Coach in Training: Life Purpose

By: Kim Green

It has been a purposeful week.

In the discussion of Purpose, Lynn gave us these pointers: Knowing your purpose grows you. Your purpose is the statement of who you are to yourself and others.

As she continued to talk about purpose, she asked the simple question that I can’t get out of my head:

What is the thing that you can get lost in for hours? What is the thing that makes you lose track of time?

For me, there are such vivid memories of myself as a little girl, creating a classroom in my bedroom with a class full of imaginary students. As the teacher, I assigned my students to write essays. Then, I would write them all, collect them and then grade them. That was my game. That was my fun. That was the beginning of my purpose germinating. To write is my purpose and always has been. And, today, I am so thankful that I have it and have been able to hold on to it for so long. So many people are not so fortunate. And I will meet them as my client list grows.

The discussion of one’s purpose is hard because it creates awareness of how far so many of us have gone astray from whom we were meant to be. My Call to write informs everything that I feel and do. I can feel my words in my bones as they flood through my veins. The sturdiness that I feel as a person, I know, is because my soul knows my life’s purpose. With that, I feel equipped (but terrified) to talk to my clients about their life’s purpose and where to find it. And this is why.

“What makes you lose track of time?”

What a question. I already brace myself for all of life’s excuses, the barriers, the reasons that so many of us use to bury our purpose or put it on the backburner until…there’s enough money, until the kids get out of school, until there’s enough or not so much of whatever….

There goes too many blank canvases that will never meet the stroke of a paintbrush, too many lumps of clay that will never find form, too many piles of old wood that will never be made into something worthwhile. And, too many blank pages that need important words. And, there lies the often dreamless world that we live in with too many silent but shining souls, trudging through life, purpose-less, paying bills, putting kids through college and finding ourselves spiritually bankrupt. We have lost track of time, but not in a good way.

Perhaps, my creating awareness of this silent tragedy will light some clients up, springing them into action. My fear for my clients is that they may fall into despair. I must remember that my job will be to remind them that it’s never too late to reclaim your purpose. I aim to rejuvenate spirits and let possibility always be within reach.

I have casually mentioned purpose to all three of my clients. Just wanted to see…When I did, they all got excited, “let’s talk about that next time,” they all said. Purpose makes people interested to see what they have forgotten about themselves. I realize that I am the one, most afraid. Am I not prepared for the power of breakthroughs and broken promises that this discovery could inspire?

During this class discussion, we were given three things to remember about Purpose.

  1. Everyone has a purpose. (It’s true!)
  2. Each of us is living our purpose. But which one? I wonder. Marriage, saving every penny we earn to send kids to college? Is that the purpose of life, is that the one that makes us lose time? Or is it the other kind of purpose, the “superficial” value, based on obligation. Is it the purpose that keeps us up at night, worrying about our compromised health, rising mortgage payments and the plight of immigrants? Is that the purpose that lets us lose time in the rapture of drudgery, while our real life’s purpose has been buried in a trunk of memories, left in the attic?
  3. Almost all experiences let us live our life purpose. But what if you no longer know what your purpose is? What if our experiences are all based on the endless routines of life as a means to an uncertain end? What if?

Everyday I see that the work of a coach is hard and noble. As Coaches, we hope to work with our clients to unravel the thought processes that will lead them back to their purpose, bringing back their joy. As a coach, I know that once I have carefully created awareness for my clients, who are willing, the rest is beautifully up to them.

One exciting thing that we all must remember is that it’s never too late.

Here’s a real life example. One of my classmates has had a dream of moving to a farm to grow Christmas trees and create an environment that can host those in search of peace and serenity for introspection. My classmate has talked about this from the beginning of the class. And during the course of the class, it is clear that he has delved deeply into these powerful conversations, seeing himself in ways that he had never before, or at least in a long time. He announced this week that he made a decision after scouting out land: He bought the farm of his dreams! His true purpose to look inside himself and make space for others to do the same, will finally align. What joy he will bring to others and himself. That is a success story around purpose, if I’ve ever heard one!

The next class continued with this talk of purpose. We were asked to consider a purpose, mission and vision statements for our lives. This puts us in a place to ask the same of our clients and work with them as they discover their own precious truths.

To complete my assignment, I will say this:

My purpose is to use the written word to communicate.

My mission as a coach is to inspire words that serve as an awakening to bring people to their most enlightened selves.

My vision for myself is to contribute to a world filled with more true selves than there were before.

Kim Green is a writer and a student at The Institute for Life Coach Training. In this blog series, she has documented her experience as she goes through the Foundational training. To read about Kim's journey, click here.