I have always believed that we are put on this Earth for a reason other than to simply take up space, but I did not understand what my reason was until all of the pieces in my life fell into place a few years ago. For some people, discovering their life's passion comes as early as age nine, or as late as age 90. No matter what the age, it's still always something that makes you feel alive.
As I was struggling to find my own passion, I decided to conduct a little exercise using the word passion itself. It took a long time and a lot of soul searching, but this exercise ultimately helped me to identify my passion.
P - Personal
Passion is not an external pressure hoisted upon us from the outside--it comes from within. So did I believe that there was something inside of me that may lie at the root of my passion? Losing my 39-year-old husband to a terrible accident in 1999 certainly changed my life and brought with it a myriad of emotions, but was this to be the root of my passion?
A - Affect
Had something affected me in a profound enough way to stir up my passion? I had been in the financial services business for years and had always thought that if anything happened to me, I would be able to cope better than others. Wrong! Over the years a thought kept nagging me: With all of my experience and expertise, if I was so affected by things that came my way after my husband died, what must the average person go through?
S - Story
I asked myself if I believed that suddenly becoming a widow with a twelve-and-a-half year old daughter, going through hell, coming out the other side of it upright, and subsequently remarrying was a story in itself. It was.
S - Share
Then I had to ask myself the really tough questions. Would I be able to summon up the emotional courage and fortitude to share that story and, equally as important, should I? My answer was, again, yes.
I - Inspirational
Why was I thinking of sharing the story? Was it to garner sympathy or did I believe it would be inspirational to others? I believed it could be inspirational, but I firmly knew that it had to have an educational component as well.
O - Outcome
What did I want the outcome of sharing my story to be? To help others not to have to go through what we went through.
N - Need
Did I truly believe there was a need for my story and the things I learned along the way to be shared? Yes!
This exercise was not conducted over a cup of tea one lazy afternoon. After all that soul searching, I have shared my story by writing a book, a road-map to help educate people on how to prepare so that, in the event of a terminal illness or death, they would not be blindsided like I was in so many ways. People are scared to death talking about death, but when I speak about the book and people share their own personal experiences, I am overwhelmed by how much they really want to talk once they can muster up enough courage to get started. We have an obligation to ourselves and to those we love to leave this world in an organized manner, so I decided to set out to provide a tool to make the journey easier.
So what is the moral of sharing this story with you? Through uncovering my passion later in life I have come to understand my purpose for being here as well. My "purpose" is to help people have courageous conversations with themselves first, then with their loved ones, and then to engage the appropriate financial professionals. All of that is so that all of the necessary plans are set in place to make sure that each of you can WITH THE [STROKE] OF A PEN™, Claim your life. I am living my life with purpose and looking forward to helping others claim theirs--that, ladies and gentlemen, is a great way to spend one's time.