Episode 002

Do We Find Purpose
or Test it Out?

with Katie Dalebout and Caroline Adams Miller

Jeffrey’s Premise:

One factor that helps high-achieving creatives and fulfilled entrepreneurs face daily challenges is that they have some sense of purpose that helps remind them why they’re doing what they’re doing every day.

You are what you pay attention to, and if your willpower, focus and time are spent trying to control your body image, for example, that quite simply distracts you from becoming who you want to be. Too many young women lose their voices—and ultimately their purpose and passion—in the pursuit of perfection. And if you are busy with the ‘part-time job’ of an eating disorder, it is impossible to achieve your potential or uncover your unique gift to the world.

Today on the Quest Series Roundtable, Jeffrey is joined by podcaster, blogger and author Katie Dalebout and executive coach, speaker and author Caroline Adams Miller to discuss some of the reasons why we tend to lose our purpose as young adults. Katie and Caroline both share their struggles with body image and eating disorders, explaining how they found their way back to health and discovered joy and meaning in giving back. They speak to the value of journaling when it comes to self-awareness, making meaning of our lives, and healing, and offer their best advice around taking care of yourself in the pursuit of a purposeful life.

Our Guests:

Caroline Adams Miller

Caroline is a renowned Positive Psychology coach, speaker, and author who is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the science of goal-setting and grit. In 2015 she was named “one of the ten Positive Psychology coaches to follow.” Caroline is the author of 6 nonfiction books and her most recent book, Getting Grit has been heralded as one of the “Top 10 Books That Will Change Your Life in 2017.”

» CarolineMiller.com

Twitter: @CarolineMCoach


Katie Dalebout

Katie hosts the podcast Let It Out and is author of the Amazon best-selling book of the same name, Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling. Her unfiltered and authentic writing style helps others cultivate more self-awareness in their lives. Katie’s work has been featured in countless publications including Daily Mail, Women’s Health, Refinery29, Teen Vogue, The Telegraph, and Glamour.

» KatieDalebout.com

Twitter: @katiedalebout


Key Takeaways

[3:05] Katie’s take on her young genius

  • Only child, raised on ‘adult farm’
  • Propensity for performing
  • Knew wanted life to be big

[8:24] Caroline’s childhood

  • Girl who wanted to be loved
  • School as happy place (solace in thinking, reading and writing)
  • Sorrow gave empathy, desire to give back

[11:50] Why we lose our purpose as young adults

  • Girls lose their voices
  • Must get angry enough to ‘throw off chains’

[15:25] How Katie deals with the ‘mean girls’ in her mind

  • Use as tool for self-awareness

[19:18] The common issues Katie sees among young women

  • Body image/diet culture
  • Risk aversion (i.e.: entrepreneurship)
  • Impact of social media (distraction, comparison)

[31:02] Katie’s struggle with eating disorders

  • Anorexia at end of college
  • Received treatment, developed orthorexia
  • Obsessed with control, miss out on life

[38:02] Caroline’s fight against bulimia

  • Thought next achievement would eliminate sadness
  • Bulimia as ‘part-time job’ while studying at Harvard
  • Started recovery in 1984 (just after marriage)
  • Started recovery in 1984 (just after marriage)

[45:20] The value of journaling

  • Allows for honesty, self-awareness (first step to change)
  • Opportunity to make meaning of lives
  • Positive intervention, part of healing process
  • Ask good questions to get good response
  • Eventually have to ‘feel the feelings’

[57:17] Caroline and Katie’s advice around self-care

  • Purposeful life isn’t always easy
  • Seek out your unique gifts
  • Surround yourself with supportive people
  • Be gentle with yourself
  • Do things that make you feel good
  • Out your shame, fear

A special thanks to the early supporters of the Tracking Wonder Podcast. Your enthusiasm, feedback, and support helped make this possible. Thank you.

A few very special early supporters:
Mel Harth, Lovenia Leapart, Brandy Donovan, Sally Fox, Mindy Ohringer, Katy Yang, Patricia B., John Carr, Millie Jackson, Susan Preston, Gregory Berg, Peg Syverson, Cindy Henson, Nikki Jackson, Lauren Ayer, Lisa Batson Goldberg


Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists – all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and – yes – wonder.