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Building A Roadmap: How Meaningful Conversations Can Lead to a Purposeful Life

Updated: 2 days ago

"Questions are the keys that cause the secret doors of the psyche to swing open.”

- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With The Wolves.


When I was a journalist interviewing entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians, musicians, actors, celebrities, I believed my interviews could be used as vessels through which I could unlock the secrets to living a bold, creative, and purposeful life.


I was driven by a desperate need to find a roadmap towards a life that was balanced between being in command of my own destiny and allowing myself to be open to the unknown. It was perhaps this genuine curiosity and desire to learn that my interviewees sensed, fostering an environment of openness and vulnerability. At times, they would surprise even themselves with the depth of their revelations and the candour with which they shared their life. What I learned, and what would lead me to my career today as a life coach, was that it would be in the conversation itself where the magic happens.


There are numerous examples of how a great conversation has led to amazing discoveries, partnerships, creations, and breakthroughs. Whether it was a chance conversation between Albert Einstein with fellow physicist Michele Besso in 1905 where they discussed the idea of time dilation, which later became a fundamental concept in Einstein's theory of special relativity; or John Lennon meeting Paul McCartney and striking up a conversation about music at a church picnic in Liverpool in 1957; or the British comedic writer Brendan Hunt having a conversation with Jason Sudeikis about creating a character based on Sudeikis' previous portrayal of a clueless American football coach during a sketch on "Saturday Night Live in 2013, giving birth to the Ted Lasso millions of us came to know and love; all of these show that a great conversation has the power to change the trajectory of one's life.


What my two decades as a journalist and my work as a life coach have taught me is that in the realm of meaningful conversations lies a treasure trove of insights and revelations—nuggets of wisdom that have the power to illuminate our path forward.


Here are five top revelations that come with having those deep conversations:


  1. Clarity Emerges: In the midst of life's uncertainties, intentional conversations have the remarkable ability to bring clarity to the forefront. Through thoughtful inquiry and exploration, we gain a deeper understanding of our desires, values, and aspirations, enabling us to make informed decisions and chart a course towards our goals.

  2. Self-Discovery Unfolds: Purposeful conversations serve as a mirror, reflecting back the true essence of who we are. As we delve into the depths of our experiences and beliefs, we uncover hidden truths about ourseles, unlocking new layers of self-awareness and self-acceptance.

  3. Limiting Beliefs are Challenged: Often, we are held back by limiting beliefs and self-imposed barriers that hinder our growth and potential. Through heartfelt conversations , we are encouraged to challenge these beliefs, exploring new perspectives and possibilities that were previously unseen.

  4. Empowerment is Cultivated: Conversations that are focused on our journey and growth are inherently empowering. When we are seen and heard, we feel empowered to take ownership and responsiblity of our life and make intentional choices that align with our values and aspirations. By recognising our agency and potential, we gain the confidence and courage to pursue our dreams with conviction and purpose.

  5. Transformation Takes Root: Ultimately, these conversations serve as a catalyst for transformation—of growth, healing, and self-discovery. As we lean into vulnerability and authenticity, we embrace the opportunity for change, emerging from the depths of our experiences with a newfound sense of purpose and direction.


A tranformative conversation begins with curiosity and a desire to create something, whether a winning idea for a pivotal project or something more personal-a great, authentic life.


If you're in a place in your life where you are questioning where you are personally and/or professionally, how you're living, your relationships, and how to move towards a life that feels more aligned with who you are today, perhaps that conversation needs to be had with yourself first.


Begin by asking yourself these questions. They will help you to start diving into the part of your soul that holds all the wisdom that you know is there but often feels drowned out by the noise of everyday life:


What do I actually want in my life?

Delving into this question allows you to reconnect with your intrinsic desires and passions, free from the pressures of what is expected of you. By identifying activities, experiences, or pursuits that genuinely ignite your soul, you can begin to prioritize what truly matters to you on a deeper level.


What is holding me back?

This question encourages you to explore the ingrained beliefs and narratives that may be hindering your growth and self-expression. By shining a light on these limiting beliefs, you can challenge their validity and begin the process of rewriting your personal narrative to align more closely with your authentic self.


How do I want to feel every day?

This question takes us out of our head and into our heart. We may not know right away what we want but we always how how we want to feel. By following that answer that begins with a feeling, we can explore what areas of our life elicits that feeling, when was the last time we felt that way and what we were doing, plus what that feeling represents.


The answers to those questions may not come right away but the process of asking and answering them helps us feel proactive and less stuck. By reflecting on these questions, we open the door to clarity, insight, and a fresh perspective, setting the stage for a transformative journey of growth and self-discovery.


The questions may seem simplistic but that is the point. We hide our truth behind complex thoughts, we spiral into the worries and the narratives attached to them. We do so because we spend our entire lives building a façade, an image of ourselves based on a desire to be accepted and validated. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted and validated, we all want that, we're basing the terms of that acceptance on cultural and societal definitions of success and happiness.


What helps is having a real conversation with ourself and with someone we trust. When we vocalise what we're feeling it becomes a physical act of pushing out of us what has been weighing us down. When it is out of us we can then look at it, understand it, see the wisdom that lies within it, and then decide what we want to do about it. We all know what it feels like after spending time with those friends with whom we can talk about anything. We feel nourished, supported, seen, heard, and less alone in our daily struggles. We feel like we don't have to figure it all out on our own.


A great conversation requires great listening skills too where listening is done without prejudice, without wanting to jump in with opinions and advice. It requires patience without the need to fix everything. That's where a life coach can be a tremendous resource. While meaningful conversations with friends, family, or yourself can be incredibly powerful, there are unique benefits to working with a life coach:

  • Objective Perspective: A life coach provides an unbiased viewpoint that can help you see things more clearly.

  • Focused Guidance: Life coaches are trained to ask the right questions that lead to deeper insights and breakthroughs.

  • Accountability: Having someone to hold you accountable can significantly enhance your commitment to personal growth.

  • Structured Approach: Coaches offer tools and frameworks that can help you navigate your journey more effectively.


For me, the quest for clarity, purpose, and freedom culminated in the realization that the roadmap to my aspirations lay within the questions themselves. It is a roadmap I still use today in order to "open the secret doors of (my) psyche" to unlock the wisdom within. I love a great conversation and asking questions has led me to a career I love!


Talking with intention about what we want in life has the power to propel us forward but first we have to figure out what it is we want. Asking ourselves questions becomes the first action we can take to making changes that will ultimately move us towards the life we actually want lead. After all, the actions we take no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that start to change our perspectives on what is possible for us.


The next question you have to ask yourself is, if this isn't your time to be happy and excited about your life, then when is?

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