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I started writing this update on a crowded blue line train, trying to reflect on four months into of prolific living while also attempting not to fall over. It was a balancing act not unlike the beginning of my year. In January, I approached everything with gusto, tempting burn out with each passing week. I drifted with the tide and oscillated between energized and exhausted.

It was a group of college students who helped me turn things around. Their group was tasked with helping me think through Emancipation’s branding. They ended up helping me clarify my life’s purpose.

I sat in a study room at the Harold Washington Library, which also happens to be the place where I got engaged, as students asked me about why I started Emancipation. My answers led to a discussion about my own self-care practices and transitioned into a conversation about the work I do with Jubilant. Before I knew it, I was surprisingly close to being able to articulate my life’s purpose.

I was literally tingling after that conversation, furiously typing into my notes app on the train ride back to work. That weekend, I entered what my husband refers to as hermit mode. Sweatpants. Engulfed in a blanket. Moving from the bed to the couch and back again. Laptop on my stomach. Doing work that makes 16 hours feel like a millisecond. The end result was a brand guidelines deck for Emancipation and a renewed excitement for where the brand was going.

The clarifying process is addictive. After re-tooling Emancipation, I was hooked. I refined my own idea of what success looks like. I refreshed Jubilant’s offerings and positioning. For the first time in years I was able to make sense of all of things I’m doing and, more importantly, explain why.

My purpose is to help people live fuller and freer lives. I’m aligned to my purpose when I encourage my friend’s dream of making a career shift. I’m purposeful in helping clients craft businesses that they don’t have to be a slave to. I’m living in my purpose when I create healthy rhythms in my own life and encourage customers to do the same. I’m aligned when I open my laptop to write and when I close it to have an adventure with my husband.

Will prolific still define 2018 for me? To some extent, yes. Prolificacy has to be paired with purpose in order to create anything of value. It’s not just about showing up more. It’s about showing up more fully.