My Purpose is Greater than my Challenges

purposeI don’t have enough time to live my own life.  It only took me 43 years to reach this conclusion.  With a new year started, all the advice given on social media, news headlines, magazines, celebrity interviews, the most inspiring people of 2016 stories, motivational speakers, the message from your pastor at the Sunday service along with all the new things I need to do to be a better teacher, my principal sending out new ideas, the state telling teachers how to teach and all the show segments telling me how to live my life better can be a tad overwhelming. Yet, I get this bright idea that I can do all of this.  After all, I am ready to save the world, myself and I am motivated.

Most of these stories are inspiring and offer promise.  Of course, being motivated, I sit down and compile a list of what I want to do to improve my life.  I listened to motivational speakers and I have listened and learned, listened more and learned more, but I never follow through because my list ends up being pages and pages that I forgot what motivated me in the first place.

My list has now turned into tasks.  I need to back up my computer, back up my phone, check my credit often, get cardio each day, lift weights, take my vitamins, eat certain foods, pick up the dog poop in my backyard more often, start my kids’ college fund, meet with my financial planner AGAIN, read good books, motivate my students, test my students, bring data to meetings, change a student’s life each day, make my son read a book, help my son with spelling, get my son from weight lifting, get another son to basketball practice, grade that stack of papers, write my lesson plans,  and on and on and on and on.  I need to fertilize my lawn for the winter, wait its winter.  Suddenly, I realize I don’t have time to live my life!

The feeling of dropping the ball is real.  I feel deflated.  I let my son down, my lawn will not look nice in the spring, and all that motivation I had is dwindling.

A year ago, I was asking myself what my purpose was in life.  I had left my teaching career, started a Life Coaching business and taking so much advice from others, doing things the way they advised me and I allowed this to leave me feeling lost in my own personal purpose.

I’ve been writing for years now.  I enjoy it, it makes me feel better, but what is my purpose?  Like in my first paragraph, I wanted to motivate others with my story and that being trapped in the “stuck mode” is not the answer.  But as I wrote to motivate others, I was stuck.  I was trying to find my purpose.

My list of improving my life was so long and overwhelming, that I never paid attention to what was going on around me.  I was living my purpose.  The very thing I was searching for, crying over, struggling over was happening each day.

You see, as many of you have, I’ve spent most of my life pursuing goals, accomplishments, and things I felt I needed to be happy and complete.  After 18 years of teaching and being exposed to a toxic environment, I realized I was personally and emotionally unsatisfied.  I was allowing another person to dictate how I felt.  I was allowing him to take away all of my accomplishments and my years of satisfaction.  So I chose to be faithful to my one word I had been searching for, “Purpose”.  I just didn’t quite understand what that was yet.

For a year of searching for my purpose, I went through some serious depression, felt lost, not complete and very hurt.  I no longer felt accomplished, yet I have two master degree’s, I had started a business, written two e-books, met with some amazing clients that I helped change their life to a positive, blended my family with the love of my life, bought a great house and always surrounded by nothing but support and love.  YET, I couldn’t find my purpose or feeling of accomplishments inside of me.  From the outside, everything looked great! But on the inside, I hurt and felt the most depressed I ever had. To many, I was brave to leave the toxic situation in Marysville Schools, I stood up for my health and integrity, yet where was this purpose at?

I lost a year of life, which is already short enough.  It is always that person we least expect, that one e-mail, that one post that wakes us up.  I had two blessings this week and I know without a question I am living my purpose.

First, my Pastor wanted me to call him.  I switched churches a few months ago, and I have been motivated and inspired by this man more than any pastor in my life.  However, I called him on my way to work and he needed me.  Yes, a pastor needs just regular me.  You see he is writing a paper for his class and believes in me enough to sit down and help him get his thoughts outlined on paper so he can write his amazing story on how he got to where he is.  This made my day.

The second was my son’s high school principal.  This is a woman who I met my senior year of high school.  She went to the local college and her best friend was my volleyball coach.  Small world right?  I was thrilled when I learned she would be Hayden’s principal.  Out of all walks of life, who would have thought back in 1991 that she would be the leader and motivator of my son’s high school education?

Anyway, she wrote a post that struck me as an educator.  One thing that struck me in her post was this quote “I forget about what I get to do rather than what I have to do”.  WOW!  Read those words over and over and just think about that for a minute.  She is doing a one-word challenge and hers is GET.  I am going to repeat her quote again “I FORGET ABOUT WHAT I GET TO DO RATHER THAN WHAT I HAVE TO DO”.  We all get stuck on that list, and we always have to do what we have to do but do we truly think about what we get to do each day or do we take that for granted. Image result for purpose

PURPOSE-the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Each day, I walk into South High School, I know my purpose is working with inner-city students.  My education, experience, the good and the bad, led me to kids that need me, and frankly, I needed them to.  My purpose is helping others when in need.  My purpose has allowed me to live a great life, have a nice house, 4 amazing boys, the most loving partner and loving, supportive friends and family, a healthy lifestyle, plenty of food along with taking my kids on memorable vacations.

My purpose has led me in many different directions.  Each direction has been a learning tool that has allowed me to be where I am today.  I just overlooked that this was my purpose.  Leaving Marysville, led me to Columbus City Schools and starting part-time and now back to teaching full-time was the process that I needed to realize my purpose.   Each student I get to interact with daily is my PURPOSE.  Teaching is my purpose along with listening, motivating and pushing my students to be the most successful adult that they can be.

I am going to slow down and enjoy this.  I found my Purpose and each day I get to live that.  My one word I will be diligent on this year is #Purpose.

What will your word be?  Where will you slow-down in your life to allow yourself to see that one word that has meaning to you?     #Purpose

Becky Shaffer

|Educational Life Coach|||

Published by beckyshafferliveinconfidence

I did the crazy and left my career teaching job after 19 years to work on and build my coaching business. I took a year off to follow my dream of being a life coach and using my skills, life lessons and training to help others find meaning in their life. While I do this, I am always growing, learning and finding more purpose and meaning in my life as well. Currently, I am life coaching and fitness coaching part-time , I continue to blog, meet with clients and I am back to teaching full time in Columbus City Schools, working with gifted students, teaching. U.S. History.

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