The Meaning of Life: Recognizing – and Embracing – Your True Purpose


Nancy Olson is a former broadcast journalist, wife of Congressman Pete Olson and mom of two.

Nancy Olson is a former broadcast journalist, wife of Congressman Pete Olson and mom of two.

the last word By Nancy Olson –

This is going to be the year I find the cure to cancer. Well, not really, but metaphorically. Do you ever feel that way? It seems to especially happen at the start of a New Year – the time we tend to take stock, reevaluate what we have been doing and determine where we think we want the New Year to take us. I speak with a lot of women and often hear a common theme. While we are very busy with our family, friends, jobs and volunteer work, we still seem to be preoccupied with the feeling we might be missing or overlooking the thing we were put on this earth to do. We question, “God, am I doing the thing you want me to be doing? Am I making a big enough impact? Am I fulfilling my purpose?” I just don’t think men ponder this question quite as much as women. We tend to over-think and over-analyze. And in the process, we stress ourselves out!

“We each have our own ministry or passion; some are just more visible and vocal than others.”

“We each have our own ministry or passion; some are just more visible and vocal than others.”

Women really need to stop doing this! Not long ago, I read something that really impacted me. It was, in a nutshell, this: If we spend too much time thinking about the “past”– fixating on what could have been, an opportunity missed, or regretting a choice we made – we can become depressed. In contrast, living too much in the “future”– trying to predict an outcome, worrying about what to do, or what’s going to happen next – we can become filled with anxiety. The healthiest attitude? Try to live in the “present.” I know this is something I am going to try to focus on this year, and my wish for you is to try to do the same.

Now, getting back to finding the cure to cancer – and there are incredibly talented people who are actually doing this – but not everyone has a splashy high-profile job or position. However, that doesn’t lessen the importance of our own roles. We each have our own ministry or passion; some are just more visible and vocal than others. It’s been my experience; however, those with bold missions cannot possibly do their jobs without an incredible support team of committed people behind them. The only way we can make huge strides in this world and tackle the big issues and problems is to work together for the greater good.

A friend of mine recently said that as she has grappled with trying to determine if she is serving her “true” purpose in life. She has come to the conclusion that she finds her greatest peace and contentment serving and caring for the members of her family. She has learned that this is her personal ministry. She vows to embrace it and do the very best job she can. I think that’s the lesson I learned from our conversation: sometimes our most important role is right in front of our face. Whatever your role is, embrace it, find joy in it and decide to make a difference – albeit large or small.

Until next time,

Nancy