As the miles ticked by today on my run (read jog/plod) I pondered my list of what seem like impossible questions to answer. My mental diatribe went something like this:
“Puff, puff, my chest hearts. Oh I like this song on my Ipod, can’t beat some vintage trashy pop. What exactly is it I want to do with my life? What one job is going to fulfil me? My chest still really hurts. Wow look at the pretty plant over there. Nice. What exactly should I be doing with my life and why don’t I know the answers already? We’re on the main road; stand tall, run faster and look fit. People can see me and I am heart attack red. Hello old smiling people. What are my talents, gifts and skills? What should I be doing with my life? What do I want to do and why don’t I know the answers? What is my purpose? What sets my soul on fire? Well my knees are on fire right now. I don’t appear to have much cartilage left in these joints.”
And then I stopped dead in my tracks and it struck me that I have known the answers all along for YEARS but I haven’t been listening to myself and I haven’t been asking the right questions of myself. I laughed out loud as I realised I had in fact written down the answer in my journal this morning. I already had my winning Bingo numbers but I hadn’t seen them; I had been too busy splodging my marker upon random numbers instead. For years. I laughed out loud and leaned heavily on my knees to catch my breath.
I have been focussing my thoughts these past two weeks on finding a job that fits me, will pay my bills and somehow fulfil every single dimension of who I am and what I am capable of.
Talk about asking the impossible.
There is no single job that will fulfil my every need
I am more complex than that and my needs will change with time. My time in South Africa will come to an end shortly and there is a big question mark and a dollop of healthy fear as I prepare to take on new challenges, living in Egypt and looking for work. I don’t know how I will pay my bills, how the experience will change me or what I will call my ‘job(s)’ in the future. I am scared but ready. Actually I am mostly scared but it sounds better to finish it with a positive in there.
By the end of my run today I felt peaceful in the knowledge that I have all along known the answer to what I want to do with my life. I have known it since I scribbled in my journal as a child, tried to help others as a teenager and then lost my way as an adult and clawed my way back to the sunshine again. But it isn’t a job description, it’s my purpose and it goes like this
All I want to do is help people
Inspire them to feel loved, to grow
To find reason to smile and believe in life
To know they can do it, whatever they dream of
It may be that I do this by continuing my much loved work with sharks. Or perhaps by being a diving instructor, a singer, a writer, a wildlife guide, a life coach, a teacher, a pianist, a team leader, a barista, a wine expert, whatever. These are all possible jobs that I could do and there is a whole world of other possibilities out there that I don’t even know about yet. But my point today is
It isn’t about the job title.
It is about finding your purpose, that thing you believe in the most
Knowing my purpose is what will drive me onwards when I am tired, penniless and feel like giving up. Purpose and passion are the coal and fire in my belly, the extra mile in my legs as I run (again read jog/plod) onwards. The reason I get up at 5.45am on a day off and keep going.
And today I have found them. I think they have been waving at me for years, jumping up and down with crazy smiles on their faces and waiting for me to take notice. And now I have found them, I am holding on and will not let go. Whatever the future brings I at least know what I want to do and can guide my decisions by that. I don’t know how I will make it work or exactly what I will be doing. But that’s okay. I can work with that another day.
I stopped laughing on my run and plugged my Ipod back in. One of my favourite songs came on and left me grinning from ear to ear. It’s definitely not running music but listen to the lyrics and you’ll understand.
The timing couldn’t have been better as the music encouraged me to just go my own way, hold my head high and figure it out as I go. Keep exploring this thing called Life.
As I walked in the door I spotted my favourite inspirational quote from this week and did exactly what is said
Excuse the language but the moment deserves it. Now it’s your turn. Go and take five minutes to listen to some inspiring music, walk around the house like a champion and ask yourself
What is my Purpose?
What is it that sets my soul on fire?
And then do it. Whatever it is.