Updated: May 27
For awhile now, I've included #walkwithpurpose in my social media posts. I've been asked about this before, but have never shared my story publicly. It's an important story, because it sparked a turning point in my life that still resonates with me each day.
I was 19, just wrapping up my second year at Western Michigan University. As my interest in the menswear industry developed, I managed to convince an incredible custom clothing shop in Singapore to allow me to intern for them. I was doing some traditional intern tasks, like cleaning the shop and running errands, but was also able to delve into the world of tailored clothing, learning about fabrics and working directly with clients.
I brought a small suitcase, as I barely had any clothes of note at that time of my life. I bought three shirts and two pants from the mall to get me through the term of my internship. The seasoned vets at the shop had a few laughs at my expense.
During my first week on the job, my boss decided to take me to lunch. I was still jet lagged, exhausted, and trying to find my way in a new city. As we walked, my feet were dragging. I didn't even realize I was doing it, but sure enough, they shuffled along the busy city streets on the way to lunch.
My boss stopped me. We literally stopped walking in the middle of a crowded street, and he said, "Pick up your damn feet and walk with purpose. Walk like you're going somewhere!" I was stunned. No one had ever called me out so bluntly in my life. I didn't realize in that moment the effect this would have on my life and my overall work ethic and persona.
This happened nearly ten years ago and I still think about it every single day. When I'm tired from a week of travel, busy days running around town, or an eventful night with my newborn son, I picture that moment and press on. I remember to always exude the confidence that began building on that busy street in Singapore. I remember to walk with purpose each and every day - and you should, too.