In part 3, let’s talk about another idea that keeps you stuck doing something you don’t love day after day:
I have no idea what I want to do.
Maybe you just don’t know what would be a better fit, but you do know it’s not this. Or maybe what’s keeping things foggy are some deep beliefs that want you to stay right where you are.
Let’s take a look at the more straightforward problem – lack of clarity about what you actually want.
I have no idea what I would love to do
Perhaps it feels like it’s been so long since you did something that you love that you really can’t remember what it is anymore. Or maybe you never found that thing that people talk about.
There are a million suggestions for finding what you are passionate about: Make a list of passions, be aware of what you’re doing when you are in a flow state, or move towards what you would do for free.
But for some, this still isn’t enough.
Have you ever really allowed yourself the time and space you need to understand what you would love?
If you’ve got a job, some kids, friends, family, obligations, bills, responsibilities, and so on, chances are you don’t have much time for yourself.
You don’t have time to sit in quiet contemplation, to journal, or to pursue new interests and ideas in order to more fully live and express yourself.
Instead, you are probably usually running around like a crazy person from the instant you wake up until you fall into bed at night.
It’s only in the tiny cracks of time you have that you notice that you need something more in your life.
That’s not enough time to figure this stuff out. If you want to understand what you’re passionate about, you’ll need to spend some time on it. Read books, get coaching, do some self-assessments. Just get moving forward.
Still, passions are not the whole story. They are merely the starting point. Once you’ve found your passions, chances are you’ve got one or more of these demons lurking:
Finding a job I love is a myth
Do you believe there’s no job out there that you will totally love, and because of this you wonder why you would disrupt your whole life to find something that will only be marginally better?
Why do you believe you can’t have a job you love?
Do you think there will always be people, tasks, or situations that will bother you?
A job you love will likely be one that provides more meaning and a larger goal.
Because you’ll be working towards something you believe in, any difficult situations you encounter will probably feel more like challenges than draining and never-ending problems.
You’ll tackle them with a can-do attitude, instead of feeling you are being subjected to something awful for no good reason.
It’s true that you’ll never find a job that feels like bliss 100% of the time.
Life just doesn’t work that way.
But you can find one that brings out the best in you, that you enjoy, and that engages you on problems that feel worthwhile.
I can’t afford to do what I love
You can’t afford to not do what you love.
You also can’t be sure that engaging yourself in something you can bring excellence to might not pay off more in the long run than wasting away in something you struggle to bring your best energy to.
I’m not ____ enough to do what I love
Whatever it is that you think you lack, it’s not the end of the world.
You either are mistaken, and you have everything you need, or you’re right, and you have the ability to go after it.
Whether it’s a personal strength you need to build, a belief you need to let go of, or a credential you need to achieve, it’s all possible.
So while today you might not be in a position to begin doing what you love for paid work, you are in a position to start the journey towards that goal.
The journey may look like self-discovery, going back to school, getting coaching or something else – but it’s all building towards the day when you’re loving life and doing what you love to do.
Here’s the bottom line:
Don’t waste your time and your talents on something you don’t love.
If there is one message I can leave you with, it’s this: There are real, practical ways to move from doing something you don’t love to something you find inspirational, challenging, and exciting.
Other people have found it, and there’s no reason you can’t find it too.
And when you do, you are giving a gift to the world: The gift of you on top of your game.