Find Purpose: Just because the world is shutting down, doesn't mean you have to.
Finding purpose in a world is stuck in isolation and fear.
Three years ago, if you were to tell me I was going to quit my job, I would’ve laughed in your face. If you’d also told me that I’d be trying to start a business during a worldwide pandemic, I probably would’ve fainted. Yet, here I am, sitting in front of my computer attempting the impossible.
This decision was made after months, even years, of contemplating a bigger purpose in the world. I’ve longed to work for myself and hold an immense passion to help others. Of course, this decision was made with an excessive amount of anxiety - repeatedly asking important questions “How would I support myself financially?”, “Can I really follow through with this?” and the biggest question of all, “Do I have what it takes to succeed?” This fear was nothing in comparison to what lied ahead.
In the first hour of relaying the news to my boss, I’d never been so overjoyed and utterly frightened in my entire life. For the first time, I’d finally chosen my happiness over the wants and needs of others. A decision where I had full control over the consequences and outcomes of my actions.
Within two weeks of embarking on my new journey, a wrench was thrown into my excitement. The news of COVID-19 started to emerge. News stations endorsed fear and our nation’s leaders were pleading with us to stay home. I panicked, like anyone would, I wasn’t prepared for this as new entrepreneur, a daughter, a sister, a friend and as a human being. Infectious disease spread, businesses closed and people lost their jobs, their families and their zest for life. Not only have people became fearful of contracting the virus, they’ve become fearful of each other and of losing control. Unfortunately, for many of us, fear, anxiety and depression will dominate how we perceive the fight against COVID-19, either literally or figuratively. While you may feel like you have lost control of your life, you have not lost control of your mindset and actions.
The one thing I’ve learned while sitting here at my computer, devouring news about the virus and feeding my anxious thoughts (sporting a 3-day old outfit and no bra) is life must to go on. No matter how much your life has changed in a matter of days, hours or minutes, you must learn to adapt and innovate. Now, I don’t expect everyone to believe there is a universe or that everything happens for a reason. What I do believe is the challenges that take place in our lives (whether they are self created or not) are directly related to the lessons we need to learn to become better as people and as a society.
In order to move forward successfully, you must look at this challenge as an opportunity. You must ask the question - what positive actions can I take right now to make this time valuable? How can I be of better service to my family, my friends and most importantly, myself? One step in the right direction would be to make a list of things you can do RIGHT NOW with the time you do have. Sign up for that online course you have been meaning to try, read those personal development books you have piled on your bedroom table, start gathering notes for that business plan, research a new idea you have been thinking about implementing. Is that cookbook you bought is still in its plastic? Give it a try! You never know where a new adventure (big or small) might lead to you to in the future. Making something impossible - possible.
When I’d first started self-isolating, like many of us, I’ve had tremendous fear and anxiety of the unknown. Then I realized the only thing I could control was my actions and reactions. When I started my list of positive activities and actions that are available, I realized being stuck at home isn't that bad. I got a jump start on two different courses that I needed to further my career, I started planning my next (virtual) event and started writing this blog. I implemented a routine that included healthy eating and working out, which helped me feel in control.
My biggest takeaway is that giving value to my time and investing in myself, my loved ones and the greater good gives purpose to my life. I became grateful for the time I have and discovered it is very precious. Once I started focusing on the items on my list, I was so busy I forgot how much anxiety I had. I kept my eye on the bigger picture. My goal is to be of service and there are people out there that need my help.
In a world that is always complaining about the loss of time, we now have been given all the time in the world. Question is - what are you going to do with it?