what i learned from a blue fish

This one blue fish kept looking at me while I was snorkeling.


Well, it wasn’t really looking at me, it was probably looking for food, but I felt pulled to follow this particular fish as I snorkeled in the clear blue water of the Mediterranean last week (and wondered why I live in NYC and not near this place…)


Since I knew the likelihood of being eaten by a shark was zero, I swam waaaay out into the sea to follow that fish, enjoying the profound silence.


Maybe I spend too much time talking about “purpose” with my clients, but all I could think about was the purposelessness of this fish.


Words like wandering and aimless kept popping into my mind during my swimming meditation.


And then I had a thought about my clients. A few are struggling to make a career change, others to unwind a relationship, some are trying to understand their “why” in a new chapter of their lives (after a baby or in a now empty nest).


My thought was this: wandering isn’t purposeless at all. In fact, it’s the very path to purpose.


Here’s why.




 

First, purpose is not a singular place.


The world may make you think your purpose is “one thing,” but I promise it’s plural.


Second, your purpose changes over time.


You are here on this Earth for many reasons that will change as you change, evolve, and grow.


I am a case in point as my professional purpose went from TV producer, to sports at the United Nations, to an entrepreneur in business, to a music franchisor, to a life coach.


And maybe I’ll one day be a doctor like I dreamed of when I was a kid.


Your purpose will also change over time. The trick is to let it.


The third secret about finding purpose?


Purpose is not something you find! It’s not a destination.


Purpose is mined and made.


Made by you.


It takes time, focus, and intention. It takes guts to re-evaluate a path when it’s no longer working for you.


And it takes spending time with your mind, even if it means grabbing a mindful minute in the shower or closing your eyes before you get on a zoom to reflect on your level of fulfillment.


Purpose isn’t outside of you, it’s right there inside waiting to be made.


Which is why I loved following that fish.




 

That fish reminded me of what I often forget – sometimes you have to wander, explore, change, and take risks to create purpose.


It’s not about waiting to find something.


It’s about getting clear and then building on it.


Of course, as I said, that fish probably just wanted food.


And okay, when I’m in France and Italy, my purpose is food too.


With fierce love,
Alison


 
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