108. Your purpose is not a business or a destination, with Tanya J Miller

August 24, 2020

How to find your purpose? And what to do when you’ve figured out your purpose, but your job or life doesn’t align with it yet?

In this episode, I talk about these important questions with Tanya J Miller of Tanya J. Miller, LLC and Talking with Tanya. She’s an author, speaker, coach, and strategist with a passion for helping people and organizations figure out how to do life and leadership unapologetically on purpose.

About Tanya

Tanya J. Miller is a certified life coach with over eighteen years’ experience working with youth, young adults, and women throughout the community and in ministry to pursue purpose, passion and destiny.  Tanya holds a BBA in finance and business management from Northwood University and an MBA from Regent University.

As a coach she motivates, inspires, and encourages hundreds through her blog Talking with Tanya, which she began in 2005. Mind Matters the book and journal further exhibit Tanya's heart and passion for coaching people into purpose, passion, vision, and destiny. As an organizational and leadership strategist Tanya embodies this as she works with organizations and leaders to project plan, forecast, and execute strategy timely, efficiently, and effectively.


Stand still to go further

I thought that if I was going to better myself for my business, if I'm going to read, then I should read something that's going to directly benefit my self development or benefit my business. And I found out pretty quickly, that reading became so draining for me. I found that just reading fiction books was so much more rewarding. And I felt so much more rejuvenated after reading a fiction book or listening to a comedy podcast, things that had nothing to do with self development or even my business. Those activities really started to fill me back up, and now it's become part of my daily routine. I'm going to read some fiction for a while, because my brain is on overdrive. 

Find that place that you can actually go and have that moment as well. You may sometimes need to go somewhere where you're not around your normal circumstances. I know that has been difficult with the pandemic of 2020. You just have to find that thing or that place where you're able to just be your number one, and then to be able to get it out. Like if you need to cry, if you need to scream, if you need to just be there and sit in the moment, do whatever you need to do. That can help you to figure out what's next. 

Sometimes you don't know, because you're stuck. Find something that gets you moving, but it's not super complex. That's also something healthy, like going on walks or exercise. It's a way for you to just be moving in thinking, but it's almost unintentionally.

Look inside to find your purpose

I’ve definitely been wandering in trying to find and locate what lights me up, because you don't find it anywhere outside of you. People come to me asking ‘what's my purpose?’. I find it and I'm like, we're not looking anywhere. You look internally, you tap in and realize that it's there. We may just do the work uncovered and to help you plug in, but we're not looking for trying to find it on a road map. 

A lot of stress comes from anxiety. Especially if you've been doing life for so many other people. You got that degree, or you went to the military because that was the tradition of family and that was expectation. And then you stayed for 10-15 years in that good, secure and steady job. Then you’re trying to figure out ‘why do I hate going every morning?’ ‘Why do I feel awful?’ ‘Why is there no purpose in it?’. 

A lot of times, I coach people to pivot in a way that they can look after each other. After we tap into the purpose, I also show them a way to navigate their present circumstances to be able to magnify their time here. Until you either find a position that allows you to be able to do more with our purposes, or you're able to find and know what that thing is, that you want to do on your own terms.

Focus on the present

I coach for that situation right now, until you're able to have the money, have the time, or just you're over the fear of being able to do the setup part of what your purpose is. But the thing I tell people about the purpose, is that your purpose is not necessarily a business or a thing. Your purpose is something overarching of what speaks to who you are, as a whole. And so your purpose will produce itself in different ways. It'll produce itself in a job that you work in, or produce itself in maybe a business or nonprofit that you support, or it only produces itself in the things that you do in everyday life as a neighbour or as a friend. But your overarching purpose will still remain and be true. So I help people to find ways to produce it within the personal and normal limits that they have on a day to day basis.

Especially in the self development community, there's a lot of these buzzwords around finding your purpose, and figuring out your why, and all of these things. And that's a very daunting task for somebody to do. I think it's also because people focus so hard on the outcome sometimes, like they want this job, or they want to write this book, or they want to do this thing. Sometimes we get really caught up in these goals for our life, or what our life should look like. 

Overcoming fears

Honestly, it's that fear of answering the call of who you are, and really taking that inner look. Sometimes people haven't really felt themselves for a long time. The beautiful thing about this pandemic and how far it goes? This is probably the first time people have literally sat alone with themselves, and just had to be and figure out what that would look like. That was scary, because that's what they run from the most. But when you actually stop running, and you choose to have that moment, you're able to really get some clarity and to even get direction and peace, even if it's a fight to get to it. I just want to be able to sit with you, and to really talk about who you are. Truthfully, people are afraid of that when they first work with me, because they haven't done it. But that's where we have to go before we can go any further.

3 steps to find your purpose

First of all, just tell me things that you're passionate about. Things that you tried to stop doing throughout your life, but you just kept doing them, or there were places that you would always go, or just stuff that people would always say you always talk about? And is that something that they could do or speak on it? 

The next step is to go talk to people that you actually trust. Can you ask them those same questions that I asked you? Because a lot of times, people see what you see, before you realize it. 

Your purpose and who you are is just stuff that you do, that just comes out of your heart. Especially if it's a business, then you do it just because you like it. You take it for granted, you don't even believe that there's an opportunity to monetize. You don't see it as a way to build a legacy, because you don't put $1 value to it. And that's fine, but if we're trying to dig into your purpose, and let the purpose produce it, it's going to show up as a vision. It's going to produce itself from the trunk of who you are, and it's going to produce itself and through the lens of who you are as a person, then it's going to come out in different ways. And so this may just be one of the ways it's coming out of you, but it's still who you are. 

And then I will have them go do some type of skills test, to just walk through some of those results. Do you see the similarities? Is there anything that makes sense? I think that sometimes people just don't have the words to describe it yet. It's like a whole new set of feelings, and a different language that we're not quite sure how to communicate ourselves.

Ultimately, I think what you guys are hungry for is to make sure that everything that is in you, you leave it here. The quote says ‘the goal of life is to die empty, and to go to the graveyard and disappoint the cemetery’. You don't want to leave this world full of all of the possibilities in you. You want to figure out a way to harness it and to live it. So if you can achieve that goal, you will disappoint the graveyard and cemetery. 

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