Truly there is inspiration everywhere. A couple of months ago, I spoke at a Meeting Professionals International event and ended up talking to this great young woman Jade who had a table at the event for a product called RistRoller – she told me how she and her Mom worked together from their own personal journey to create this product. I said Jade I would love to talk to your Mom Jessika and share her story – it really sounds like she is living her Passion + Purpose = World Change formula. Little did I know that there was way more to Jessika’s story that included working with young people, which is of course my Passion + Purpose = World Change story, so now we are going to meet to see where we can collaborate. I share this because it is when we get into conversations with interesting, like minded people who are making a difference in the world and we are interested in learning about them, being curious – you just never know where these conversations can lead and where strategic alliance, partnerships, etc can be formed to make your impact/purpose/passion/legacy even more impactful.
Now here is Jessika’s Passion + Purpose = World Change story:
1) What is your Passion + Purpose = World Change formula
Teaching/Creating + Helping/Serving = Helping Others Claim Wellness
2) How did you uncover your passion and purpose?
I researched this quite a bit. My favorite resources were trainings from Transformation Academy and Welcoa (they have a few courses that touch on this topic). There is also an excellent post on MindTools that deals with uncovering your values. What helped me a lot was to stop thinking about “finding my life purpose” but rather frame this idea as “connect with purpose.” It was much less daunting to explore purpose in that way. In reflecting on everything that ties together, I came up with the idea of a Venn Diagram with two overlapping circles — “how you are wired” and “how you are inspired.” I’ve shared some info and video on this recently in a blog post.
4) I talk a lot about putting together the pieces of your passion puzzle to create the life of your dreams? How do you feel that you have done this?
My dad used to tell me that I was like a machine gun, spraying bullets all over the place. He said I should be more focused, like a laser gun. It is true that I was all over the place. I was creating live courses for kids (which then got brought online at kidCourses), I was writing test prep books and teaching live MCAT classes. I worked as a “web producer” for NBC Universal. I fell in love with Flash and video editing. I taught design software and video editing. I worked as an editor of short documentaries. I was a project manager. I just loved to learn about so many things, and then I love sharing what I learned creatively. Basically for everything I did, I ended up teaching it. I tried to remember when I was high on life. There was one time I had just taught OChem and came out of work so happy. There was another day I literally taught OChem for 8 hours straight (declined a weekend in Fire Island because my class wanted me to do an extra session — an “intensive”). I felt like I “made it” in life when I was asked to teach at a local college. Then there was the time I made a video about dogs for a LI nonprofit, and they showed it at Palmer Vineyards on a large screen before a Mutts & Movies event… right there in the vineyard. I started tearing up. When I was teaching for Simplilearn, I remembered waking up one morning all excited to go teach my students. And then I realized the course was over.
It wasn’t a huge shock to figure that I should be teaching again. This is my purpose. And with the way I light up when it comes to spreading wellness, I realized there is absolutely nothing better that I could be teaching and creating content around. Moreover, most everything I love connects back to wellness. For example, my BS is in BioChem, so I can easily leverage that into teaching about stress, etc. I am also hugely connected to dogs and coming up with how that fits into the picture for me… my purpose of helping “others” claim wellness, uses the word “others” on purpose.
3) What steps did you take to live your passion and purpose?
With kidCourses, we are working on “wellness for kids” content. I love yoga, and recently got certified to teach Yoga for Cancer Recovery, and am currently getting certified to teach Corporate Yoga. My short term goals are to teach Wellness Lunch and Learns and to teach short yoga classes. My daughter and I also came up with a wellness product (RistRoller®). We had the privilege of attending a lot of yoga and wellness events. In doing so, I realized that I never want to leave this “world.” For me, Wellness was the answer. I am also currently sharing wellness info on our new wellness blog, BetterAndBetterer.com. Ideally (and eventually) I should be focusing more on the live course aspect of teaching wellness, but for now, I am doing what I can.
5) What advice do you have for others who are looking to uncover and live their passion and purpose?
My advice is to take the pressure off. I use the nerdy Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom (DIKW) pyramid (more here) to demonstrate that we have all the data we need. We just need to add context to that data (create “information”), then look at other information and seek even more context and connections (aka “knowledge”). In short, it’s removing the daunting language of “what is your life’s purpose” and setting the time to “explore purpose” and “connect with purpose.” We have all the data, we just need to take some time to analyze it. I also advise on revisiting this process “fresh” every few months.
Wow what an inspiring journey Jessika has been on to “connect to her purpose” as she says. If you have a great Passion + Purpose = World Change story – please email me at email@example.com and also please visit my website www.careerswithwings.com for more information and to connect to your Passion + Purpose = World Change community.