“Everything is always working out for me. Because it is and it has and it will continue to be as you forge and discover your own path. Your purpose is to do what you have to do until you get to do what you want to do.” —Oprah Winfrey, 2019 commencement address to Colorado College graduates
You might be 40-years-old when you finally realize the life truth Oprah brought to the attention of graduates at Colorado College this past May. Or maybe you were wise beyond your collective peers and discovered it in your twenties or even younger, but even if you only just discovered such sage words to be true in your sixth or seventh decade, the good news is, you now understand it to be true.
Admittedly, there will be people who challenge the validity of the truth shared above, and a large part of such doubt is because the work that needs to be done is done within each of us, by each of us, and therefore, is an individual decision to quiet ourselves along our journey and listen.
There is a compass inside each one of us that after been polished (aka unburdened by all of the societal messagings, nudgings, influences, etc.) will help us to realize where we need to go and what knowledge and skills we need to acquire even if we don’t know why we are doing so at the time of acquisition.
There have been many instances in my own life that only upon reflection did I realize how my past experiences, perceived at the time to be unhelpful, hurtful and roadblocks, were actually what enabled me to be successful down the road. From not being given the first teaching job I applied for in Bend, only to be better prepared in my interview for the second job I would be offered a year later, and at a school amongst a staff I feel quite fortunate to be a part, to significant lessons in real estate and owning property that made future purchases and remodeling adventures far more successful and enjoyable. These are just a few examples, but each time I reflect upon my journey that has led me to where I find myself in a moment of celebration, I realize that there were many unknown bumps along the way that at the time did not appear to be helpful – but actually were abundant with gifts for my future path.
“When you’re not following your passion, it’s so much more difficult trying to be [insert what you are doing that is not your passion].” —actress Angela Bassett
What I appreciate about Oprah’s advice is her bringing to our attention that sometimes, what we are doing at the time may not be what we want to be doing. Admittedly, as Angela Bassett recently shared in an interview, when we are doing what we don’t fully have our hearted invested, it is far more difficult; however, along the way to living the life of our dreams, we will have to do what is necessary – acquiring certain lessons and skills, etc. – in order for that dream to fully be realized in all of the awesomeness we hope it will be.
If you find yourself in a moment of befuddling doubt, questioning the very possibility that what you wish for could happen, take a deep breath. Actually, sit down, give yourself a break and your feet and back a break, and then take a deep breath. Then, remind yourself, that your inner compass is at work at this very moment. How do I know? Because you listening and knowing the language of your inner compass is why you feel the way you do.
That is a good thing. And then keep doing the best you can in this moment and the next, because so long as you are in motion propelled by your inner compass, you will cross the paths of opportunity presenting itself to you. And because you have done the work of quieting yourself and listening, you will know which opportunities to step forward and embrace.
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