You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘purpose’ tag.

“To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: ‘Leave no stone unturned.'”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

I’ve gotta admit, I’m a sucker for a good “journey of self-discovery” story. One of my favorites is Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, in which a newly divorced woman rejects social convention and travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia to rediscover herself. Closer to home, I was beside myself with excitement to hear that Beyond the Gray friend and dream chaser, Alexis Grant – who followed her passion on a solo voyage to Africa – recently landed a literary agent to represent her travel memoir (congrats, Lexi, can’t wait to read your book!). So it’s not surprising that this month’s Legends Book Club pick, Sean Aiken’s The One-Week Job Projectwhich is about a recent college graduate who worked 52 jobs in one year in order to discover a career he’s passionate about – strikes a chord with me.

I’m about half way through the book and I’m finding Sean’s journey to be relevant to people of all ages, not just recent college grads, because so many of us are floating along in the “gray”, wondering what our passion is. Sean, too, felt lost and unfulfilled in the years following graduation, which inspired him to launch this project and proactively figure it out.

I think this is where so many of us go wrong; we wait for this great “AHA!” moment to strike without actually putting forth the effort required for such a discovery. Scientists don’t discover new medicines without a great deal of trial and error. Inventors don’t create game-changing technologies without thousands of failed prototypes first. So why should discovering one’s passion be pursued any less vigorously?

If you’re not sure what your passion is, take a proactive approach and find out. This doesn’t mean that you have to travel half way around the world like Elizabeth Gilbert or Alexis Grant, you can step out of your comfort zone and experience new things right from the very comfort of your home. It can be as simple as signing up for a cake-baking class or taking piano lessons, joining a friend for yoga or a mountain biking trip.

Whatever it is, Gilbert’s, Grant’s, and Aiken’s journeys prove that when you open yourself to new experiences, you’re allowing an unknown aspect of yourself to emerge and thrive.

Tell me, what new things are you opening yourself up to?

One of my favorite parts about traveling is discovering all the interesting people in the world. I always seem to come across folks on the most interesting journeys. My recent trip to Greece was no exception; most of the folks I met seemed to be living, breathing personifications of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, The Power of Now and The Purpose Driven Life. I’m not sure if it’s a European thing or an island thing or a my-life-is-a-vacation thing, but I need to get me some of that.

Here’s a recap of some of the people we met:

David – his family owns one of the best tavernas (in my opinion) in Crete, overlooking the turquoise magnificence of Voulisma Beach. He works at the restaurant for six months out of the year and farms the best olive oil in the world (not my opinion – though I agree with it – this actually fact) for the other six.

Marc – an ultra tan vagabond who funds his on-going journey around the world by selling his stunning en plein air water color paintings to tourists. Next stop for Marc? Wherever he feels like going.

Cleopatra – a curly haired Brit who is living in Santorini for the summer and working as a tour guide on a deluxe catamaran. (Did I mention that she is “learning” how to cook and some of the beginner dishes she prepared for us were better than anything I’ve ever cooked in my entire life?) After high season, she’ll move to Athens for the winter. When I asked what she’ll do for work when she gets there, she scrunched her eyebrows and looked at me like I was crazy for pondering something so far in the future.

The nice couple who owns the artsy little jewelry store in Oia – they run their jewelry store for six months out of the year and then spend the other six months traveling the world.

The two guys in front of me in Santorini’s airport security line – they’re on a voyage around the world photographing old pages from the New Testament. Next stop: Romania.

Talking to each of these people inspired such a sense of awe…and a twinge of jealousy; they all exuded a sense of fulfillment, adventure, and calmness. I wish I could be that present and seemingly unworried about the future; I get jumpy just thinking about how I’m going to make it from work to spin class in time to snag one of the coveted stationary bikes. Ask me what I’ll be doing this winter and you’ll get no scrunched eyebrows here; I’ll probably the exact same thing I’m doing right now.

What types of interesting people have you met during your travels?

Enter your email address to receive new posts by email.

Join 38 other followers

Follow Me on Twitter