Today I’m writing this blog by hand in my gratitude journal with a pen that has printed on it. In less than four months I will reach the 2-year mark for my business. It’s been a process of trial and error, lots of writing, plenty of training, and, more than anything else, building a trusted team of partners, advisors and vendors.


Part of my training includes an executive coaching certification led by the amazing Nikki Barua that I will complete next month. In that course, we were asked to identify questions that we ask ourselves repeatedly and that serve as a guiding force in our lives. We should determine if our guiding questions are uplifting or demotivating, but we probably have both.


I prize myself for being both free-spirited and compassionate. The first guiding question that came to mind for me is, “Will this matter when I’m on my death bed?” I ask myself that question nearly every day. It calms me down and helps me prioritize both small and large things. It’s my litmus test. Through this question, I realize that few things will matter, but the big ones are clear – my family (including my dogs), my spiritual journey, my integrity, my ability to impact and motivate people  and my legacy all stand firm.


We were asked what demotivating question we ask ourselves. I didn’t think I had one. I’ve been on the path of personal growth and self-development for a long time. My internal voice is so kind, I call myself pet names and am quick to forgive my own shortcomings with love and kindness. Then, it happened.


Mother’s Day weekend I booked a nice hotel room with a view of the Chattahoochee River. I woke up in the morning and looked out the window to take in the beautiful view. As I peered outside, I saw a man rummaging through the items in the trash can along the river promenade. Then, I heard the familiar question in my mind, “What right do you have to be in a fancy hotel room when there are people struggling to find a meal?”


I didn’t recognize it as a demotivating question immediately. It struck a familiar chord in my heart and strummed at my compassion. What could I do to help, if not that particular man, people like him? I focus my charitable work predominantly on social justice, animal liberation, and women and children, but I care deeply about hunger and homelessness. It often knocks around in the back of my mind. I donate often to Goodwill, but I don’t have a hunger or homeless charity that I regularly support. 


It wasn’t until I shared my thinking with my wonderful, new image consultant that I really woke up. I thought she might react positively with an, “Oh, that’s so sweet and compassionate!” but instead I heard her voice recoil as if I had admitted to having a deadly contagious disease. She paused, “Uhmmm. Ohhhh. Yes, some people think that way.” It hit me like a cold bucket of water over the head. Ouch! Clearly, the people who think “that way” were not very successful. Even Mother Teresa had the support of the Vatican. If she were without a place to live she couldn’t help the homeless. If she were dying, she couldn’t care for the sick.


I would have sworn I don’t subscribe to guilt. I love myself fully. But here I was feeling bad because I was in a nice hotel room while another person was not. If that’s not guilt, I don’t know what is.


It was an epiphany for me.


So, what’s your motivating question? Can you make it better so that it guides you toward your goals in a more meaningful way?


Do you have a demotivating question that you need to identify? What is it? Can you replace it with a question that motivates you toward your purpose and passion?


I replaced my guilt-ridden question with this one, “How can you encourage, inspire and nurture the world if you don’t first love on yourself?”


I love asking myself that question as I nurture, encourage and invest in myself.


The guilt stops here.


You deserve a life of passion, purpose, freedom, alignment and effortless abundance. You deserve self-care. You deserve mind-blowing happiness. A great first step is confronting the questions inside of your mind.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!


P.S. This photo is from just now at beautiful Deerfield Beach, Florida. If you want to move forward in pursuit of passion and purpose, I encourage you to participate in next week’s Black Vegan Life™ Spring Day Retreat on Sunday, May 30 or my Passion Quest 6-Week Coaching Series beginning August 18. Click the link below for info and to sign up.

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