I had no clue what the Serbian reporter was asking me. Thank goodness Oscar was there to translate the conversation. I met Oscar earlier this spring on CouchSurfing.com when we couldn’t find a pet-friendly place to stay in Serbia. While we weren’t exactly in the market for a couch to sleep on, I thought the site could be a good way to connect with young people in Subotica and find someone to help us search for an apartment to rent.
Oscar and I had a connection right off the bat and our conversation shifted very quickly from our house hunt, to more personal talks about life, dreams, and passions. It still surprises me how powerful of a connection you can make with people you meet online. Oscar shared with me his passion to empower the youth of Vojvodina and I told him about my idea to create an innovative IT company. Our commitments matched… and voila! Fast forward to last week when there I stood in front of a reporter in Stara Moravica being interviewed about the opening of our new school.
It’s no accident I landed here. It was synchronistic, because I was clear about what’s important to me.
What I have found life changing has been my practice in meditation. I know, it seems silly – sitting crossed-legged and focusing on your breath – but in all actuality, it gives you a higher sense of being. You don’t have to go all hippy-style. But I suggest you give contemplation a shot as a vehicle to uncover what’s important to you and your purpose. Simply go to your favorite place. That doesn’t mean you have to fly to Paris, but it could be as simple as sitting in your favorite comfy chair or going to that one coffee shop you love. Any place that makes you feel at peace and clear headed. By being in your comfy place, you’re priming yourself to start thinking about your life.
Now go back through your life and think about the things that have made you the happiest. Think of those defining moments where you just came out feeling that everything was right in the world. You might be surprised by what comes up. Some of those times may be grand and significant. Others may seem like small, simple events. Accept whatever comes to you.
Next, either on your laptop or on a pad of paper, depending on your preference, start to list all those things that are most important to you and really be thorough about it. While thinking, there are probably a lot of things that have changed over the years, as life usually does. What you’re looking for among all these important things are those that have remained consistent, that you love to do, and that have made you the happiest. You’ll start to notice a pattern about the things that have remained important to you over time. Begin to narrow that list down to the top things that are most important to you.
What next? Well, you’ve realized what has been important to you – now think of what is important to you at this very moment. This will allow things that are important to you to align from past to present. Now looking at everything on your list, what exactly about them made you happy? Were you spreading great ideas or bringing people together? Were you challenging yourself or expressing light and laughter? Who were you being during those times?
Next, take a break. An exhaustive list is called exhaustive for a reason! Give yourself a few minutes or a few days before coming back to your list. With fresh eyes, look again at your list and the reasons those activities or events made you happy. What do they have in common? What are the common themes? These common themes are pointing toward your purpose. And what will begin to emerge are things you would love doing while fulfilling your purpose as a way of being. Don’t ignore those things that are important to you because they give your life juice, inspiration, and rejuvenation when you need it. Make sure they don’t get lost under your endless To-Do lists!
It’s really that simple. It might seem like an epiphany, but really it’s just a moment of clarity, an ‘aha’ moment where everything just makes sense.