IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE, ALL THE TIME?
There is a growing trend in the workforce that I like to call “busy boredom”. The average workplace dance looks a lot like your gym’s circuit training class.
We spend 3-5 years working at a position we’d consider “just a job”, and as soon as the opportunity comes around, we simply move on to a different position entirely. Are we floating through life?
While some might suggest this work mode is simply our father’s corporate ladder climb, all grown up, I’m here to say that it is actually much more costly. You see, the hope of the ever-shifting-day-jobber is that he/she will somehow avoid that plague of boredom if he/she can just keep out of the “rut” so many of he/she counterparts succumbed to.
The problem I am seeing more and more, however, is that as the more we pursue this train-wreck work trend, the day-jobber winds up just as lost as he/she was 15 years before. At 50, most of us would never dream of having to “start over” again. Yet, this is exactly what we continue to face, every moment it’s time to shift gears.
The reality, is that the excitement of the pursuit is often where the satisfaction flows—not the cornucopia of career categories.
In other words, as long as you tell yourself you are headed somewhere—you can believe you are happy.
Dear maker, if this is our dance, we are fooling ourselves with distraction. Just because we are busy doesn't mean we have found purpose. Settling for busy is just as detrimental to our quality of life as settling for bored.
Your life story deserves to be so much more than this. You deserve so much more.
REAL TALK: WHERE DO I FIND VALUE?
A recent study found that 52% members of Gen Z and Gen Y state that honesty is the most important leadership quality.
Last week, we talked about being honest with yourself and acknowledging your grown-up dream. Though it feels vulnerable, if we aren’t being honest with ourselves, how can we be honest with co-workers or clientele?
You deserve so much more.
We humans crave purpose. We feed on a sense of belonging, and, in turn, grow from the challenges it brings. Hard work and dedication built our world. One of life’s biggest mysteries is finding our purpose, as we work hard.
It’s no mystery that I believe that each of us is born with our very own unique talent-driven purpose. In generations past, the “American Dream” has been exacerbated by dollar signs, namesakes and more possessions you or your companions can, in good conscience, ever say you need. But today’s generation isn’t satisfied with simply stuff. Today’s generation isn’t satisfied with running after a materialistic American Dream, but would rather build toward a greater good that would change the world. Millennials long for fulfillment in their careers that no other generation has ever had before.
This fulfillment is called purpose.
But if you are not a Millennial, fear not! As humans, we all long for purpose.
Dear maker, working an hour at something you are not gifted is harder than working a full day at what you were made to do. A life of privilege is actually not marked by possessions, positions or price tags. A life of privilege is simply stretching out your days, generously granted by your own fountainhead of pleasure.
I believe it’s time to focus on our strengths.
A recent Gallup.com article states “The best way for people to grow and develop is to identify how they most naturally think, feel, and behave -- their talents -- then build on those talents to create strengths, or the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance.”
What are your greatest strengths, dear maker? What are you more passionate about than anything else in the world? In these two answers lie that all too satisfying sense of purpose you have been unknowingly chasing all of your life.
Your gifts don’t just have to sit there, stale and chalky, remaining in hobby-status, but they are more than likely showing you where you will work harder, longer and smarter than any other area of your life.
For me, my gifts have always been found in creativity. Namely, historical finishes and paintings. My passion, likewise, has always been creating to fill the needs of others. Whether it was a hand-painted room screen, designing the perfect party room, or pulling together centuries-worth of varying textures and colors to display a sense of home, I was tethered to satisfying the human craving for art, in every practical way. As I looked at the many different ways I could apply myself to my strengths, I soon recognized that my dream fit right into a career based on what I do and love best. Yes, I could have become a great many things, but nothing provided me with as much fulfillment as the privilege of designing, making and refinishing one-of-a-kind furniture for my clients.
Now it’s your turn.
And write your answers down, dear maker.
- What am I most gifted at?
- What about me stands out to the people around me?
- Where do I thrive that is different from most?
- What value drives me more than anything else in the world?
- What do I find myself thinking about more often than anything else?
- When I have free time, what work do I gravitate towards?
Don’t shy away from being honest with yourself about where your current position aligns with your purpose position. Most of us, as we talked about last week, are afraid. And most of us have been feeding our egos and self-serving expectations for a very long time.
Our dreams always seem bigger than we are in the beginning. The answer to all those rising fears is to start with persistent and measurable steps.
The good news is that admitting your true north is actually more freeing and exciting as anything in your life could ever be.
Next week, we will talk about planning out the pursuit of your invaluable and inescapable purpose. See you soon!
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