It Starts With WHY: How Finding Purpose Can Change Your Life

Gervase Kolmos followed the tried and true path, until one day she realized she wanted to change it all. So she did.



Many of our defining moments are in response to acute pain.

When Gervase's daughter was 5 months old, she recalls crying uncontrollably in her cubicle at her corporate job. She contemplated, “What’s the point of working 40 hours a week at a job I hate while someone else gets the soul-feeding job of watching my newborn?” At that moment, Gervase realized that the only thing that mattered was being a role model for her daughter, and this meant finding personal fulfillment and purpose.

Gervase has since left her corporate job to become a Certified Life Coach, and is the founder of Shiny. Happy. Human., a coaching practice that equips new moms and newlyweds to better handle these pivotal life phases. She reconfigured her own life, and now feels more fulfilled with herself, and her work. 



We sat down with Gervase to find out how she determined her 'WHY,' the results, and lessons learned:

CogniTea: Can you describe the process that you’ve gone through when figuring out your "WHO" and your "WHY?"

Gervase: I believe strongly in the value of talk therapy. I had a postpartum counselor I was confiding in at the time and one wonderful friend who showed me my personal potential, which I couldn’t see for myself at that low point. She was basically my life coach. By the time I had the realization that I would quit my job and discussed it with my husband, a heaviness had already lifted and I had caught sight of that thing called 'hope' again.

I think a great way to get out of a “What am I doing with my life?” slump is to change the question and to ask yourself, “Who do I want to be?” instead. Whether you talk it out, write it out, yoga it out, or just meditate on that idea, it can be pretty enlightening. Once I had the revelation of the kind of woman and mother I wanted to be, my heart and mind immediately began to expand with ideas, and solutions, and dreams. Everything came into very sharp focus.


How did this process help you to make more relevant goals for yourself? In what ways did it help you to be more motivated towards achieving these goals?

    Tapping into WHO I wanted to be allowed me to manifest WHAT I wanted to do. The day after I quit my job I attended a writing workshop. I sat next to a life coach, and though I had never heard of coaching until that day, the second I learned what she did, I knew it was the WHAT that supported my WHO. It lit my inner spark, and the motivation came organically after that.

    My goals were no longer “find better job with bigger paycheck," instead, all the goals naturally aligned around being a role model and living a life "on fire."

    Once you have that BIG goal, the key is to break it down into one day at a time: Before I can become a coach, what needs to happen?

    • First, I wanted to talk to other coaches.
    • Then I wanted to research certification programs.
    • Then I wanted to find a mentor...
    It all took time, and I had to patient with the process. At the same time, when I look back on the past year and see how many “to-dos” I’ve crossed off my list, I can’t believe it! A year flies by, and at the same time, you can achieve SO much in that time if you just START.




    Can you describe the most important and memorable points in your journey?

    Every morning that I wake up and get to focus 100% on my daughter, instead of spending that time mentally psyching myself up for a job that deflates me, I feel gratitude and unbridled happiness.

    Along those lines, I could not have completed my coaching program without my husband's unwavering support and faith in me. It was a big moment for me: I was overwhelmingly grateful to him, so proud of myself and how far I’d come in such a short time. Realizing that my marriage was stronger, and happier, despite all the unknowns of entrepreneurship was really eye-opening.


    Were there any hardships that you had to endure? How did you overcome these?

    Over the past year, some of the toughest times have come from feeling like I was pushing myself too hard, which caused my personal health and relationships to suffer.

    Ironically, the best way to overcome those rough patches, I've found, was to slow down. Slowing down revives me physically and mentally, and helps me to reconnect with my family, which serves as fuel to get me back in the saddle the next week!



    What inspires you to keep going?

    One of the first acts of commitment I made to my new vision (of being an entrepreneur) was to hire a business coach. She had me do an envisioning exercise: Write down what success and failure would look and feel like.

    As I wrote out what failure could be, I realized it was very manageable financially. At worst, I noted, “I would just find another corporate job to pay the bills and my marriage and self-esteem would suffer.” Mindset is a huge part of my motivation because it doesn’t often occur to me that I can fail outright; only stumble and perhaps pivot. 

    What advice do you have for people looking to make their goals more meaningful? 

    The only thing that can stop you from achieving great things is your mindset and beliefs about the world, and your role in it. Connecting your goals to a deeper purpose is a great way to avoid that trap. This is called your WHY. Your ‘WHY’ is the reason you have goals, and is what makes them important. It gets you out of bed on those mornings when you are flooded with fear and self-doubt.

    If I just wanted to change careers because I wanted more money, I would be missing the most powerful motivation I know: My emotional connection to my life’s purpose. When I decided I wanted to change careers for money AND to be a role model for my daughter and contribute to the world in a meaningful (in my subjective opinion) way, I unlocked a level of hustle, fire, passion and purpose that makes me feel unstoppable. 

    What’s next for you? What can people help you with?

    I have big dreams of inspiring and empowering women to tap into their own potential and to design their happy. Particularly, new and expecting mothers because the transition of motherhood can be so crazy and overwhelming. I would be grateful to any readers who feel called to follow along on my blog, Shiny. Happy. Human., and to share my content with other new moms.

    Whatever they’re experiencing is temporary and manageable. Coaching is about guiding people to their own inner wisdom as to what life choices suit them best. That is something I’m really passionate about: Doing motherhood YOUR way.

    Connect with Gervase on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.



    Now it is your turn: What is your WHY? What are you working towards? Why is this important to you?

    Share your goals and purpose in the comments section below!



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