Today I want to talk about how to find your calling in life -- the Oprah Winfrey way.
I'm off to Oprah's Live the Life You Want event in a few days. I can't wait to see her live!
I've been so impressed with the event so far -- they've sent me emails about "O Town" (basically a little village they created for guests to go before and after the event), they released a great app and even sent over an incredible questionnaire for guests to fill out for a chance to be called up on stage. (That means I could be sharing my story with Oprah and the entire crowd. How amazing would that be?!)
To be honest, that questionnaire was something I put on the back-burner for weeks because I knew it was going to be time-consuming, emotion-evoking and very powerful so I wanted to find a good chunk of time to fill it out. I finally completed it last week, and I'm so glad I did.
I found the whole process really eye-opening and powerful. Obviously Oprah and her team know what they're doing seeing that answering those 10 questions has already made an impact on my life -- and the event hasn't even officially started yet.
I loved one of the questions in particular. It was: What would your mom, sister, aunt or best friend say was that thing that defined who you were as a child and foreshadowed who you would become as an adult?
It's fascinating to remember what you innately wanted as a child and what you were drawn to without the influences of the "real world" or being told what you should do.
When I asked my mom to answer this question, she said:
The one thing I remember is that you were an early talker and loved to ask questions about everything! At 9-months-old, you would say, "What's that?" and "Who's that?" You were very inquisitive and curious -- hence asking people questions and learning about them in your business now!
Your vocabulary grew quickly, and you loved to read books and eventually keep a diary. I remember you saying how much you loved your Advanced English class. (I thought that was strange!) You always liked school and learning. I think it was important to you to work to your potential and give it all you had. We never had to say "Emily, do your homework!" or "Are you trying your hardest?" We knew for the most part you were. You also always had a drive about you that pushed for what you wanted -- hence going to London and finding your way alone took a lot of guts.
So how does that compare with the woman I am now?
It definitely reflects what I do today and my true calling. But in all honesty, it took me awhile to find my way, and I went through years of feeling like I was meant to do something big, but I didn't know what it was or how to do it.
Is that how you feel? Are you desperate to find your true calling but feeling stuck and confused?
Even if you don't know what it is now, I urge you not to give up. It's never too late.
Personally, I didn't always know that I was going to become a life coach and run my own online business. In fact, after getting my Psychology degree, I thought my next step was to get an MA and then a PhD. So I applied to twelve MA programs across the U.S. and ultimately decided on a Master's in Counseling Psychology program at Northwestern University in Chicago.
A few months later, as I was driving there to find an apartment in the city, I got one of those awful feelings of dread in the pit of my stomach, and I literally turned the car around. Many people know this story, but what I normally don't admit is that this happened twice. I applied to a Marital Family Therapy program later on that year, was accepted, and turned them down again. How embarrassing, right?!
After that, I fell into a deep quarter-life crisis, and I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I was lost, stuck and depressed. Are you there? Keep reading...
After about a year of confusion, I realized something had to change so I decided to listen to my heart and take action. I heard the whisper of "London, London, London" (I had visited the city a few years before and fell in love with it) so I applied for a MA in Non-Fiction Writing program (I had always wanted to write a book), packed up four ginormous suitcases and moved to the U.K. -- not knowing anyone. During that same year, I also felt coaching calling my name so I got a life-coaching qualification as well (It was a very busy year!).
Two years later, I gave into the entrepreneurial bug that I had caught years before. (I grew up with entrepreneurs all around me and as a young child, I always dreamed of running my own business.) And thank goodness I did, because my coaching company, I Heart My Life was born.
Today, I feel like I'm finally doing what I was meant to do -- I've been able to combine my love of asking questions, being creative, truly connecting with women like you, writing, running my own business, and having the freedom to travel and live anywhere in the world, and of course (hopefully) inspiring other women to live their dreams as well.
My point is, it's not always a direct path to your calling, but it's never too late to find your way.
Since I found Oprah's questions so powerful, I thought I'd share a few more of them with you today. If you're feeling lost and want to find your calling, these are a really good starting place. It's incredible how looking at the person you were as a child can help you find your way today.
How to Find Your Calling (The Oprah Way)
- Is there something you always knew you just felt right doing? Something deep down that pulled you? Called you?
- Find a picture of yourself as a child and spend some time reconnecting. What was something that child naturally loved to do?
- What was your first glimpse of who you "thought" you'd be when you were a child?
- What would your mom, sister, aunt or best friend say was that thing that defined who you were as a child and foreshadowed who you would become as an adult?
And if you can, take an hour over a cup of coffee or tea and answer the other questions as well. Write down whatever comes to mind and let your thoughts flow freely.
Later on, if you're open to sharing how this exercise went for you, I'd love for you to comment below and let me know what you discovered.
And if finding your calling is something you'd really love some support with, I'd be delighted to help so book your coaching session with me today.