isabelle thye

Lost on purpose: Footprint in 2018

“It’s only when we look back that we see a path, and it’s only there because we blazed it.” Twyla Tharp

How have you been? An acquaintance whom I’ve never met in 3 years asked.

While I blurted out ‘I’m good’, I wondered if there’s one word that could fully represent the path. Or a state of being. Or if it matters at all.

Life is certainly not just good, it has been great, frustrating, depressing, hopeful, confusing, and comes in many different forms each day, each moment.

Maybe, I should say, ‘I flow like river.’ And there will be thousands of gurus out there yelling, ‘have a goal or you’ll never get there!’.

Dance in the unknown

There was only one thing I was sure of at the beginning of 2018 — to self-publish my first book by the end of the first quarter.

Interestingly, I thought that I would have figured out what to do as an author, but I lost my identity to the ego of an influencer, struggling to find the way back to who I really am.

Since then, I learned to dance in the unknown, from the clumsy gesture of denial to diving and rising gracefully, believing that there is a higher force in the universe co-creating every movement with me.

Money and I — who is serving who?

While I make the least income in my entire career cycle, I created the most things that I’m truly proud of in a year.

Some friends were honest enough to tell me that my initiatives were charity when they made no money. What they could never experience is how much I learned from the people I interviewed or how much energy I gained from human connections in every community event.

What is the price tag for life lessons, human connections and the joy of living?

Establish your own truth

Attending the Vipassana course was one of the most important events in my entire life. It bent my reality and showed me truths that would make me sound a little crazy.

How do you explain energy, chakra and different dimensions?

It was what Lao Tzu said in the first verse of the Tao De Jing, ‘the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.’

Then, I realised that all the books out there are merely a piece of the author’s mind, it makes no difference who or what I choose to believe until I discover my own truth.

Vision comes from action

I didn’t have an epiphany moment in most of the things I created. In fact, I was lost and didn’t know where to direct my life.

My guiding principle is, do what feels right and I will find my way.

After listening to more stories, meeting more people, creating more projects, connecting more dot, I was able to see the gap and figure out what I can fill in.

A meaningful life is one that combines purpose, strength and connection.

How can I create a space that enables people to use their strength and create something that has a positive impact in the community?

I’m going to die

Instead of thinking that I’ll live another day, I discovered the power of thinking that I’m in the crescendo of death.

The simple switch in perspective makes it more urgent to live life, more important to live the moment, less difficult to forgive and forget.

A friend once told me that I live like someone in her 60s in our exchange of life values.

If that was the last day of our lives, he was bored with counting birds at the highest floor of a posh tower while I was curious with the adventure of finding my place in the world - I wouldn't want to trade place with him.


In a dinner gathering with a group of community builders, I found that most of us shared the same challenge in defining what is the thing that we care deeply about, our purpose so to speak.

The older I get, the more I explore, the more I realise that the most important thing is what I’m born with, what’s inside of me.

I do not need words to define purpose.

When I live with my whole heart — courageously, vulnerably and authentically, I’ll flow with life no matter where it goes.

‘When you are rooted in life, you are soft because you are not afraid.’ — Osho

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