True Peak Journey: Jacqueline Way

by Lance Ekum on · 34 comments

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!

Inspi­ra­tion!

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 

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.…

Fear

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

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.

Explor­ing

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?

Jacque­line Way is the founder of 365give, an online diary of one woman’s actions and impact in chang­ing the world every day for 365days. 365give has the poten­tial to cre­ate a move­ment of giv­ing and a com­mu­nity of com­mit­ted ”givers” that can edu­cate and inspire future gen­er­a­tions.  Keep up with Jacque­line on Twit­ter and Face­book.

Note:  Pho­tos pro­vided, in part, by Karen Somers Pho­tog­ra­phy.

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Schryer April 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

This is very inspirational! Thank you, Jacqueline, for sharing your story here, and thank *you*, Lance, for hosting her here.

Jacqueline, I love how you shared your story of how you found your passion…your calling. I love how it grew organically from the things you had been doing all along. Your soul knew what it wanted to be doing, and so you found yourself in many situations which were close, but not exactly perfect matches. And then, one day, it clicked, and you could see how each step before helped you along your path to your true passion. And now, here you are, living it out. Awesome!

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Jacqueline April 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thank you so much Jay. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I truly wrote from my heart. It is comments like yours that keep me motivated to keep giving! Please follow me on my site as your comments would be appreciated as well. Have a great day.
Jacqueline

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Debbie @ Happy Maker April 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Thank you Jacqueline for sharing your story. Giving is a wonderful way live a persons life. I believe it is the only way to live our life.

There are many ways to give, so our options are really endless. Like you say ask ourselves the right questions and we will find our passion of giving. I do like the way you also talked about fear. Fear is something that holds many people back from becoming what they are met to be.
Thank you again and may you always be blessed. Debbie

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Lynn April 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

It’s wonderful how you came to know just what you should be doing. I admire that so much. Thank you for sharing your story.
Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Three little birds- on my doorstep and visitMy Profile

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Jacqueline April 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Lance thank you so much for having me as a guest on your site. It gave me the chance to really know in my heart why I am doing 365give. I look forward to following your story as it changes and evolves. Thank you.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Day 209-Every Day Hero changes the Lives of Uganda Street KidsMy Profile

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Lance April 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Jacqueline,
It’s really great having you here…and if that helped you to touch your heart a little more deeply…double-awesomeness! Really, I just love the concept of what you’re doing – and then to read your story here – and feel your passion for this…that just makes having you here that much more meaningful.

Thank YOU…for being here, and even more – for listening to your heart and sharing your gifts with the world.

Namaste,
Lance

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Andrea DeBell @ britetalk April 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Hi Lance and Jacqueline,
Beautiful story and even more beautiful cause. It’s extremely rewarding to give from the heart with no agenda and wanting nothing in return. The pure pleasure of giving and serving others. I applaud any project that motivates us to give and to serve others.
Thanks for the inspiration! Loving blessings
Andrea DeBell @ britetalk´s Last Fabulous Post ..Awesomeness boot camp- demystifying our fears once and for allMy Profile

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Jacqueline April 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Thanks Andrea! These comments are amazing and truly inspirational! It is my pleasure to give every day and I hope more people discover how easy it is and how much happiness it brings! Cheers!

Jacqueline
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Day 209-Every Day Hero changes the Lives of Uganda Street KidsMy Profile

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Sandra / Always Well Within April 27, 2011 at 1:47 am

Jacqueline,

What an amazing story of taking the next steps to refine your lifelong focus on giving even further. May everyone in this world have such a compassionate epiphany! I have found my purpose too and though life has its ups and downs it couldn’t be better. Thanks for the inspiration. Can’t wait to pop over to 365 give.

A big thank you to Lance for this inspirational series.
Sandra / Always Well Within´s Last Fabulous Post ..Hope and Fear in Blogging and LifeMy Profile

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Lance April 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi Sandra,
So, so good having you here!

Love that you have found your purpose…and know, Sandra, that I get so much from visiting your site and soaking in the deeply thoughtful writing you share.

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Hilda April 27, 2011 at 5:02 am

Hi Jacqueline,

Maybe you weren’t a writer, but you sure are now! That’s a very inspiring post, and you asked yourself the most wonderful questions. It’s been a while since I asked them myself, but with a quiet-looking summer approaching this seems to be a perfect prompt for me :-) Thank you!
Hilda´s Last Fabulous Post ..Be adventurousMy Profile

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Lance April 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Hi Hilda!!
I would love (love love love) to hear what comes from some quiet introspective moments…

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rob white April 27, 2011 at 6:59 am

A wonderful story and mission, Jacqueline. We feel most alive and at peace in the world when we create ‘inspiring addictions’ that have us in service to the world. There is no better feeling than to be wonderfully obsessed with a mission and purpose that expresses our Authentic Nature.
rob white´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Valley and the MeadowMy Profile

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Giulietta Nardone April 27, 2011 at 7:50 am

Hi Lance & Jacqueline,

Like this TPJ format! Great illustration of the human need to have a strong reason to get up in the morning. Too many folks don’t know why they get up. It makes life painful when it really can be a fantastic adventure.

The 365 Give reminds me of a favorite quote of mine:

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?
- George Eliot, Middlemarch

We’ve already tried to make life more difficult for each other, let’s try to move in a different direction. Will check out your site Jacqueline! Thanks, G.
Giulietta Nardone´s Last Fabulous Post ..Getting to BeginMy Profile

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Lance April 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Guilietta,
Thanks so much for sharing the George Eliot quote ~ just think if we all woke each day with this as our mantra…

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Mark Harai April 27, 2011 at 8:57 am

Wow Jacqueline, I love your prospective on life!

If I was to go through these same questions, they would be very similar in nature. The only big difference between us is I happen to be male : )

It’s this very mindset that will absolutely change the world, whether it’s global in nature or just in our homes and neighborhoods. Life is about giving and when you have big aspirations, big vision and big heart, it can open many doors to serve others in very impactful ways.

Cheers to your future accomplishments!

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Lance April 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I’m with you Mark…especially on that *male* thing!!

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Audra Krell April 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm

There are layers and layers of inspiration here, thank you! As far as writing, the ONLY way to get better is to do what you did. You put your bootie in the chair and shake it all about! Okay, maybe not the shake part, but you sit down and write. Every.Single.Day. Love that you listened to the voice, for me, it’s God and he won’t be ignored. Every blessing as you continue this great, wonderfully passionate work!
Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Boxing WriterMy Profile

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Lance April 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Hey bootie girl!!!

(and awesome friend…) (grin)

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Delena Silverfox April 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Thank you, Jacqueline, and thank you, Lance, for sharing such an amazing story!

I love how you never gave up, even when you didn’t think you knew what you wanted to do or what inspired you, and when the practicalities (like social media) began to intimidate you. It seems like, when we want to do one thing well, we have to learn to do ten things we don’t like –and we have to do them well!

That’s always where I get caught. =) This gives me a little motivation to keep going.

Delena
Delena Silverfox´s Last Fabulous Post ..Audible Coupon CodeMy Profile

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Jacqueline April 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Thank you to everyone for all the great comments. I love the idea of shaking my bootie in my chair comment. Some days you just need to do that! So many of you have sites I look forward to getting into and reading. I so appreciate all the wonderful sentiments. Oh just maybe one day I will say out loud I am a writer! For those of you interested I just got nominated as one of the top 30 blogger Mom’s in Vancouver by VancouverMom. (http://www.vancouvermom.ca/) I will need all the votes I can get next week so I can share my giving with as many people as possible. I will be tweeting and posting about it and your vote would be greatly appreciated. I am honoured to be in the group with such wonderful people for the contest. Thank you again and have a wonderful day!
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Day 209-Every Day Hero changes the Lives of Uganda Street KidsMy Profile

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Lance April 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Jacqueline…you ARE a writer!!!!!

And a rockin’ Vancouver Mom!!!!

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Jody - Fit at 53 April 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm

WOW! What a powerful post! Thank you & thx Lance for sharing! Got me thinking big time.. fear is there – mainly due to trying too many times & not working out the right way & losing money along the way. Scary at 53 when the “crash” has already taken your retirement from you & to try something different but you do have me thinking!
Jody – Fit at 53´s Last Fabulous Post ..Training with Gunnar Peterson-Pictures!My Profile

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Justin | Mazzastick April 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

You just have to go with it in life and not let fear get in your way. Our hearts know what to do but I mind often stops us.
Justin | Mazzastick´s Last Fabulous Post ..The SandboxMy Profile

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Jk Allen April 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Hello Lance, thanks for sharing this great journey from Jacqueline.

This entire read was inspirational, but I really loved the questions under “Inspiration”:
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?

I love asking myself questions and find it to really help me assess the direction that I’m heading in, compared to the direction where I want to head. My personal questions tend to be random and rarely consistent. I’m going to use these questions here, as my own – to help keep my journey transparent to myself.

Thank you!
Jk Allen´s Last Fabulous Post ..And Finally…Why I Hustle! A Q&A SessionMy Profile

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Jacqueline April 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Thanks so much for the great comment JK Allen. I am so glad my questions have helped you think a little differently. They certainly helped me be true to myself and my giving journey. I may not know the end result or where it will take me but being true to who I am has been worth more than anything. Thank you again!
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Day 211- My Date with Craig listMy Profile

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Naomi Estment April 29, 2011 at 1:08 am

Way to go, Lance & Jacqueline (your writing must have been good or be much improved)! This is a wonderful read :-) Keep on journeying and enjoying, xo
Naomi Estment´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Time to say goodbye”My Profile

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Jacqueline May 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Thanks Naomi. Not sure which of those describes my writing – maybe a bit of both. I hope I only improve over time and great feedback from people like yourself. Cheers!
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vote Today! Fabulous Vancouver Mom Blogger ContestMy Profile

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Galen Pearl April 30, 2011 at 8:34 pm

What an inspiring post! Along with others commenters, I’m looking forward to visiting 365 Give. I like the idea of doing one thing every day to make the world a better place. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

Lance, I’m happy to be reading your blog again. For reasons I never understood, I was having trouble with your blog for awhile–my computer would freeze up. But I thought I would try again and voila–it worked just fine! So glad I thought to pop over today to find such a great post.

Thanks to both of you.
Galen Pearl´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Joy of Sadness- the Sadness of JoyMy Profile

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Lance May 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

Galen,
So great having you here! And I’m glad whatever the trouble you had with my site is now fixed. I have been doing a few things behind the scenes, so maybe that helped? Anyway, great seeing you!!

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Jacqueline May 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Thanks so much Galen! It is much easier than I thought. Giving is the easy part it’s the blogging that is the challenge. Giving every day is so easy to incorporate into your life. Give it a try for a week! I love that my giving is contagious! Truly the reason I am doing it for comments just like that. Cheers!
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vote Today! Fabulous Vancouver Mom Blogger ContestMy Profile

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Betsy at Zen Mama May 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

Jacqueline,
It’s wonderful to read your story! It’s amazing that when your able to focus and something or someone other than yourself, happiness, contentment and purpose arrive at your doorstep unexpected. Looking forward to going through your website!!
Betsy

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Jacqueline May 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Thanks Betsy! Love the name Zen Mama. Oh to find the Zen in it all. I appreciate the comments so much! If you have a chance I have recently been nominated for the Vancouver Mom http://www.vancouvermom.ca/best-of/vote-now-for-your-favourite-fabulous-vancouver-mom-blogger/ ) top blogger award. A vote would be appreciated to keep spreading the word of giving! Cheers!
Jacqueline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vote Today! Fabulous Vancouver Mom Blogger ContestMy Profile

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