“You need to know what life you want (as well as what life you don’t want). Then you have to muster up the will and drive to go after it.”
– Bob Greene
Yesterday was our New Year, New You holistic women’s wellness retreat at Barton Creek Country Club. The day kicked off with exercise, breakfast and then four fantastic, inspirational and extremely knowledgeable speakers. Pam Owens, a married mother of two young children and owner of consulting firm Edge of Your Seat spoke first. I met Pam last spring after attending two intimate women’s conferences where she both spoke and served as the event facilitator. Pam’s approach to life is candid, compassionate and hysterical, which I have grate appreciation for.
Pam presented on Living with Purpose and Passion, and as always I am still thinking about her thought provoking and introspective questions — 36 hours later. I’ve included her worksheet below, as I believe living with purpose and passion is the way we all should strive to live, everyday of our life. And, as a result of Pam’s wisdom, it occurred to me that I can have more than one purpose/passion — which I do. Ridiculously, I’ve placed self-imposed rules around my purpose/passion, so it was freeing to know that not only can I have several, but they can morph and change too!
Furthermore, in pursuit of achieving joy and finding our purpose and passion, Pam asked us to identify three things that we would absolutely NOT be willing to give up, as well as three things that we need to starting saying NO to immediately. I loved this exercise, because not only do we need to know what we want out of life, but we also must be willing to acknowledge what we don’t want. It sounds simple, but answering these questions will guide our joy and provide clarity for our purpose and passions.
Below is the content of the worksheet. I hope you’ll take the time to answer the questions and explore your purpose, passion(s) and joy!
Complete the following sentences and/or answer the following questions:
- What do you want your legacy to be?
- How do you define success?
- My 3 strengths are…
- When was the last time you felt pure joy? What were you doing?
- What I like doing the most is…
- What is Passion? (in your own words…)
- What are 3 things that you are absolutely NOT willing to give up?
- What are 3 things that you need to start saying NO to, immediately?
The Roadblocks: Which box do you check all too often?
___Less Than ___Jealousy ___I can’t do it ___I’m not good enough
___Victim ___Comparison ___Lonely ___Guilt/Regret
Road Test: How do I know if I’m loving my life with passion and purpose?
- You are totally obsessed with what you are doing
- You can’t stop talking about what you get to create and do everyday
- You feel it in your gut without a doubt, an underlying belief that this IS definitely what you’re meant to do.
- You wake up ready to take on the day in a new way, leaving what may have happened yesterday in its place so you can be fully present today.
- Resilience is your middle name.
- You shock yourself occasionally with just how good something you did really is!
- Things just seem to become effortless and fall into place.
- You can stay focused on what you want to accomplish regardless of the distraction.
- Your faith or belief in something bigger than you allows you to stay balanced on your journey.
Point To Ponder:
Are you living everyday with purpose, passion, and joy?
Answer the questions in the journal above and see where they take you!
See the distant road rather than the mud on the windshield.
— Bill Swinney (Kathleen’s father)
Fill your life with joyful, positive and passionate people, thoughts and things and remain focused on them. Never forget that life is an adventure.
This month we celebrated my Dad’s big BANG 88th birthday at his ranch. Seriously, it was a bang of a birthday, as he has an authentic Civil War cannon that he loves to fire to commemorate another year of his ‘great adventure.’ This year we had an Eight Bang Salute celebrating 88 years on the 8th of July.
Dad has shared his enthusiasm for adventure with his six children throughout his life, and he taught us that nothing is impossible!! For example, when we were young he threw six ropes off the back of the boat and had us get up and ski together. In the mid 60’s, he created the first parasailing expedition by going to the local Army Surplus Store and purchasing an old parachute. He cut holes in it, tied it to the back of the boat with a ski rope and took off with one of my brothers dangling from the parachute in a small makeshift rope seat. It was quite a site to see back then!
Just four years ago at the age of 84 he decided to build a big new ranch house by himself. He has always had an altruistic spirit and hired some ex-cons and a one legged carpenter to assist him. He finished his pride and joy in less than a year. Unfortunately, the ex-cons returned to rob him and stole his truck!
Following the big bang birthday I received a hand-written letter from my Dad — something he does a couple times a year to all of his children. He expressed his joy for life, along with incredible wisdom. This is what he wrote:
“Life has been a great adventure for me—and it continues to be so. Remember these things:
Believe there are opportunities for success instead of pitfalls leading to failure. Don’t let trivialities get you side tracked
There are a myriad of positive ways to view life—so keep the negative out of play.
Remember the redeeming value of rest and the exhilarating value of work and KEEP THEM IN BALANCE.
The body will follow the mind until it collapses with fatigue, so if you can keep your body fit and strong then you can get more performance as your mind pushes the body into high test situations.
Most importantly, remember the human body is the most complex chemical plant God created and the chemicals are dispersed by how one thinks. Thinking positively dispenses chemicals that lead to accomplishment, and daily accomplishment puts “OLD AGE” on hold! Sounds simple, BUT IT WORKS!!”
This is only one of many wisdom notes my father has written me and eventually I will share them all. Until then, I do not doubt that Dad will someday meet our Heavenly Father, exhausted and exhilarated from truly living and thoroughly enjoying this life that He so generously gave us. The thought “What if I would have…?” will never enter his mind, and I strive to carry on his grandiose passion and joy for life.
I found this 67 year old inspiration water skiing barefoot with a friend and while I not sure I want to ski barefoot at 67, she inspires me to never stop. She’s pretty remarkable!!