Do you ever wonder about your profession or your work, and wish you were doing something else?
Maybe you feel stuck in a dead-end job, chose the wrong career, or feel that you were made for something else -- something more significant.
Perhaps you work in what best-selling author, David Graeber, calls a "bullshit job." While it's totally normal to have these feelings bubble up, and to question your career direction or motivation for working your job, what is not normal is for these feelings to reside permanently in the deepest crevices of your mind. If you grapple with thoughts that have reached a state of dread and constant worry, something has got to give.
So how do you make sure that you never arrive at the intersection of hopelessness and fear and, instead, begin to carve your own path to a glorious future?
It all starts with this question
The greatest gift you will ever give yourself is to ask this every day...
Am I doing what I want -- what most matters to me?
At some point, a person needs to break the cycle of swallowing his own voice to speaking into his truth faultlessly.
When you are asked what you want, and you hear from deep down inside your gut, "This is what I want," that discerning voice is the voice of truth. Heeding this voice stops you from hearing the script playing out in your head -- the lies that have held you back.
Tune into your heart
As you listen to that inner voice, pause, be silent, and tune into your most honest response. What is your heart telling you? What is your heart speaking into you as your true desire?
Find that place deep within you that honors your choice and verbalize it. Now you're getting your power back, and living from choice.
As you continue to affirm your path and keep listening to the voice honoring your deepest wishes, be aware of persuasive people pushing back -- whether a parent, spouse, boss, or business partner -- to honor their own inner voices and stifle yours.
While having good intentions, so often other people will want you to disown your choices and deceive you into thinking that you are not fit or qualified or invested enough emotionally in pursuing a new path you're being called to.
Finding the path to your ultimate purpose
While the practice of asking for what you want may not get you what you want right now, it will lead you to pursuing your purpose in the long run.
If you're not sure what that is, your purpose is exactly what you can't help but keep doing. Even if you weren't getting paid, you would probably do it anyway. When you discover what this is for you, it's the thing that makes you come alive.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was once asked by a reporter what advice he had for personal success. Cook's brilliant response:
Do what you love, and put your whole heart into it, and then just have fun.
Conversely, after receiving an honorary degree from The University of Glasgow last year, he told students in a speech, "You have to find the intersection of doing something you're passionate about and at the same time something that is in the service of other people. I would argue that, if you don't find that intersection, you're not going to be very happy in life."
3 exercises to help you find your calling in life
Need some clarity? Follow these exercises to help find your passion and live your purpose starting today.
1. Write down all the the things you absolutely love to do in life. Be outrageous, open-minded, honest, and creative. Label your list, "My Love List." Some of those things may make more sense later, but the point is to get inspired and let your imagination run free.
2. List the things you do with relative ease. The very things you're passionate about may end up being your purpose, but because it's so natural and under your nose, you may not even be aware of it.
3. Ask these self-discovery questions to get you processing:
- What are the things you would do even if you didn't get paid for it?
- What do other people say you're really good at, or that you should do professionally, or do more of?
- What is the one thing you want to experience or accomplish before you die?
- If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time?
- What would your perfect day look like? Describe every detail.
- What activities set your soul on fire?