The pursuit of purpose is a path many dare to venture down. But once started, resilience takes a front seat, hopes are super-high and the word “defeat” cannot be found in the dictionary.
But then, out of nowhere, comes the unexpected. Thorns, bumps, bruises and moments of sheer pandemonium. This is because oftentimes the “right” path is not the easiest. Starting a women’s empowerment organization was something my business partner and I believed to be one of the most phenomenal things that we could do to leave an impression upon this earth. We desired to leave a legacy for all women that would celebrate our unique differences and varying creative genius. Although we had developed a plan of action, for months we hesitated to implement the vision. I believe this was due to lack of funding, and diminishing faith as a result of a previous business venture that had to be dissolved.
After months of contemplating the idea of a women’s empowerment network, I went to her and stated that it was time for us to EXECUTE! Together we decided that we would move forward despite not having everything we needed in place. Our vision was more powerful than the obstacles that loomed. As we all know, there is no such thing as “perfection” in the process, but we believed that with hard work, determination and consistency we would be successful!
After the initial launch of Purpose in Pumps we were on cloud nine and ready to change the world-FOR THE BETTER! Now that we have officially reached our one year mark, I can’t help but to look back at the challenges we’ve faced along the way. And while at the time I didn’t understand why we faced endless struggles, I can say that it has made us stronger leaders, women, and business partners. These scars have truly taught us about
Sacrifice. Confidence. Attitude. Resilience. Success.
The truth of the matter is that failure is the biggest part of the “purpose” process. As a result, we both have gained insight about our strengths and weaknesses. We have learned that it is necessary to walk through both heaven and hell to get to the promise. And as hard as it seems, one must NEVER GIVE UP. Understand that you have everything you need to make your dreams a reality!
About two months ago, one of my students came to me expressing her interest in wanting to become an extreme skateboarder. While I initially feared for her safety, I told her, “If this is something you feel you were put here to do, then pursue it”. She wanted to defy the odds and prove to her older brothers that a woman could do anything that a man could do. I would constantly see her after school attempting different tricks and techniques without the proper safety attire. She told me that she had only saved up enough money for the skateboard and couldn’t afford the head gear. After several warnings she assured me that she had everything under control. Later I learned that she experienced a severe head injury after falling off her skateboard. Upon coming out of a coma, I went to visit her in the hospital. To my surprise there were several classmates there to visit as well. As I entered the room, her peers gave me the “I told you so” look as they had also heard me lecture her about proper safety gear. I immediately noticed the hideous scar that brandished her forehead as I approached her. Despite this, she still seemed cool, calm, and collected. “Don’t worry, Dr. Foley”, she said, “I’m ok.” One of her friends chimed in with, “Yea, except for that ugly scar you will forever have on your forehead.” She waved her off as she struggled to sit up in her bed. “THIS,” she said while pointing at the disfigurement, “is a beauty mark!” Everyone laughed – except me. At that very moment, it all made sense! I then understood, in that crowded hospital room, the beauty in my student’s unfortunate situation and despite the stumbling blocks that were placed in front of her, was that she never gave up. She had a goal that she wanted to accomplish, and even pursued it without having the necessary tools. She still pressed on towards her mark of becoming an extreme skateboarder solely because of her vision! And while the accident slowed her abilities in various ways, you can still find her outside of the school on her skateboard doing what she loves! Her scar saga taught me a lesson that will forever remain within me.
Like my fearless student, always remember that obstacles are placed in front of you to see how bad you want your dreams to manifest! So the next time you fall off your purpose path, get back up, dust yourself off, and continue to celebrate your beauty marks! After all, scars aren’t imperfections, they are representations of your ability to overcome anything that stands in your way.
By Dr. Avis Foley
Co-Publisher, Purpose Weekly