• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Find Purpose And Live A Life With Meaning

Find Purpose And Live A Life With Meaning

Recently Mrs. Country Exec and I were talking and I mentioned to her that my thirty-year high school reunion was around the corner. Technically it’s three years away, but the way time burns by these days it’ll be here before you know it. She’s only slightly younger than me, but she was floored by the realization so many years had passed. I’ve been obsessing about it a little ever since we chatted. I can’t believe so much time has passed either. So many questions came to mind. As each day passes, I am barreling towards retirement and the golden years of my life. Have I done enough? Did I maximize my opportunities? Were my decisions in line with who I am? Am I a good person? Did I find my purpose and live a life with meaning? Are changes needed?

The Country Executive

A Rough Start

I’m a bit of a tormented soul, incapable of forgetting the hardships faced early in life. I’ve never actually attended a high school reunion. I don’t believe I ever will. The last twenty-seven years have been spent distancing myself from the life I was born into.

I’m not ashamed of who I am, where I’m from, or how I grew up. Quite the opposite, but I’m not going to share the vision of my early life from the perspective of rose-colored glasses either. I would be lying to myself and to all of you if so, and I don’t roll like that.

The Truth

My childhood aggravates me if I’m being honest. It was far from ideal, and anything but normal. My father drank everyday in his misguided attempt to enjoy his severely shortened life. He wasn’t a bad guy by any means, but there was a void in his life that could not be filled. Alcohol was not the answer. For years I wanted nothing to do with alcohol because of him.

We were poor, and it was a struggle to get by. There was always money for beer and cigarettes though. Even as cars were repossessed and we moved from rental to rental. That was the world I existed in for years, yet somehow I knew it was wrong. I was oddly perceptive as a child.

My mother passed when I was eight. I remember her, but I never got the opportunity to know her. Imagine growing up not knowing a mothers love. That rock in your life always there believing in you. I don’t wish that on anyone.

Outside of my grandparents, relatives were never strong components of my life and I don’t know why. I have a brother, but unfortunately we’re not close. We were separated when my mother died and that relationship just never materialized. I don’t live life with regret, but admittedly it bothers me.


I felt like I was thrown to the wolves at an unacceptably young age. It is probably why to this day I feel as though I must fight for every inch gained. Growing up I legitimately felt like no one cared, and if I was ever going to make something of myself it was up to me to figure it out.

Life forced me to grow up fast. It hardened me. I am a fighter today because of it. You want to understand me? How I stay so motivated? Why I am so appreciative of everything today? Look no further than where it all began. I’ve lived on both sides of the fence. I refuse to ever go back.


Occasionally people have gotten comfortable enough around me to ask why I am the way I am. I’ve been told many times that I am an intense person. I think I’m fairly laid back, but apparently not. Curiously, more than one person has said that I am the most intimidating IT guy they ever met.

I’m motivated because I had to be. My family was never there to guide me, to cheer me on for life’s victories. I am not accepting of my own failure. It’s the only way I know to be. I had to be that person to make it, to get by, and to find my purpose. Until Mrs. Country Exec came along, I was incapable of trusting anyone other than myself.

To truly understand someone, you have to walk a mile in their shoes. For those people that know what it’s like to wake up happy at a young age, have a normal childhood, play little league with your friends, or be excited for Christmas or other holidays, you’ll never understand. Consider yourself fortunate. You don’t want to walk ten feet in my shoes, let alone a mile.


I accept my lot in life, it is just the way it is. I tell myself I am better off for it. Not certain I believe that, but I say it nonetheless. My wheels were spinning for a long time, many years passed before I found my way. It took a long time to dig myself out of that initial hole and find my purpose.

I’m not a bad guy. I know I operate with honor and integrity. I say what I do and do what I say. That’s the man I want to be. My word means something to me. People that shouldn’t have failed me throughout my life, but if I tell someone I’m going to do something, it is important for me that I keep my word to them. As people we’re only as good as our word.

I’m also not overly nice. Life, particularly my professional realm, is very cut and dry for me. Sometimes that comes off as insensitive. I do genuinely care about the well being of my employees. I will go to the end of the earth for a good employee, but if my perception is altered to the point I see someone as an impediment to meeting professional obligations then I move on. That’s what life taught me and I don’t apologize for it. At the end of the day, we all have to take ownership of our responsibilities.

The Country Exec find purpose

Finding Purpose

There’s a reason I left my hometown two days after I graduated high school. There was no need for me to hang around. I didn’t know what I wanted out of my life; I only knew that whatever was waiting for me wasn’t there. Never did I think I was destined for anything special. I only wanted to be normal.

I wanted peace, and I had to leave everything I knew to find it. To find myself. To find my purpose. Do I think it’s fair that I had to escape the only world I knew to find happiness? No, I don’t. I guess I’ll never really get over it. I was mentally broken for a long time, running away from something. Not even sure what it was. I needed something that didn’t feel attainable where I grew up.

It’s gotten better over the past several years. A lot better. Mrs. Country Exec is my rock. My savior. My work environments have progressed to the point that I am now employed by an organization that genuinely cares about its employees. I know this for a fact. I can hear it in words and see it in actions. That was key for me. It’s so easy for me to give them my all, to go out of my way to do good in my community, because I know they’ll have my back at the end of the day.

Bumps In The Road

I’ve had three private industry jobs in my life. I was laid off from two of them, and you’ll never convince me it wasn’t a matter of time for the third to do the same. I was a highly rated, productive middle manager for one of them. Didn’t matter. A merger happened. Contracts were shifted, changes were made, and they decided to let me go. No loyalty. All about the bottom line.

I get it. I later found out that I had negotiated a salary higher than what my boss at the time was making. No regrets about that. I know my value. If you want the best, then you pay for the best.

Being a number in a professional existence has never sat well with me. To discard someone because you no longer believe that the salary you mutually agreed upon previously suits your vision is brutal. That’s not honor to me, although I do understand that to run a successful business you have to make decisions like that.

Those once productive employees have families. People that depend on them. Seems callous to me. Shortsighted. This is one of the fundamental reasons I took ownership of my career. I had to find my purpose in life. I was never truly happy making someone else rich. My life’s work has to mean more than that.

Purpose Found

Working in Texas local government is the perfect professional marriage for me. It is the purpose I was seeking. A privilege. Without question, I know that I am leaving a higher salary in private industry on the table by choosing this path. It very much is a choice. I cannot over emphasize how accepting I am of that. I make enough, more than enough really. The fact I get to live the life of my choosing makes up for it and then some. My life is incredible today, and my job is a big reason why.

I look forward to going to work every morning. Even on the toughest day. I “get to go in and do what I do for a living. I purposefully bought a home in the city I work for, because I believed it would tie me that much closer with the community. I’m so glad I did. Immense joy and satisfaction is derived from driving around town and knowing the positive things being done behind the scenes is improving lives.

Delivering On Purpose

Very few really understand technology, and everything that goes into making it all tie together and work for an organization. That’s ok because I believe in my heart my superiors trust that we always do right by the community. We do, and we make magic happen here. I got their back with technology, even though I’m convinced most don’t really comprehend the technical enterprise. All good, we got this.

State and national recognition is becoming the norm for my group. Check out my media page, it’s littered with accomplishments emanating from my rural Texas city. Logically it may be tough to ascertain how we keep knocking out these high-level technology initiatives. Know there’s a really strong team making the magic happen. We punch above our weight class with the help of some good folks. It really is impressive.

When I was hired here in 2018, I told the now retired City Manger we’d put the org on the map. We did that. When his replacement was hired, I asked my new boss if he wanted me to alter the vision. He said no way, keep doing what you guys are doing. We did just that and that train hasn’t slowed down. Seguin IT is Country IT at its finest.

Find Your Purpose

So there it is folks. I acknowledge mine is a bit of a cautionary tale. I don’t wish the same hardships on any of you, but I also know realistically life can be brutal. Life has never been known to be fair. I accept that, and I hope you do as well.

You should because if you truly desire change you got to take the bull by the horns. Take ownership of your situation and demand better. Find your purpose. Pursue what you believe will make you happy. Life is too short, may as well call your shots. Never allow your circumstances to be dictated to you. Enjoy the moments contained within your own personal journey. Life goals are attainable if you put in the work.

Adapt And Overcome

What I want you all to know is that even if you are dealt a bad hand in life you can overcome. I always say that I am not special. Today I think I’m some version of normal, maybe I’m just like the person reading this. I am country to my core. I fumbled my way through half my life, not certain as to what I needed to do to end up where I wanted to be. Truth be told I did not even have the end goal in mind. I was just living.

Fortunately, I found my purpose and I can state definitively that it makes for a much higher quality of life. I encourage all of you to do the same. Nobody can do it for you, but do try to figure out what makes you tick. That thing that will make you pop out of bed in the morning, ready to get after it and attack your day. Find your purpose and you will be much better off for doing so. I promise. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

Find purpose

2 thoughts on “Find Purpose And Live A Life With Meaning

    • Author gravatar

      What an inspirational story of heartbreak and resilience! Thanks for your words and help to kickstart finding my purpose!

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment Etta! I had some trepidation with sharing my backstory, but I couldn’t share my words on finding purpose without providing the roots to how I eventually found my way. I definitely appreciate everything I have today that much more because of those same memories, so in a roundabout way I am grateful to have experienced the highs and lows. Thanks again!

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