Finding Your Why With a List

by Elena on May 24, 2012 in Career Transition

There has been a lot of talk lately about finding your WHY. Developing your purpose. Being intentional.

It seems to be a chorus that is being echoed in circles everywhere I go, and one that I personally am trying to contend with as I make possible the most daunting (and exiting) professional transition in my life.

Going into teaching I knew what I loved. I loved watching children LOVE to learn. I was passionate about fostering creative and independent thinking. It was all about facilitating and mentoring,  helping my students become life long learners. Although my path led me in a few different directions over my twelve years in the classroom it was always about the learning, the creativity, and the thinking.

Now, I am about to step out on my own two feet knowing that I want to tell the story. I want to tell my story, the stories of others, and help promote self sufficiency and foster empowerment in myself and others.

Except…that those things are very nebulous. They are very lofty. And not very easy to measure.

Which is why I have come to realize that the first step in my new adventure is to figure out, as Karen Walrond said at Mom 2.0, what “lights me up.” I have been thinking about this process for weeks but today, I read Helen Jane’s post about knowing what you want. Helen wrote “You won’t get what you want unless you know what you want.” She is right of course. We have to put things out there in the universe, in black and white, in conversation, and in our actions. We have to have tangible goals focused on a unified purpose. We have know know our WHY to make our WHAT.

Finding your Why by Making a List | Ciao Mom

So I am going to do just that. I will make my list, look for themes, and then organize my efforts around whatever those themes truly are. I will even set SMART goals once I have a more narrowed and concrete focus. SMART goals that will help me realize my goals with specific indicators that I can use to measure my success.

A list of things that light me up. That fuel me. That give a name to my passions and my WHY. Not a life list, but a list that will help me craft my next steps in a more concrete way.

I already have the first things for my “What Lights Me Up” list:

Helping others reflect | Helping others problem solve | Public Speaking |

| Travel | A great swim workout |

I cannot wait to add more.

What would you put on your list?

Ciao Mom


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Galit Breen May 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I love this, and believe it with every fiber of my being!

Can’t wait to see your list develop!

Jessica May 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Love this list idea. I have no idea right now what I would put on mine but I know I’ll be thinking about it now.

Corey Feldman May 25, 2012 at 9:04 am

Publishing my children’s poems/stories
Helping to destigmatize depression and anxiety even if it is one person at a time.
Be the best parent I can possibly be.

angela May 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I will be thinking about this all weekend. In a good way :) Thank you!

aimee @ smilingmama June 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

LOVE THIS! It’s just what I need right now. I’m starting my list, too!!

Kelly June 2, 2012 at 8:40 am

This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. In the same state of flux…really asking myself what is it that I want to focus on….

I love your list so far and can’t wait to see what you add.

You have inspired me to think about a list of my own….

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