A Formula for Discovering Your Purpose
March 3rd, 2014 by Katie Morton
…and how not to handle a difficult situation.
Photo Credit: tasteful / Creative Commons
Over the holidays, The Monarch Company (my business) took a nosedive, and I handled the ensuing financial stress really “well” — to put it in sarcastic air quotes.
Here’s a primer on how to not handle a difficult situation in your own life: First, I totally lost my mind in a panic. Then I cried a lot. When the crying stopped, I felt a combination of resignation and anger. I handled this setback with all the poise and refinement of a two-year-old screeching for candy in the grocery store checkout line.
When I began tussling with my bleak financial situation, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) gracefully accept the fact that I would either have to go back to a traditional office job, or find more paid writing work in order to bolster my budget; that would be time away from my purpose right at the moment I was getting set to write my nonfiction book, 10 Secrets of People With Extraordinary Willpower.
“If I’m spending all my time trying to make money to survive, when the heck am I going to write a book?” I whined to myself. (Really now? This counts as a crisis? To me, apparently, yes.) I was upset, and moving along with the theme of what not to do, I fell right back into old habits like overeating to “cope” (that would actually be the opposite of coping.)
Then I found myself chasing a Red Herring by trying to fix my diet, and we all know what that’s like — stops, starts, cravings, and frustration.
When we latch onto a Red Herring, like dieting, we put our lives on hold while we chase a superficial ideal. Maybe we’re struggling with a habit like drinking, or getting more organized. This is a symptom of living without a purpose.
And while I was worried about overeating and dieting, my purpose, ironically — helping others ditch bad habits so they can live happier and more fulfilling lives — was a distant memory.
What I really needed to do in all this mess was to first get my feet on the ground and take care of real world issues, like how the heck was I gonna make some money?!
I’m blessed to have the ability, as a mother to a young child, to land freelance writing work. And so I promptly stopped freaking out and did that. I now have a steady writing job that keeps me very busy and will help make ends meet.
Once I got back on the path to repairing my finances, I realized that even though things weren’t going according to plan with my book writing project, everything is working out beautifully.
As the saying goes: out of breakdowns come breakthroughs.
In the eye of the storm, I finally gained the presence of mind to ask myself, “Okay so things aren’t happening the way you thought they would. So what do you *really* want?”
And the answer surprised me. I was given the gift of learning that my true calling is self-help with the twist of fiction. This book I’m creating, 10 Secrets of People With Extraordinary Willpower, is going to be novel. And with my busy writing job hogging my days, it’s going to get written in little scraps of time and in brief flashes of insight. That said, this novel that I’m working on is a joy to write. It’s my belief that the stories and experiences of the characters in the book will help readers by holding their attention (probably far better than nonfiction ever could) as the lessons are absorbed.
Back to the question, what do I really want: I also love coaching, and if you’ve ever emailed me looking for advice (which you can do by replying to my newsletter; find the subscription box below) you may have noticed that I haven’t offered a paid coaching package, only free advice.
Another answer to the question, “What do you *really* want?” has brought me to the realization that I want to coach clients one-on-one outside of my classes. So stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks if you’ve ever been curious about working with a coach. Feel free to email me if you want to make sure I send you the info as soon as it becomes available.
Today’s topic is about finding your purpose. If you’ve ever struggled with procrastination, or overeating, or drinking, then this Formula for Discovering Your Purpose is a must-read. We can only truly overcome unwanted habits by living a purposeful life. Otherwise we get caught in the endless loop of craving and obsession and short-lived attempts at resistance, with nothing worthwhile to steal our focus for longer than a blip at a time.
Click here to read about my Formula for Discovering Your Purpose.