“What do you want to do with your life?”
“What are your future plans?”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Those questions and all their relatives have haunted me since day one.
The only thing I’ve been sure of since day one is that I want to be a mom. From the time I was a kid, though, I figured I might need a backup plan, because motherhood isn’t a career goal to be attained, nor does it magically begin the moment you become an official adult or decide you’re ready for it.
When it came to choosing a major in college, I was stumped. I read through the course list for every degree and ultimately went with the one I thought sounded least dull. Journalism it was.
And then I held the degree in my hands and I still didn’t know what to do.
So what then? What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Whether we have some idea of what we want in life or absolutely no clue, many of us wonder what our next steps should be. What are our dreams, and how on earth do we attain them? How can we pay the bills but still enjoy our lives? How do we stop feeling stuck and start feeling like we’re living out a bigger purpose?
I’ve wondered those things my entire life, and I never found many convincing answers to any of those questions. Until I impulsively signed up for this class called GPS Life Journey.
I’m not exactly the most impulsive person on the planet, and that’s a gross understatement. I’m an extreme planner, and I take joy in it. I’m 100% J on the Myers-Briggs scale.
But even armed with my love of planning, deciding what to do with my life has always proven to be a challenge because I’ve had no idea what exactly to plan. Without knowing my purpose, how could I make plans to fulfill it?
Maybe that’s why I was so easily convinced by a friend to take a GPS class. “Discover God’s next purpose for your life,” the flyer promised. Nothing to lose except $20 for the workbook, I figured.
The class was invaluable to me.
At 28, I already knew myself very well. I’d been out of school for a while, worked a few different jobs, been through enough experiences that really solidified who I was and who I wanted to be, and I’d taken about every personality test out there.
But I’d never really figured out how to put it all together. I knew my tastes and I knew what I didn’t want to do with my life; I just didn’t have a strong sense of what I should spend my time doing. I was nearing 30, was tired of wasting time doing things that left me feeling drained, and I wanted to get on the right path once and for all and stay there.
The great thing about GPS is that it takes every part of what makes you you into consideration. Your personality. Your strengths. Your history. Your skills. Your passions. Your finances. Your time frame.
After you’ve done a little soul-searching, you start putting all the puzzle pieces together. A trained facilitator and even your fellow classmates start pointing out patterns that they see in you, and you start to recognize them, too.
You come up with a mission statement for your life (It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, promise!), you write out a vision of what this world will look like when you live out your mission, and then, with the help of everyone else around you, you outline the next steps you need to take to get there.
Honestly, I’m a skeptic, but this course exceeded my expectations.
Not only did I finish with a mission statement I would never have come up with on my own, but it began to shape the way I made all my decisions. When job openings came up, I asked myself, Does this fit in with my mission statement? Needless to say, I turned down more opportunities than my parents would have liked. 😉
GPS was also – and continues to be – a process for me. After initially taking the class, I set my workbook aside for a few months and let the information settle in. Later, I reviewed everything and got way more clarity. A few things had changed. I set new goals. I updated my mission statement to make it more specific for my current stage of life (and it’s written all over my website, so you don’t have to guess what it is). The great thing is that as you change, so can your mission and vision.
Eventually I realized I was supposed to write. I didn’t expect this – didn’t even want to! – but it became clearer and clearer as I tracked what activities brought me fulfillment, what people told me I was good at, and where I felt I could potentially have an impact. On top of it all, I’d been spending a lot of time praying for God to show me what he wanted me to do with my life, and within a few months he made it clear that this was it. Writing. Telling my story. Using that bachelor’s degree I never really cared if I used.
None of this ever occurred to me before taking GPS. I loved blogging from the time I first created my own recipe website for a class in college. I continued to dabble in blogging throughout my 20s, eventually starting another food blog that grew more than I expected it to. But because none of these attempts ever brought in any income, these projects continuously fell to the wayside as I pursued jobs that actually did pay. And I never – I repeat, never – planned on starting any kind of blog as personal as this one. Cupcakes? That’s one thing. But sharing my very real and personal stories with the world? Quite another, and quite unwanted.
But God slowly worked in my heart and on paper to show me that this was what I was supposed to do in this season. And after a year or so, I actually obeyed. 😉
Do I have my whole future figured out? Nope. But I have a whole lot more figured out than I did before taking GPS.
I got so much out of it that I opted to become a facilitator so I could walk others through the same process that has been so beneficial to me!
(This isn’t a sponsored post, for the record. Most GPS facilitators – all of them that I know! – are volunteers who just want to help others find purpose like they have.)
GPS is headquartered in Florida, but there are several facilitators in my home state of Minnesota and many other regions across the world. You can learn more here, see if there are any facilitators near you (The list may not be up to date), and contact a representative with any questions.
I would not be writing today if I had not taken a GPS Life Journey class.
I wouldn’t be walking in what I feel is my current God-given purpose, because I didn’t know what it was before taking GPS.
I’m still a work in progress. I’m still trying to forge out a path that combines my calling with a steady income and a strong sense of purpose. I still want to be a mom at some point. I still haven’t made a dime blogging, and I’ve been doing it on and off for almost a decade!
But I know I’m on the right track. GPS is a primary reason for that. And I can’t recommend it enough to anyone searching for purpose in life or just wanting to confirm that they’re headed in the right direction. Anyone wondering what to do or what to do next. Anyone graduating, retiring, or closing a chapter without knowing what the next one looks like. Anyone in a transitional stage of any kind. This is for you!
GPS has changed my life for the better. And it continues to as I continue to treat it like the journey it is.
You were made for a purpose, and you can discover what it is. After 30 years of life, I’m finally figuring out mine. What’s yours?
P.S. If you’re a GPS alum, post your mission statement below – I’d love to read it!
There are 4 comments
[…] Last week I talked about my experience with GPS Life Journey and how central it has been in helping me discover what to do in this stage of my life. I really didn’t know what my purpose was before taking GPS – at all, but especially in this season. […]
[…] implement the Strengthsfinder along with the DISC when I teach GPS, and I’m not sure I’ve met a person yet who isn’t encouraged to discover where he or she […]
[…] it. Honestly, I really didn’t think I had any spiritual gifts for a long time. Even when I took GPS, which includes a segment about spiritual gifts, I struggled to identify which gifts I might have. […]
[…] DISC is a little simpler, but it’s another favorite of mine that I use frequently when teaching GPS Life Journey […]
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