August 2010


Whoa…I must have struck a chord.  Since I announced my Sacred Success™ retreat, I’ve been flooded with emails…most saying the same thing: “I wish I knew my purpose, but…..”I’ve found that, among those women not reaching the success they desire or the fulfillment they crave, most have only a vague idea of their purpose, if that.   A lack of purpose can be disheartening. Having one, however, is positively galvanizing. This is the work of Step #2.  This is the essence of Sacred Success™. As I learned from women  who make millions—a woman with a purpose is  a force to be reckoned with. I’ve been blessed. I’ve known my purpose for 30 years—to empower women. But for those of you wishing to find—or redefine—yours, let me give you some ideas on where to look, based on my own experience.

1.  In Past Pain

I had a line in my book, Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, that my editor cut because she considered it corny. “In our deepest pain, lies our highest purpose.” I’m not sure our life purpose has to come from pain, but it’s a good place to start looking. What’s been your most painful challenge in life?

2.  In World Problems

Someone once asked me, way back in graduate school: “If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change on this planet?” I knew immediately: liberate women to work as equals among men (mind you, it was the 70s!). Right after that, I got a job at the Women’s Center on campus, helping women re-entering the workforce. That started the trajectory that’s led me to where I am today.  Look around…what  global problem do you feel super-strongly about? How could you contribute to the solution?

3.  In Childhood Play

When I was little, I always played school with my sisters. Of course, I was the teacher. Later, I organized a neighborhood camp, me being the sole counselor. As I grew older, I dreamt of becoming a college professor. I had babies instead. As we look back at the tapestry of our lives, it’s easy to spot certain threads that continually repeat, displaying an unwavering pattern holding clues to our purpose.  What did you love to play as a kid?

4.  In Secret fantasies

You know, those pipe-dreams you’ve never told anyone about…because they’re so absurd, it’s embarrassing. Mine was to be a rock star (oh god, it’s true).  Once, someone asked me: “If you could have anyone’s job, who would you be?”  That was easy.  Neil Diamond.  When he asked me why, the words just slipped out: “I want to write my songs and sing them.” This phrase so resonated, I’ve let it guide me through a myriad of careers. OK, so I can’t carry a tune.  But I’ve managed to write my songs (books) and sing (teach) them.  If you could have anyone’s job, who would YOU be?

5.  In this video blog

This just came to me while writing this blog, so naturally I had to include it. My good friend and wise minister, Richard Rogers, offers a foolproof suggestion for finding your purpose. Watch his video – “What’s Your Purpose?”

There’s other ways to figure out your purpose. I’d love to hear how you’ve pinpointed yours.

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“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”

–Joan of Arc

I wonder… had  Joan of Arc lived today, would she be raking in millions, rather than racing into battles?  She sounds like every mega-high-earner I interviewed (albeit more pithy and eloquent).

They all  possessed an almost divine sense of mission, a fire in their belly, a transpersonal commitment to something larger than themselves.

A powerful purpose seemed to be the prelude to making millions…and the basis for Step #2 of Sacred Success™: Pursue Your Highest Purpose based on Your Deepest Truths.

Much as Joan of Arc discovered centuries ago, a strong sense of purpose creates an almost unwavering perseverance, in a way that money alone never would.

Whenever these high earners were scared, stymied, or faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles, they immediately went back to their higher purpose.

As a multi-million dollar earner said to me, “When in doubt, I revisit my mission. Why am I here?”

But there’s also another reason why step 2 is so important. Having a higher purpose fosters a life of balance.  There’s a significant difference between drive and addiction. Drive comes from a vision that nourishes one’s soul and enriches one’s life. Addiction arises from fear-based beliefs such as scarcity, inadequacy, and shame, and it inevitably leads to burn out .

Most high earners eventually figured this out. As one young woman told me, “I had a massive inner critic and I pushed myself until I broke down.” Then she said, “I did lots of self improvement work and figured out how to achieve my dream without killing myself.”

In those words, she gives us the key to finding your highest purpose. It takes personal work, a great deal of self reflection.  I’ll talk more about this in my next blog.