A Common Pattern in People Who Love What They Do
Something to ponder this morning from the book, "Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career" by Jocelyn Glei.
"This pattern is common in people who love what they do. Their satisfaction doesn't come from the details of their work but instead from a set of important lifestyle traits they've gained in their career. These desirable traits differ for different people - some crave respect and importance, for example, while others crave flexibility and simplicity - but the key point here is these traits are more general than any specific position. To build a career you love, the right question is not 'What job am I passionate about doing?' but instead 'What way of working and living will nurture my passion?'."
I read somewhere that what we really need to be focusing on is living on purpose, not trying to find our life purpose. That focusing on finding our purpose keeps us stuck, thinking there is something "out there" that is our purpose, we just have to find it. This is very similar to what is being said above. "Living on purpose" is the same to me as "way of working and living that will nurture my passion".
So when I'm working with clients, or on my own stuff, and I ask that we focus on the overall way we want life to be...this is why. It is not just about some specific job title or promotion. It can be, if those things are in alignment with "way of working and living that will nurture my passion". When we're able to get clear about our "desirable lifestyle traits", or what Danielle Laporte calls "Core Desired Feelings", it opens up many different avenues for us to be happy and love what we're doing on a consistent basis, day in and day out. This doesn't mean "easy" sunshine and roses all the time with no work required, it's quite the opposite really. It is just that when we are clear and living those desirable lifestyle traits, then the work becomes more effortless and efficient...getting us into that elusive place of "flow" in life that feels so amazing when we're there.
The other wonderful thing here is that it takes some of the crazy pressure off that we're always putting on ourselves, the idea that we're supposed to "be someone" or accomplish certain things. It's very important to acknowledge that my desirable lifestyle traits will most likely not be what yours are, or what our friends or co-workers are. We must respect this about one another, even honor and celebrate our differences. And most definitely NOT try to push our desirable lifestyle traits onto others. We each have to do the work to understand what our desirable lifestyle traits are. We also have to check back in with ourselves every so often because as life happens change happens. We change and what we value most can change a little with us. No judgement is allowed in this process. No thinking you "shouldn't" want respect and importance, or that craving "flexibility and simplicity" makes you a flighty slouch for not wanting more in some way. Honor what makes you - you. Honor what makes me - me. Honor what makes each of us unique.
The book goes on to talk about people who may not necessarily LOVE their jobs, but the job allows them money, time or whatever else they need to follow their passions of travel, art, etc. Some of them were able to go on to make money off of those passions, but not all. These people still report job satisfaction and happiness. It's all about finding what works for us and it starts with knowing ourselves, not relying on what forces outside of us tell us we "should" be doing or wanting.
So... What way of working and living will nurture your passion? Pay attention to what type of work makes you feel really good as your doing it. Why? What is it that is energizing you? What type of people are you with? What do you want more time for?