Shared the risks, shifts, and sacrifices I paid in pursuit of my purpose (excerpt)

Making the shift took me more than I anticipated
Ken was curious to know my experience. With a friendly and playful manner, Ken asked: “Do you mind to share with me your story of migration?” I briefly narrated my story. “My journey began in the early 90’s back home in Ethiopia. Though I didn’t know the word purpose back then, I was convinced that my assignment in life is empowering others. Without wasting any time, I quickly began taking leadership initiatives, first a youth leader, and then became the president of the largest university students’ union. I continued to take leadership initiatives, which I thought aligned with my purpose. I made so many personality changes. I also made many shifts including my professions in order to lead a purpose-oriented lifestyle.”

I paused to see if Ken had any questions and whether what I was saying made sense to him. It looked like he was immersed in my story. I then acknowledged, “Though I had a sense of what my purpose look likes, discovering my unique purpose took me years. Back then, I didn’t know anyone close to me who was on his/her purpose. For that matter, I never heard anyone talking about it. I couldn’t find books on the subject. If I knew what I know now, it wouldn’t have taken me so long. However, more than the discovery, making the shifts in the pursuit of my purpose required lots of efforts, energy, risk-taking, and sacrifices. It also took me more time than what I anticipated initially.”

I have the scars as proof…
Ken asked some follow up questions. He was interested in the prices I paid and what I felt while I was passing through those uncertain moments. He was also wondering whether I was sure I’d make the shifts successfully and arrive where I had wanted to be and able to pursue my purpose beforehand.

He observed: “AZ, it doesn’t seem you passed through these troubles to discover and pursue your purpose.” It was visible on his face. He felt sorry for me, but at the same time, it gave him more reasons to listen to me. He realized that I wasn’t talking theoretically or from what I learned from reading. I walked the talk, and I have the scars to proof it.

Finally, Ken remarked, “I didn’t know you’ve paid these sacrifices in search of your purpose. You changed professions, left promising jobs, trimmed unproductive relationships, and refrained from taking luring leadership opportunities in order to pursue your purpose. It takes courage and endurance. My hat is off to you.”

He then pointed out, “I see now that discovering our purpose and making the shift from where we’re now to where we belong- our dream place, requires a considerable amount of effort and time but worth doing.” Ken then asked me to briefly elaborate what I mean by purpose-oriented:

  1. Life
  2. Relationships
  3. Organization (s)
  4. Leadership

I was glad to explain these concepts to Ken. I defined the terms and gave him some examples. Let me quickly recap what I shared with Ken…

Taken from the book ‘The Highest Level of Greatness’, page 70 – 72. You can read more about the book by click here…

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