The Purpose Project: Past Choices Can Inspire a Future with Purpose
Updated: Mar 20
Past Choices Can Inspire a Future with Purpose
The reason for sharing my stories and book, and this blog, is so you know you are not alone if you, too, find yourself searching for more. What I realized over these past 20+ years is that the lessons learned while in your life’s Chapter 2, apply to leadership—to the leader you are in your personal life, and the leader you are or will become, in the business world. I think if we decide to lead with meaning in both worlds and not "and" it should be "then" others will follow.
Learn from your childhood insights. As you begin your Purpose Project and perhaps your own Chapter 2, life tends to come full circle. What stands out in your memory about your childhood? What were the 3 best things about growing up the way you did? Your answers will help you find what may have gotten lost in your life over the years.
I see now it was the foundation of my mother’s love and my parents’ commitment to us—as well as the sacrifices we made—that helped me to see clearly when everything I thought I wanted was challenged. My extended Italian family meant everything to my parents. That foundation drove me to find my true passion in pajamas. My mother’s expressions of love helped me identify exactly what was missing in that little girl’s life. And my father’s insistence on education and hard work showed me how to provide not only for myself but also for others—helping me redefine what it means to be a “family.”
Examine the WHY of your past choices. What lead you to your first career choice?
So many of us didn’t give much thought to getting that first job. We wanted a job and money and security and status, all as fast as we could get it. Some of us followed in someone else’s footsteps or took a path that was expected of us. Others may not have felt empowered yet to start something on their own. At a young age, overwhelming pressure from family, peers, teachers, even neighbors may move us in a direction that may be safe, but not true to ourselves.
Partly because of my family’s hard work and sacrifices, I sometimes felt I didn’t have enough. As a result, I started out in my career by focusing too much on what I wanted in terms of wealth and material possessions—money, clothes, apartment, travel. Soon the polish wore off those pursuits, however, and I was left unfulfilled. I knew I needed a change.
Don’t let tradition hold you back from your true purpose. It does take courage for most of us to take a road less traveled. There may be people in your life who won’t understand your career decision. They may feel rejected or underappreciated. And it takes self-reflection and patience to decide at the start, what you really want for the next 30 years. We need to find the confidence to trust our hearts and turn our talents into a life full of joy and purpose for ourselves that at the same time, supports us financially. I have learned if we give ourselves this gift of a personal examination period, others will benefit too. It seems to be a natural law!
When I got my first job at 1010WINS radio in New York City, I never knew my exciting career in media would pale by comparison to giving pajamas to children who didn’t have any and reading them bedtime stories. But it did. Before long I realized I had opened the way to being free to pursue what my heart voice was telling me. It was time to give my life meaning.