Have you ever asked yourself this question: what is my purpose on the planet? Have you ever asked this question when your source of income was ending in 10 weeks? It’s not exactly the lightest of dinner conversations, but one evening in New York City I found myself with a coach discussing this very question.
She looked right at me and said, “Mala, how do you want to spend the time in your life?” This question hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because I’d never thought about it, but because it was “inside out.” Instead of assuming I wasn’t capable of answering this at my young age and telling me what to do (which she easily could have done with twenty years on me), this wise woman assumed I already knew my potential and let me discover it on my own.
Together we went to work to identify all of the ways I was currently spending my time. This exploration got me clear on three things:
1. I knew a lot more about what I need to perform at high levels than I realized
2. I had known my calling for a very long time, it was just a matter of unlocking it
3. I didn’t need more advice or opinions or even knowledge. What I needed was questions and practices that allowed me to see more clearly.
It became evident to me that I was on the planet to connect people to their highest potential. Just as I was about to pat myself on the back for my amazing breakthrough my coach gave me what felt like a scary, exhilarating trick: call 200 people and share your calling with them. You’re not asking them for a job. You’re sharing your calling to make it a reality. Of course my immediate thought was: you’re nuts! My second thought was: Your work contract ends in 8 weeks; trust this woman.
So off I went. I began by calling my mom and those folks to whom you could say, “Guess what?! I’m becoming an trapeze artist!” and they’d love you. Next were my good acquaintances. Those conversations led to connection with individuals I’d never met. By the end of my 200th conversation, I’d connected not only with my mom, but with executives at LinkedIn, Whole Foods, Google, Microsoft, and Apple, to name a few.
At the end of this practice, two huge interview opportunities presented themselves. I made it to the final rounds of both and ended up losing the first. Fortunately, two weeks later the second company called and offered me a full-time position with a higher title and double the salary.
So I high-tailed it from New York to Texas and the rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to my coach, I experienced breakthrough after breakthrough all because of a non-traditional insideout approach.
If you’re not clear on your calling, hit the pause button and figure out what it is. And know, by the way, that there’s never a “good” time to do this. In the words of Richard Branson, “Life’s too short. Don’t enjoy it? Don’t do it!” The answer is inside of you.