I was born in 1971; you could do the math, but I'm begging you: Please don't!
For as long as I can remember, there was always a nagging question in the back of my mind that I could never quite find the answer to. I found myself asking that same question over and over again: "Why am I here?"
When I was younger, my mom told me the story of how I came into being. She was done having children. In fact, she told me that she had given away all of my sister's baby stuff, who is five years older than me. She told me she went to the doctor to have her tubes tied, and the doctor informed her that at that point, she was already pregnant.
The story continues: My mom went home, beat the crap out of my father and then, nine months later, I was born.
It does something to a child when they grow up knowing that they weren't wanted. I knew I was a mistake, an accident. I wasn't supposed to be here. I spent most of my childhood trying to be the best at everything to somehow justify my existence and prove to my parents that I wasn't a mistake, that I belonged.
I struggled through life still not knowing why I was here, and then, I almost wasn't.
In October 2001, I fell at home. It wasn't a really dramatic fall, but I landed funky and fractured my knee. Then, I developed a blood clot. The clot traveled up to my lung causing a pulmonary embolism. If you haven't heard of this before, it's because most people who have one don't live to tell you about it.
I remember waking up the next morning in the cardiac ward with the doctor leaning over me telling me that I shouldn't be there; I shouldn't have survived. Without getting all philosophical about it, I kept thinking that God was keeping me around for some reason, but I still didn't know what that was. It took me right back to being a kid and that nagging question resurfaced again.
What are the two most important days of your life? They are the day you were born and the day you find out why.
I'm 42 now (see, you didn't have to do the math), and after all of these years, I have finally figured out why I am here. I am here to help people live better and feel better about themselves and their lives. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down to write and share, lecturing to a group of people or coaching people one-on-one and setting off the spark that ignites them.
I honestly never thought I'd find my purpose. I resigned myself to working my stressful office job and slogging through life because I figured that's what life was all about. I thought that's where all of us (except for a lucky few) end up. I never thought I was anything special, and I tried to keep fitting in; now, I spend my time "fitting out," and I no longer care what other people think about that!
The day I found my purpose really was like being born again. It was more than just figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, it was feeling like I finally belonged here in the world; I finally stopped feeling like a mistake.
If you're reading this, you've obviously experienced the first day. If you haven't experienced the second day, don't give up just yet! It took me over 40 years before I experienced mine. Your day will come, and when it does, I hope you feel as wonderful about it as I did!