking a sense of purpose in my life, and felt like a hollow shell on the inside. I desperately craved more meaning in my life and thought the only way I could find it was by giving up everything I knew and starting all over again.
I wanted to be anywhere else other than where I already was.
I had bought into the belief that if I stayed in corporate I would become hardened, jaded and lose my light. And that I would have to hide my spirituality if I wanted to do well and fit in.
So I convinced myself that I either had to drink the kool-aid and become someone I didn’t actually want to be…or walk away from all of it so I could become the person I wanted to be.
And right when I was about to pull the trigger and walk away from everything I had worked so hard to build, one of my favorite quotes happened to scroll across my computer screen.
“Everywhere you go…there you are.”
The quote stopped me dead in my tracks. I would say it felt like divine intervention — but I”m pretty sure Google’s data miners had a little something to do with it. But either way, it got me thinking…and reflecting.
Through my reflection I realized that I wasn’t actually lacking meaning- I had simply forgotten how to find it in the things I was already doing.
The truth is a lot of the things I was doing in my day to day life at that time had plenty of meaning. They even had purpose. (They still do actually.) What they were missing was joy.
Somewhere along the way I had lost the spark that used to light me up when I would take on a new task or a new challenge. Gone was that giddy sense of excitement and delight that would, in the past, have made my heart and stomach flutter with the same intensity as a roller coaster ride for most people.
I was so far removed from the feeling of joy that even the extraordinary had started to feel ordinary.
So I decided to challenge myself. Each day for 60 days I would find joy in even the tiniest of tasks.
My morning coffee was no longer just a quick wake me up before the gym- it became a sensual and mindful ceremony that instilled a greater sense of gratitude in each sunrise.
Walking the dogs was no longer my responsibility as a dog owner — it was a chance to see all of nature in action..from the birds that were chirping along the way, the squirrels that took off running when they saw as coming and even the other dogs that stared (or lunged) our way when they noticed us.
Working hard was no longer something I did because it was expected. It became a way to serve my clients and my community on a deeper level.
Even my workouts — which I’ve always enjoyed — took on a deeper, more spiritual meaning as I let the music seep into every fiber of my being and grasp the meaning behind the lyrics and the power of the thoughts that led to those words being sung.
My little experiment helped me realize that a purposeful life doesn’t come from what you do as much as it comes from HOW you do what you do. And when you’re intentional and purposeful with the things you do — the things you’re doing also start to take on more meaning.
Ironically, the more joy I searched for, the more meaning I also found. Even the ordinary started to feel extraordinary.
Joy has now become a staple in my life. It seems to find its way into everything I do. From writing this post, to solo dance parties with my dogs, to nights out with friends — and yes even to the work I do as a lawyer. (I’m not gonna lie, it was kinda always there as far as the work I do as a coach.)
I have more appreciation for what I do, the people I work with and those I serve. And I’m definitely still becoming the person I want to be.
My days also seem to be filled with purpose no matter what I’m doing. And the best part of all — the spiritual satisfaction that I thought I would have to sacrifice if I kept my corporate job has become one of my biggest strengths there.
Sometimes it’s not so much about changing our outside world as it is about changing our inside world. And once we master what’s happening on the inside…pretty much anything is possible on the outside.