I have always been an overachiever – in high school, I made straight A’s, excelled as a clarinet player, played the lead in the junior and senior play, was the valedictorian of my class, the perfect child!
As life would have it, I was distracted by a young man who had moved to my hometown after I graduated from high school and I ended up getting married and putting myself through at a local college. But the internal drive for perfection continued and I graduated from college with a business degree three years later as an honor student.
But things changed after that. I ended up being divorced and raising two daughters as a single mom, often working two jobs and barely making ends meet. At some point during that period of time, I came to two conclusions – one was that I never wanted to depend on another person for my livelihood and two, for me, pursuing advanced higher education was my ticket to ensuring that I could support my family.
Little did I know, more than twenty years later, that the decision to continue my education and ultimately, obtain my Ph.D., meant much more than being financially stable. It gave me the opportunity to begin my career as an instructor at a community college and put me on the path that would lead to becoming a college president in 2003.
Thus began my search for achieving personal significance and having a purpose. As one of only three female college presidents in the state when I started in that position, I realized that the opportunity be a role model for women was huge.
In order to achieve that goal, I had to be authentic and transparent, sharing not only the successes I have had in life but also the mistakes that I have made. I had to tell my story as to how I had accomplished my goals, by overcoming those mistakes and hardships. By connecting on that level with both female and male students, I was able to demonstrate that hardships can be overcome when you are pursuing your goals and your passion.
Now, as the CEO and Founder of Inseitz Group, I continue to strive to uplift and empower women through our programs and through personal connections – always attempting to be vulnerable and forthcoming.
Leading a purpose driven life does not happen by accident. We must desire to make a difference while we here on this earth and we must discover the unique qualities that we possess and use them in a positive way.
I challenge you to live a life of purpose, meaning, joy, and personal significance! You will not regret it!
Author, Dr. Becky Paneitz, is the founder of Inseitz Group, a seasoned consultant, speaker, and coach – dedicated mentor, motivator, and business leader who collaborates, instructs and inspires for success.