Going After My Life Purpose But Losing The Plot
By: Paul Saver
Over the years as I pursued my life purpose I tended to poo poo on that worn out cliche: "life balance." I thought to myself, "how does a high achiever get their life in balance?" Think about how many accomplished people in this world actually live their lives in balance.
To get straight to the point, I was keenly going after my life purpose working as an international volunteer/missionary. I was running lots of leadership and training programs for youth. I was getting impressive results. I felt that my life was rich with meaning. My peers were urging me onward.
But during this time, I spent the vast majority of each year living away from my wife and four teenage children. At first my wife was united completely with me but the truth be told, she and the children were beginning to crack up.
Many times with tears my wife reported to me that one child would start crying every day at a certain time like an alarm clock going off. Another child would periodically spend hours on end in the family dog kennel crying uncontrollably "for daddy." Another child, bursting at the seams with emotional pain, would throw temper tantrums scaring the living daylights out of everyone.
In frustration, our children were becoming increasingly disrespectful toward their mother. When I did come home, even though compliant, our children were not like they used to be. Knowing that I would be going away soon, they protected their hearts by keeping an emotional distance from me.
In the beginning, I could not understand why the children did not want to talk to me on the phone anymore. I became perplexed when I found myself having these one sided conversations where I seemed to just be repeating the same things over and over again. In the early days, the children would always be excitingly asking me when I was coming home next. Several years later they simply stopped asking. I was becoming a stranger in my own home.
Finally the wake up call came one day when for the first time in 25 years of marriage, my faithful and devoted wife, refused to pick up the phone. On that day I sat slumped in my chair in stunned silence. I quickly did some deep soul searching and determined then and there that my life had to change while not letting go of my life purpose.
Through this life experience, I gleaned some noteworthy lessons. First I commend you for knowing where your passions lie and to be actively pursuing your life purpose. However, do not lose sight of the bigger picture and the long term consequences of your actions. Ask yourself is the pursuit of my life purpose really worth it? Better still, ask yourself if there is a better way to limit the negative consequences while still going after the fulfillment of your life purpose.
I ended up choosing the latter. By holding tight to my life purpose, I rearranged the game plan, re tooled and reinvented myself, became a multi tasker and now regularly consult with the family board of directors.