Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity of returning to my Alma Mater to facilitate a workshop. This is something that amazed me in so many ways. Not only was this personal growth, but to see the impact this short session had on these students blew me away. Weeks have gone by, and I still haven’t been able to get it out of my head. If you know my journey, you’re aware of the reason why this is so huge to me. Growing up, I was beyond shy. I didn’t speak to many people at all, I was unsure of who I was, I never thought I had much to offer, and I didn’t know what my purpose was. Fast forward to now, I am aware of my purpose and I’m passionate about helping others find their purpose and passion. I’m passionate about sharing in order to create positive change in the lives of others. To see my progress and certain things unfold right before my eyes often times leave me speechless. Sometimes I can’t even believe how I’ve developed as a person. And because of it, I’m able to relate and reach others.
Being that this is still fresh on my mind and had the impact that it had, I figured I’d share the workshop/session with you all. The title or theme of the workshop was, Progress over Perfection: Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose in the Face of Adversity. I started out with sharing a piece of my story then gave them ways to pursue your passion and purpose through the face of adversity.
When I entered college, I thought I wanted to be an accountant. I honestly liked the look of a businesswoman. In my mind they looked so powerful and successful, and that was something that I wanted. I sparked an interest in money, and became a financier in my church during high school. So I assumed that was the path for me. A few semesters down the line, I started to struggle in school. I failed a class and was put on academic probation. I then was forced to change my major. Coincidentally, this same semester was the semester many different people came to me for advice. Also the year, I realized there was something to my writing (although I didn’t share until after college). My failure helped me to find and recognize my passion. I was passionate about people and helping them. Something I realized at that point, and my major was changed to sociology. Failure promotes growth and progress. Something I had to learn. I was forced to look beyond and find my passion, because I clearly wasn’t living it. I spent many nights crying and struggling in school. After I was faced with those papers, I soon realized accounting wasn’t my purpose. I could’ve just given up and thought school wasn’t for me all together. But deep down I knew there was something in me, I had purpose on my life and I had to take that moment to figure out the direction I needed to go down. There was something there, even in the face of adversity. I began writing a book after college, but my computer crashed different times a long the way. I decided to put the book on hold after that. I wanted to give up the writing thing all together, but something on the inside just wouldn’t let me. I was passionate about writing and something pulled me to share it with others. One day I went on vacation to Atlantic City, alone. As I sat in my room, I just decided that I needed to start blogging. I knew nothing about the process, but I just knew it was something I needed to do. I looked up a couple of sites and found one that I figured would be easier for me. After a few posts I began to get feedback on how my writing was helping others. Feedback confirms what you already know. I knew I was passionate about helping others and writing. The feedback confirmed that I was doing the right thing. Remember this, you’ll get confirmation of your passion and purpose along your journey. And although I didn’t always feel as if I was in the place I desired, I was reaching someone, I was making progress. We don’t have to be perfect to be effective, we just have to make progress.
This was just a brief version of a part of my story. But, I want to share six ways to pursue your passion and purpose through the face of adversity. These are all things that I realized were important on my journey.
- Write it out. We’ve all heard of the saying, “write the vision, make it plain’. This is so important when you have a dream or a goal. Being very specific in your desires is what will propel you. Write out what you feel your purpose is, what your passion is, all of your dreams, and how you will get there.
- Study and research the ends and out of your desired field. Don’t go into something blind-sighted. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into. although I jumped into blogging, there were many things I wish I knew before starting. There were things that I had to learn along the way, which I feel may have set me back a little. Research will put you in a better position for success.
- Take every opportunity you can to learn as much as you can. There will always be opportunities right in front of you that you must take advantage of. An example for me is being invited to different places to do workshops. I know that I’m not the greatest at it and often times I doubt myself, but there’s no way I can grow if I don’t take advantage of these opportunities presented. Even being called into leadership meetings or events. Just being able to allow an atmosphere to help you learn and grow is amazing.
- Connections. Who you are connected to is very important. It’s imperative to try to seek out a mentor and connect with people who are in a place that you desire to be in. Someone/people you can glean from. People who are not afraid to share their stories and experiences with you. People who are willing to share their struggle, their path, and how they were able to reach their level of success.
- Acknowledging setbacks and adversity. On the other hand, recognizing your purpose and doing it anyway. Often times things come up against us, but we are too afraid to deal with it. Brushing off what comes up against us will eventually cause stagnation. There’s no way we/re able to move if we don’t overcome the things that we face. In the midst of acknowledging the set backs and adversity, acknowledge what you possess. Acknowledge the gifts you were given and realize that your purpose is bigger than anything that may come up against you.
- Understand that the world needs you. We’ve all been given different gifts and talents. We posses things that the world is literally waiting for. What you have to offer will have the ability to change someone’s life. There are people who are depending on what’s places inside of you. For this reason alone, we should be compelled to live out our dreams and callings. What we possess isn’t all about us, it’s for the benefit of someone else.
Whatever you do, do what it takes to live out your passion with everything that’s inside of you. No matter what comes up against you, there’s purpose and destiny inside of you. We must also understand that everything won’t be perfect. Progress over perfection is what we should seek after. Lastly, if you’re willing to put in the work you’ll be able to successfully pursue your passion and your purpose.