We all come to a point in our lives where we contemplate our life purpose. In my mid 20s, I was frustrated in my career as a new engineer and wanted to know what I was on this earth to achieve. I took time to read and pray and mediate, and out of that time, I sensed I was to inspire others. Not quite sure what that meant, I kept on with my career and life holding onto that feeling for the future. My career was extremely successful and fulfilling, but it lacked direction and purpose. I took opportunities that came, rather than creating my own path.
Then in 2011, the year I turned 30, my life drastically changed. That spring I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 3 months after my diagnosis, my mom (who was my best friend) was tragically killed in a car accident. Both of these events impacted me physically and emotionally, however during the week of my mom’s memorial service another event impacted the trajectory of my life.
As the oldest of my siblings, I was the one planning the memorial service. I was sitting at my mom’s desk lost at what to do next; I looked up at the bulletin board where my mom displayed pictures of all of her favorite people and all kinds of notes. My eyes caught a yellow sticky note that I hadn’t seen before. In her handwriting was written: “How we die is irrelevant. How we live is the story. “ I was shocked! When had she written that note? How long had it been there? Was this some message to us?
I never received the answers to those questions. I did, take it as a message to LIVE my life. I realized that I had been letting my life happen to me for the past 30 years rather than dictate where I wanted my life to go.
At the time of these tragedies, I was married to my amazing husband and our daughter was 18 months old. The next two years was a blur of working through extreme fatigue, grief and stress. Once I emerged from the cloud of darkness, I knew it was time to act on the sticky note. I re-contemplated my life purpose and now know that I am to inspire and empower others to own their path to personal success.
In an effort for me to LIVE my life and my purpose, I founded Your Career Engineer, a career and life coaching business for women in engineering and technology. So, here I am now…taking action on my dreams. Why? Because life is too short not to!
There is always a message to be taken away from any life-alterning event. Sometimes that message is clearly written on a yellow sticky note. Sometimes we have to search for it.
I invite you to ask yourself this question: What does my yellow sticky note say?