The author David Deida used to say "Chronic dissatisfaction is how you sense you are living a lie."
Most of us come to our jobs reluctantly. Most of us would rather stay home and sleep. Why?
Well, what is it exactly, that gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you choose every day to leave your bed to do? What would you like to do? what would you rather do?
Think about that for a moment. If you had your physical needs taken care of, what would get you out of bed in the morning? Get out a sheet of paper, and take some time to list them down. I'll still be here.
Now, beneath this list, write down what you do on a daily basis in your job today. What are the outcomes expected by your role? Why do you go to work every day? Go ahead and write it down, now.
Now compare the 2 lists. What observations do you see?
Alignment With Your Life Purpose
The reason most people are dissatisfied by what they do in life is that the outcomes of their job are not aligned with their life purpose, or what drives them to get out of bed in the morning.
We all have what I call motivated talents -- things we do better than anyone else, and that actually gives us pleasure. Most people choose jobs out of school that are available with a paycheck without thinking of the long-term -- whether it will bring satisfaction in their lives.
When we get our first job, we suddenly find ourselves thrust into a work world where the competition is ruthless and fierce, not only between companies but within them. This is why many work environments are toxic, and why most people are not nearly as productive and effective as they can be in life. People that come to work solely for a paycheck, and because they HAVE to, rather than WANT to, will never produce up to their true potential because the intrinsic motivation is not there.
Discomfort = A Lack Of Purpose
We begin to feel a sense of discomfort with going to work every day.
We feel increasingly bored with daily life.
Anxiety and stress consume us.
We might feel depressed.
We start to feel more and more insecure.
We feel like we are in a prison that we can't get out of, yet we don't know how we got in.
The career we started off in our twenties may start to feel lifeless in our thirties and beyond. That is because we have changed, grown and matured to the point of self-introspection. The career we fell into has little connection with what truly lights us up in life. So we start to feel that chronic sense of dissatisfaction that makes us question whether this is all there is to life, and are we really doing work that fits our talents.
I can say that it doesn't have to feel this way, and most of us are not taught that it SHOULDN'T feel this way.
Follow Your Talent
The word talent comes from the Latin "Talentum" which means "a sum of money." This means that using your motivated talents -- what you love and do better than anyone else -- will make you wealthy. Wealth is defined as money, friends, influence, health, love, and joy.
When we do work that is aligned with our life purpose, our energy and vibes gives off a proverbial "glow": we are more open, we give better answers (because they are from the heart), we walk with purpose, and we generally are very confident, because we are living from an authentic place, a place of ultimate alignment with our soul.
With a sense of purpose, we feel much less insecure. Our confidence rises because we are no longer suppressing ourselves. Depression is suppression. We need to express, 100%, who we are.
How To Find Your Life Purpose (An Abridged Version)
There is no need to look for a guru to tell you what your life purpose is and what you should be doing as a career. You already have all the answers. It comes from finding your life purpose and doing work that aligns with it.
Here are some questions that will help you find it:
1. What do you do better than anyone else?
This is related to motivated talent. Often what we do better and easier than most people holds the key to what would make us most happy and successful.
2. What were you drawn to as a child?
Think back to a time in your childhood where you were playing with friends or when you were exploring in your backyard. What sorts of things interested you back then? What sort of games? What objects did you have to have with you all the time?
3. What are 5 things you love most about your job/jobs in the past?
This again is related to motivated talent, because what we love to do often is what we are best at doing.
4. What do you like least about your job/jobs in the past?
Even though every job will have some things you don't like to do but have to do, analysing what you enjoy doing least can be a good indicator of what to avoid as a career.
5. What do you like to learn about? What could you stay up to 3AM watching/reading/writing about?
It is what excites you that keeps you pleasantly absorbed at work. The key to feeling great about what you do, building your confidence and increasing your productivity, is how often we get in that "flow" state of continual positive output. It is when time flies and you feel you are accomplishing so much, and your creativity flows through you into your work. It is in this state that you feel the most happy in work, and it is in this state where you will find your success. The easiest way to get into this state regularly is doing work that serves your purpose, and it is my sincere wish for everyone to find this.
Imagine, what would happen if everyone was doing work aligned with their life purpose? How would managers/bosses change in their approach? How would teams now work together? How would companies treat their employees?
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