Note: This is part of a new series where I feature people who are on their true peak journey. If you're interested in sharing your story, please contact me.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
Today, our guest is Jacqueline Way, from 365 Give | Changing The World One Day at a Time. Jacqueline recently started on a quest to make a difference in our world, every day, and document that journey. From that, her site has become a place to share something, every day , that is good in the world – from her, and from others making a difference in their own unique ways.
Jacqueline shares her story of life, and of finding a deeper purpose in all that she does.
Please read and enjoy…
Do you ever wonder what your true calling is? Do you ever wonder why you are here or what the meaning of your life is?
What Is My Purpose?
I have asked myself this question often. It started when I began my own business in my late 20’s. I started in the wonderful world if fundraising. Previously, I had many opportunities to grow my business and get involved in the corporate world but I made a clear decision based on my “calling.” I’m not religious but I heard this voice – that little voice we all have. It was calling to me and telling me to base my business on giving back. I didn’t have a million dollars to give away but I knew I could raise it through other people. Fifteen years later I have done just that. I have used my skills to raise more money than I could ever give by listening to my calling.
Then Comes Middle Age
Then I hit 40. Oh that magic age that makes us sit and reflect what we have done to date. All of a sudden I was half way through my life, I had a two year old and I wanted to do more (as if raising a child and running my own business wasn’t enough). But the voice was getting louder and louder. I wanted to get to the end of my life and know I had done everything in my power to leave the world a better place for my beautiful son, his friends and future generations. I sat, (I had no choice I had broken my foot – the gifts life gives us!) I pondered, I thought, I wrote, I waited to be inspired. I waited..and waited…and waited… and then it came!
It hit me one day when I asked myself some important questions.
- When was I happiest?
- What made me work until the wee hours of the night just because it made me happy?
- If I was asked to get up in front of an audience with no preparation and speak passionately on one topic what would it be?
- If I won a million dollars what would I do with it?
The answers were there, I just had to listen. The answers to all of my questions came back to the same thing. I wanted to change the world! Wow what a big statement from one person.
I wanted to inspire other people to give more in their lives. I wanted to find a way to make people understand that our everyday actions and choices could change the world. I’m not Bono or Oprah but I am someone. I am one person that could do something every day to make the world a better place. I had few financial resources to start a worldwide movement, little technical background but I had a vision and desire. I had passion, I was inspired and I had the drive to figure it out. I had one other thing as well that had been holding me back for far too long….
Have you ever been so scared to start something you know nothing about that you just don’t do it? I have done it many times. I have tons of brilliant ideas to change the world but fear always held me back.
- What would people think?
- Where would I get the money?
- How would I do it alone?
- Who do I think I am?
Not this time. I had a son to think of and an example to set. What kind of an example was I setting if I let my fear get the best of me and let my life go by without at least trying. I took a deep breath and jumped. I asked for help and the perfect person appeared to hold my hand to get me going. I started a blog, 365give.ca. Eight months ago I didn’t even know what a blog was. But I had to write – everyday. It was going to be my mission. Do one thing to give back to the world everyday and blog about it. I did forget one thing about myself – I’m not a writer! I can ask people for money for a good cause, but I’m not a writer. I started writing every day. Then came the challenge to get my blog noticed. Twitter? Facebook? No one told me I had to become a social media expert so someone would read my writing! Ahhhh! In comes the fear – I don’t do social media. I do now. I’m not an expert but I do my best.
Happiness comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be as simple as taking the first lick of your favourite ice-cream or lying on a beach listening to the waves. It can be a first kiss or your first born. The happiness your get from giving back every day is something no one can take from me. It doesn’t come and go, it doesn’t leave you or fade. Giving everyday has brought me a happiness that gets me up in the morning and drives me. It helps me write, it helps me Tweet and Facebook. It even keeps my fear at bay.
The greatest gift of giving is what you receive from it. The look on someone’s face, the first time your son picks up garbage to help the planet without any prompting. Or it could be a surprise email in your inbox from someone like Lance that inspires you to keep going.
Taking the time to explore what it all means to you is time well spent. I have found my calling. It is giving. It has made me feel like I am moving in the direction I should be going. It will change and evolve as I move along this journey but I now know I am heading in the right direction.
What will you do to move in the direction you should be going? Will you listen?
Note: Photos provided, in part, by Karen Somers Photography.