Be Before You Do
I once heard Oprah say in an interview, “There is no doing in the world without being first.”
I had to sit with that one for awhile. So many of us, I think, are focused on what we do in the world. Not just our general, everyday actions, but our jobs, too. What is the work that we’re doing? What is the value that we’re providing? That must be the value of our lives too, right? Of ourselves?
I’m not so sure. Actually, I think that our job or our platform don’t really matter so much—at least, not as much as we think they do. What matters more is that we are being the highest, truest expressions of ourselves—in our work, of course, but also just in the way we live.
Our true purpose is so much deeper than our “job”.
That’s a tough one for me to swallow, too. As a life coach, I love my job and I place great value on helping other women find and follow their purpose. But the only way that I can truly help them is by being the highest expression of myself; it’s by staying attuned to what feels right and true for me in any given moment, and living my life based around that.
In that same interview, Oprah referred to her own emotional GPS system—the self-awareness she connects to that allows her to make the best decisions for herself. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Luckily, this isn’t specific to Oprah. We all have one. Every human being comes equipped with their own unique emotional GPS system, and alongside that, we each have our own calling that goes beyond the definition of our jobs.
What are you called to do? What are you here on earth to fulfill?
Of course, it’s easier said than done to live this way; to constantly tune in to what feels true to you, and then take action on that. To be before we do. But it’s not impossible, and it’s the only way to truly live with purpose.
You can start today by actively giving yourself the opportunity to connect internally. Set aside five minutes to get quiet and check in with yourself. You might meditate. You might simply sit with one hand on your stomach and one hand over your heart: How do you feel? What do you hear? Quiet the external noise of the outside world—of your boss or your partner or your well-meaning friends—and become attuned to what feels like the next right step for you. What is true for you—in this moment and in the next and the next?
When you show up in the world being the highest expression of yourself, the you that’s deeply connected to your own intuition and inner guidance, you cannot do life wrong. As Oprah says, live from the inside out. Instead of letting what you do dictate who you are, let who you are fuel everything you do.
That’s living your purpose, and that is your greatest contribution.