Mark Twain is sometimes credited with coining a bit of wisdom I like: “The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you discover why.” Powerful, isn’t it?
When I served as a nonprofit CEO, I found myself asking what was important. A lot. And it seemed like each time I asked it, I had a different response because I had a different (or recurring) situation in front of me to manage. Personnel issues, budget shortfalls, board members with differing priorities, regulatory changes, and turf wars were among the many things that caused me to ask what was important.
The answer for me, regardless of the situation, was our organization’s mission. But what happens when there isn’t something so clear and present as a mission – what then? From my perspective, that’s where the fun begins!
Your “why” may not be a career, like medicine or teaching, but it could be connecting people, writing, or making people laugh. And once you connect to your why and make it part of daily life, you may find some of the answers that you’ve not yet figured out.
I have a client story that illustrates this idea. A woman came to me for coaching because she had a dream and wanted to find her path to fulfilling it. She had been in a career she loved for 20+ years and wanted to stay in it, but she also knew she needed capital to realize her dream. Our coaching conversations were often focused on time management, communications, and finances, until one day she broke down crying in my office and said, “But I don’t want to be a nurse!”
What I didn’t know was she had been extended an offer by a friend to pay for her training program. She had struggled with the decision, even resisting it. But when we discussed what being a nurse could mean for her bank account, she got inspired by the idea and found even more connections to bringing about her dream. Today, she’s on her way and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
In her case, she had her why, but couldn’t find the path to it. Our coaching allowed her to put some organization around it, see the different pieces she needed to put together, and discover what a career change could do to support her and her dream.
Are you ready to start realizing your dream? All it takes to begin is a conversation. Let’s discover your why together!
Free bite-sized course: Finding and Connecting to Your Purpose
About the Author
Bradley K. Ward, ACC is Principal Coach and Consultant at The Mission Coach, LLC in Palm Springs, CA. Visit Brad’s website to find out how coaching can help you do what you do, better!