Thelma was working with a woman named Shirley about a purpose and plan for her life using On-Purpose® tools and methods. In the course of the coaching, Thelma asked her client to write down her career aspirations. Shirley refused to allow herself that luxury because her dreams were gone based on some choices she had made in years passed. This inner city single mom of two children under ten years of age worked two jobs to just barely make ends meet. She worked a clerical job during the day, went home to fix dinner for her kids in the evening, and then went to work as an orderly at a mental hospital at night. This exhausting routine was her life. There was no emotional margin for dreaming.
Thelma is a strong woman who as a single mom herself raised a son and a daughter. She refused to take no for an answer from Shirley. Finally Shirley relented under Thelma’s unwavering insistence. Turns out that this woman was musically gifted. She could read music, play any instrument, and dreamed of creating an inner city symphony orchestra for at-risk kids. She would teach them to play instruments and what it meant to be a part of a musical ensemble. This would be a way to a better life for those kids.
Bottled up inside Shirley was an unspoken passion aligned with her
purpose. It had been unleashed. The next week, Shirley appeared to
Thelma saying she couldn’t get her dream out of her mind. She’d been
thinking and writing about it all the time. It was giving her hope.
The second week, she informed Thelma that she had quit her evening job
at the asylum and just trusted that God would provide the difference.
Thelma’s natural reaction to Shirley’s sudden boldness was to encourage
a more modest approach. Before their next appointment, Thelma got a
call at home from an excited Shirley. Turns out that the principal of
the local high school walked up to Shirley after a meeting at their
church and asked her, “Shirley, don’t you have a gift for music?”
Shirley nodded her head. “That’s what I thought,” the principal
continued. “At the high school I’ve been fully funded and equipped with
an entire orchestra room. There’s every imaginable instrument, sheet
music, and music stands, but I haven’t found anyone capable of the
challenge. I have a small budget to pay someone. By any chance
Shirley, would you be interested in applying for the position?”
Not only did Shirley apply, she was hired. Thanks to a great work
ethic on her clerical job she had earned the respect of her boss so she
could arrange her hours to be at the high school for this
extracurricular student activity. Shirley was now home with her
children in the evening and more fully living her dream. Of course,
that “small budget” was more than Shirley was making in her previous
job plus she even had school vacations.
Yes, purpose redeems the past. Regrets give way to reasons.
Health, relationships, and opportunities are just some of the ways life
conspires to help those drawing near to their purpose. While there are
no guaranteed outcomes as you explore your purpose, you might just find
the surprises are even better than you could have planned or imagined.
"You miss 100% of the shots you never take."
Wayne Gretzky aka “The Great One”
Hall of Fame National Hockey League Player