The answers to these seemingly simple questions are critical when determining if your work is aligned with your purpose, passion and talents because when everything is aligned, progress seems to be smooth and easy, almost effortless. When you are "in the zone",you know it. You feel more satisfaction and you perform well – no wonder money seems to follow! You're energized, excited and looking forward to the next day.
Compare that feeling or state of being to when things are not going well…your career can feel rough and difficult, almost like you are bearing a heavy load (because you are). Waking up in the morning is a struggle, the clock ticks by s-l-o-w-l-y during the day and you can hardly wait for the day to end. The weekends seem to be one of life's few blessings…
If you find yourself in the latter group, it's most likely that you are probably not doing what you were intended to do on this earth. You are fighting against your natural gift, skills and talents. You may have settled for less — an easier path, a more "socially acceptable" path or the path others expected you to take.
Don't feel bad. Like you, I've been there. I have lived it. Feeling stuck in work that paid the bills but left me in an uncomfortable and unnatural rut.
And I know I wasn't alone… Many people go through life the hard way. Suppressing true desires and trying to blend in and avoid rocking the boat….playing it safe.
The truth in my case is that I went for the money but at the end of the day, the money was robbing me of true joy and passion. After all, how joyful can your life be if you dread the very thing that you spend 40 or 60 or even more hours at each week? It's tragic, really.
So, let this be your wake up call. Let's extinguish the whole concept of "mid-life" crisis! How about a mid-twenties crisis or a mid-thirties crisis? The "crisis" is nothing more than the realization that you're no longer willing to live a lie in your work and in your life. That you're ready to take more risks, have more fun and spend time on and with the things that matter most!
We all think that we have this infinite amount of time to "figure it out" but what if next week was it?
LIFE IS TOO SHORT! Let's agree to STOP the madness! STOP delaying your life. STOP living by others expectations. STOP putting things off until the kids are grown. STOP waiting for retirement to regain a sense of joy and passion. STOP going through the motions with your current career. STOP feeling trapped by your degree or education (or lack of). STOP telling yourself comforting stories and lies. STOP denying yourself real passion and fulfillment.
It is NEVER too late to live on purpose and with passion. I often ask my clients this question – If you could be given a magic potion that would absolutely prevent you from failing at one major dream or goal in life, what would it be? Chances are you already know in your heart what you should be doing. If you don't, begin with your childhood. Think back to the things that enjoyed most. Think about your life over the past few years. What is it that brings you the most pleasure? Is it certain aspects of your work? Hobbies? Volunteer activities? Do you find yourself attracted to certain types of activities or groups? Everything in your life holds clues to your passion! If all else fails, take some classes! We all have things "we have always wanted to do". Start to notice what you like and what you don't.
Not unlike Alice in Wonderland, it may also be your turn "go through the looking glass" so look upon the journey with excitement and hopefulness!
You were born to be great.
YES, you can!