“What’s important to you? What do you give a shit about? If you were running for the toilet and had no time to think, could you tell me what your top five values are without stopping and soiling yourself?”
– Jacob Sokol, Living On Purpose
I remember reading that passage (a year and a half ago) and NOT knowing my top five values, yet laughing out loud at the imagery as the scenario unfolded in my mind. And while yes, that passage is hilarious, I now know how important it truly is to, as Socrates said, “Know thyself.” I remember thinking that to actually know myself that well — on demand, snap your fingers and just like that, you spout off an answer — would be some kind of magic.
Oftentimes, so much of this “living on purpose” work comes down to our willingness to sit with those easy-to-ask but difficult-to-answer questions: Who are you? What are your top five values? And what do you really want? But here’s the thing… Sitting with those quality questions isn’t enough. We have to be willing to live our answers. Period.
When I met Jacob, I was in a very vulnerable place. I was on a path where I had identified my purpose (to inspire others to chase their potential and live an extraordinary life) but was unclear of how I was actually going to do that. I knew my soul needed out of corporate America, and each day that passed, the golden handcuffs got tighter and tighter. In fact, they were cutting me. And since I wasn’t into bondage, something had to give.
At that time, my life story was effing perfect – handcuffs and all. In society’s eyes, I had it made: the amazing Fortune 500 gig that came with a great salary, company car, benefits, bonuses, vacation time, and flexibility. I was on the fast track. I owned my own home and a wonderful dog. I had just received my M.B.A, got married to my best friend, and at the rate I was going, the only thing missing to put a bow on it were some babies. Time to get busy! Well… not exactly.
Something bigger was missing.
Driving home from the Capitol Grille the night of my grad school graduation, I remember having a nervous breakdown. My husband was simply trying to explain how proud he was of me and what this milestone meant for our family, when what he probably thought were tears of joy mysteriously morphed into me hysterically crying. Choking on my tears and shaking my head from side to side, I cried out, “IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING!!!” Which was the truth. The milestone meant nothing if, at the end of the day, I wasn’t using this newly-acquired and quite expensive skill-set for the greater good.
Shortly after that, I began scheming/business-building with a friend as a means to magically break free from this life. But before I could really go on my own hero’s journey, I needed to do the work.
The inner work.
The work that was going to allow me to get out of my own way and finally live MY life. Not the life that society or even my loved ones had picked for me, but the life I knew in my core I needed to be living. I needed to be doing the work I was called to do in service to the world. And I realized that I could not do this without clarity. Without really knowing myself and having the courage, strength, and faith to trust in my vision for my future. To humbly say, “No thank you,” to promotional opportunities, leaving money on the table, and say “Hell yes!” to my best self.
So fast forward to today. It’s been nothing short of magic.
A year and half later, while I’m still at my gig (for now), I have never been more on purpose or happy in my entire life. I’ve launched a new business that has created a deep sense of meaning in my life and the lives of those that I serve. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people, like those in the Inner Circle, and I’ve prioritized self-care to the point that when I seem somewhat out of sorts, my husband checks in with me by asking, “Hey babe, did you do your fundamentals today?”
So when Jacob asked me to share a big idea from Sensophy and the coaching we had done together, an idea that had the greatest impact on my life, my mind immediately zeroed in on using my values (God, Authenticity, Love, Integrity, and the most recently refined Growth) as a compass. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while knowing thyself is critical to building a solid foundation, the magic really and truly is in the mundane.
Those things that we know we need to do on a daily basis to make life work. The self-care that fuels my body, mind, and soul and gives me exactly what I need to show up like a boss, even when I don’t feel like one. Because our feelings actually follow our actions; it’s not the other way around.
For me, it’s the following daily practices that get me in the zone: meditating, completing a devotional, praying, hydrating, exercising, drinking my green smoothie, writing my daily gratitude list, creating something, and laughing. Disclaimer: When I first got started, my only fundamental was to meditate for 5 minutes. Don’t get it twisted; this work takes time. My list grew as I grew.
In the end, for me, it wasn’t really about holding up the middle finger to society. It was about holding up a mirror to myself and embracing, loving, and trusting me (and my God) enough to keep slaying the dragons on my hero’s journey. And you can only slay dragons and achieve success on your terms when you’ve fueled your fire (yourself) every day.
So I leave you with one request: Figure out your daily practice and honor that commitment to yourself by actually taking action! Start today. Treat that morning ritual as sacred and trust me — magical things will just start to happen. You got this.
Coach, marketing strategist and author, Theresa Campbell brings high-achieving, remarkable women into the lives they dream of but fear they can’t have. Theresa equips her clients to optimize their potential while feeling confident, reassured and supported in all areas of their full and authentic lives. As founder and CEO of Her Life, Her Legacy LLC., Theresa believes that authenticity combined with action towards a compelling vision for the future leads to influence and ultimately legacy.