Do You Know Your Purpose?

What is the moment that you are living in? The past…the future…or the now. Many people live in the future, which can create anxiety, while others live in the past with regret. These just might be two emotions that hold humans back the most. The present or now moment is the most crucial moment as that is where everything is happening.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life” (Eckhart Tolle).

Life Examples

By the American Dream standard, I would be considered to be successful. I was raised by a single mother, who later jumped from relationship to relationship. We were poor. We lived in HUD housing off and on while I was growing up. My mom had heavy baggage she carried. She was a person who lived in the past and, with many regrets and some points, I might even add, felt shameful. This baggage was a deep, dark secret that held her back through life. Although I did not know what the “baggage” was, I lived her baggage throughout my life through her remarks about life like, “use me as the example of what not to do,” or “be sure you don’t make the decisions I did.” None of which made me feel good, and to a certain extent, that I was carrying her baggage.

Me, on the other hand…I had this intrinsic drive to learn and do…and do more and more. I truly believe due to my life growing up as a kid I developed several personal beliefs. First, go around, go under, go through, but make IT happen. Second, I don’t have to quit. Third, I believe I have control over my choices, although I may not control what happens to or around me. I try to distinguish the difference between what I can control (realistically) and what I cannot control – without blaming others.

“Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past and blame ourselves for the present” (Rick Harrison).

Let me share another scenario. Take Bob for example- yes, that really is his name. Bob is my daughter’s father-in-law. Bob and his first wife adopted their first child, they named Andrew, as they thought they could not have kids. Then along comes baby number two, Christine…a surprise…who they thought would never come without adopting a second child.

Both were young adults. Both were deeply loved. Both passed away. Christine first died in a tragic car accident and a few years later, Andrew in another unexpected car accident. How do parents get dealt this hand? Negative and tragic events happen to us and for reasons that are beyond our control. However, we can choose how we respond to them. And…Bob…did just this.

Andrew’s passing came four days before my daughter’s wedding. Andrew was to be the best man in the wedding. Our family was devasted and we all thought “do we postpone the wedding?” Bob would have none of it!! He stated Andrew would not want Austin and Lauren’s wedding to be delayed, after all Andrew said had been waiting for this day to happen. The day of the wedding arrived and we celebrated the bride and groom, we loved on them, we put them first – in the NOW moment. And…Bob…he was undeniably stoic. I know he was suffering inside deeply- who wouldn’t be, but he was able to manage his emotions to a positive outcome during the wedding festivities.

I share these two examples, my mom and Bob. Both had tragic events happen, yet both handled their events very differently. I am not one to judge to say which scenario is worse, I am only sharing a perspective of how I see two people handling their circumstances that were dealt to them- and out of their control.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love” (Marcus Aurelius).

Bob continues to live in the now moment, or at least he gives off that vibe. I don’t know how a parent fully recovers from the death of their kids. It is just not the order of life we expect as parents.


Let me share a few strategies that you can take to free yourself from mental pain.

Ask yourself often, “What WILL my next thought be?

Asking yourself about what your next thought might be, gives you the opportunity to evaluate your thoughts, rather than just act automatically.

Stop judging your thoughts.

If you make a mistake it is okay to listen to your inner voice, yet you do not need to act on it. The human species has the ability to punish themselves over and over again for the same thing.

Don’t be so harsh on yourself.

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens” (Louise L. Hay).

Embrace acceptance.

“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world” (Buddha).

Don’t fake your feelings.

Allow others to come alongside you and support you. Be honest about where you are mentally- let others in. This could be family, a friend, or a therapist.

Find your purpose and legacy.

Pleasures of the world are short-term gratification. Pleasure is a short sensory experience like a delicious meal, or a relaxing massage. However, fulfillment comes from when you can leave our world a better place or have an impact on others.

Find Your Meaning

“When a person can’t find deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure” (Victor Frankl). Victor Frankl’s classic book Man’s Meaning to Life is composed of two main parts. Part one is his life during a Nazi concentration camp and his ability to control the only thing he could while there…his thoughts. And part two is about the work he did to fulfill his purpose. If you need perspective and inspiration this is an excellent read.

I’m 56 now, and when I was 4 I had show-and-tell day at my pre-school. I remember this moment vividly. I had a pink stuffed bunny and I was so excited to tell all my classmates about my bunny. I was center stage and telling everyone all I knew about my bunny. Fast forward to today and my purpose, my WHY is, “To inspire learning and leadership development to help leaders and teams be their best.”

If someone desires learning more and for the reasons in my why statement, these are my ideal clients. I find great enjoyment and fulfillment in my WHY. It drives me personally and professionally. I define a team as ANY unit: family unit, friend circles, school cohort/class, and any work team of course. I also define a leader as anyone who has the ability to influence another. So, someone does NOT need to have the official title of leader, manager, supervisor, CEO, etc.,.

What’s With Why?

I was first introduced to Simon Sinek by a college professor, Vance Caeser. We were instructed to watch Simon’s Ted Talk, Start with Why. For 18-minutes I was mesmerized, captivated and 100% bought into finding my Why. I’ve read both books, Start with Why, and Find Your Why. I have had a 1:1 coaching session with his team to refine my Why. I have helped other people; students, leaders, individuals and even teams find their Why.

Your Why is far deeper than your purpose and likely has been with you all of your life- you just need to pull it out and identify it. Using the Friend’s Process is one way to help find your Why.

How Does Your Why Help

I started my company, Cooper Consulting Group, Incorporated on August 4, 2012. I knew what I wanted to do yet didn’t have my Why fully flushed out until 2015. Knowing that I am here to “To inspire learning and leadership development to help leaders and teams be their best” and this makes it simple to know who I am serving and for what reason. If companies DO NOT desire to do that, well then I know my company is not a fit for them.

“A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe” (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).

Here are some WHY statements of clients we have taken through a team coaching discovery process:

Team Why’s

To invest in resources so that we can achieve.

To grow so that we can compete and win.

To empower our employees so that our community grows.

To innovate so that our community improves.

To provide products and opportunities so that our communities can grow and be fulfilled.

To provide an environment that allows our community to grow and be fruitful.

To empower our employees to take pride in their work so that our customers continue to achieve safe products.

To provide so that employees can live a life they love.

To empower so that we can grow in our careers.

To grow so that we can continue to be challenged.

To empower our employees to provide innovative solutions to our customers so that they have rewarding careers.

In conclusion, consider living in the NOW moment and take steps to find your WHY. Try using the tools mentioned in this short article. If you need more support our team can help you through the discovery process. Feel free to schedule a free consultation HERE.

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