I recall walking outside and wearing glasses for the first time in life at the age of 22. My vision had been poor for many years and I was finally on a path to see the world in a different light. It was then that I came upon a tree and realized that I could now see the vivid details of every branch and every leaf in a way that I had forgotten was possible. I had finally found the visual clarity to enjoy what nature has to offer.
With the start of the new year, we are all hoping for better times in 2021. But the transition to a new year won’t make the challenges of life in the age of COVID-19 disappear. I had been slowly losing my sense of self like many of my peers and loved ones and it was through taking the time to reflect and finding enlightenment that I was able to rediscover myself. I hope that my story can help you on your journey to finding clarity & purpose again as it has for me.
Life isn’t life without the unexpected
It was December 2018 that I received an offer to work as a global enablement lead for Microsoft. In all honesty, I really didn’t know what the job would entail. I primarily knew that it would allow me to work with two of the most inspirational directors that I could ask for. The job turned out to be a dream come true. I joined an amazing team alongside the most remarkable leadership I’ve had to date. The challenge of the job was overwhelming at times, but I was under the impression that it was unbelievably awesome! The personal growth was exciting and the accomplishments rewarding. My drive and passion skyrocketed, and I came to believe that this was where I belonged. One achievement led to another and work became my life.
But that changed in September 2019, when I was involved in a major car accident. At first, I told myself I was okay. I powered through and continued to work even harder to cover the gap from my limited mental, emotional, and physical capacity. My condition worsened and it left me feeling like a lesser version of myself. I was not okay.
While I spent the next few months continuing to recover, another unwanted surprise arrived – COVID-19. I tried to stay occupied. I tried to stay strong despite the isolation and uncertainty. However, my ambition was no longer enough to keep me going as the days passed. Each day became filled with escapism and negativity. I lost my sense of purpose and stopped having positive intent.
I didn’t know who I was anymore
With overwhelming passion, my career defined who I am. Filled with doubt and confusion, I had become a victim of the world’s circumstances. Who am I without my enthusiasm for work? Why did all of these things have to happen to me? My drive began to dwindle. I felt like I didn’t deserve all of it. I hid my own story and had forgotten how to wholeheartedly be thankful. I began to unconsciously believe that I would only drag others down by reaching out to them. I was desperate for a sense of purpose and further lost sight of my true self.
I was trending towards hitting rock bottom and decided to take time off to do something. Yes, vague were my intentions indeed. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I booked a week off from work and set up some time with one of my mentors. A wise and spiritual man, he recommended that I started meditating. This was not the first time he recommended it, but it came at the right time. He helped me recognize that we all need to spend time to dig deep into our consciousness and understand the root causes of what blocks us from progressing forward. One week of intentional self-reflection became the start of a transformational journey.
The road forward
Some wild changes started to take place when I finally and purposefully dedicated time for my physical, mental, and emotional health and most importantly, my spiritual wellbeing. I started setting and working on healthy habits and identities after reading Atomic Habits. I began the journey of finding spirituality and self-worth through daily meditation and from reading Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day. I started to recognize what is most important in my life after reading Essentialism. I started spending every day solely with family, and it became clear that the road to true happiness comes from living a life of service as well as wholeheartedly living a life of gratitude and care for others, and as importantly, to myself.
What I’ve come to understand from these last few weeks is that I have the ability to become a proud manifestation of my own personal legend. I need to let go of letting my career define my self-worth. I need to stop living a life of escapism. I need to move away from the victim mindset and focus on loving & defining myself. I’m thankful for taking the time to find purpose and feel stronger now. In making this transformation, I feel like I’m starting to truly understand how to find clarity on the path to happiness and fulfillment. With conviction, I recognize that I have a lot to work on and can’t wait to explore this next phase in my journey.
I am worthy and I now truly believe that by practicing gratitude, living in service, and focusing on self-actualization, my career, my relationships, and the pursuit of wholehearted happiness will follow and become fulfilling by-products.
Closing remarks: It has been a while since I’ve felt unblocked to write and this is the first time I’ve ever shared something so broadly. Although I am a bit horrified of the thought of this being read by the unknown, I do hope that it will have a positive influence on at least one reader and am interested in hearing your journey. The reality should be that we are all worthy of self-love and happiness. Thank you for listening, sharing my story, and finding strength and clarity with me.