If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you might recognize the name Jenny Williamson. She’s the founder and CEO of Courage Worldwide, and a 2014 Loreal Woman of Purpose. I met Jenny while I was working on my #ACourageousOne project (read about it here, here, here and here), and she is an inspirational woman, who is quick to deflect attention and praise from being heaped onto her. “I’m just doing what God called me to do,” she says, and then redirects with love and compassion: “and I”m passionate in hearing about what God has called you to do.”
This week, her book Do You Have The Courage To Be You? launches, and I’m honored to be the first stop on her book launch tour. Her publishers have kindly offered to give away a copy to a lucky reader, so read the excerpt and enter to win below!
You were created on purpose for a purpose. Do you know yours?
Have you ever contemplated the fact that your destiny could change lives or even the world? Did you know there are people waiting for you to have the courage to be you?
Do not feel bad if your answer to these questions is no. You are not alone.
I have found that most people do not have a clue as to why they are on this planet. Thoughtfully planned, uniquely molded, and specifically created on purpose for a purpose sounds like a nice concept, and one much better than being a random cosmic accident. The trouble is, most of us have no idea how to find our specific purpose even if we believe we have one. We do not see much evidence in the people we know and love living courageous, purpose-filled lives. That evidence we only seem to find in the movies we watch or the books we read. Heroes, we call them. Extraordinary individuals. We do not see or believe we, too, are essential, significant, or necessary to this world. Thus, we never go in search of who we truly are and what we were created to do. Sadly, settling for mediocrity and less than we were created for becomes our default mode. It just seems easier.
I have felt pitifully ordinary for most of my life. I believed I had no recognizable talent or passionate purpose. Talkative, hyperactive, loud, stubborn and bossy are not descriptions you list on a resume but are ones that were bestowed upon me. My career consisted of tasks that most anyone could do. I was a mom but now my boys have all left home. When they were younger and still at home, no one invited me to be on talk shows to discuss my extraordinary and world-changing parenting skills or provide a commentary on our afternoon at the park. I am not complaining. My life was good. It was just boring. I was cloaked in comfort and choking on mediocrity. I wanted to matter. I longed to make a difference in this world, in my world. I wanted to believe there was a specific plan and purpose for me. So, near my fortieth birthday, I resolved to find it. Though it took some time, I did just that.
Now I want to help you do the same.
My journey of purpose and search for meaning has been an exciting one, but one that was more difficult and time consuming than I now believe was necessary. I wasted a lot of precious time asking the wrong questions and leaping in the wrong direction. I did most of it alone, blindly stumbling along an undefined path with no concrete how-to’s or specific steps. It required a great deal of courage and faith to leave my comfort zones to travel into the unknown in search of my purpose. However, I would do it all over again. Every step was worth it. In the process, I have learned much that I would love to share with you. That is why I wrote this book – to save you time in discovering and beginning to fulfill your purpose. I believe the tangible, intentional steps I took and the lessons I learned will propel you more quickly into your destiny. However, you must dedicate the time required and have the determination needed to make the courageous choices necessary to be and do all you were created to be and do. I will provide your encouragement and how-to’s. I will be your coach and your cheerleader through the pages of this book and the words of my story.
I know my purpose is not your purpose; but through reading about mine, I believe you will see how God takes those of us who are convinced we are ordinary and does the extraordinary. My journey led me to a group of vulnerable children being sold for sex who needed a home and a family – so I built them one. I wonder where your journey will lead you.
–excerpt from Do You Have the Courage to Be You. Written by Jenny Williamson
Don’t forget to enter to win a copy below and share this post with others! Winners will be announced 4/19/2015.