“Living a good life requires you to decide what living a bad one means to you”. Sometimes, when you don’t know what to do, the best way to solve this issue is to work backwards from knowing what you don’t want in life and make your way to what would make you happy. One step at the time.
If you are looking for your purpose and your calling, you will need to look at how the work makes you feel. That means that you will leave career, status and money on the side for a while, and focus on prioritizing on feelings. You basically will need to start with the end goal in mind and engineer your career around that. “Not a job, not a role, not a title, but a FEELING”. Start from there and everything else will come after.
If you focus on the end goal (this feeling of happiness ) it’s critical to learn what makes you happy. “Instead of trying to be the greatest at everything, take what you are best at and declare that as your edge”. Specialize in that and draw the line. That is where you can help make a mark and the rest doesn’t concern you. Have the courage to be weird, because that is where opportunity lies. “By focusing on one particular element of your work that you really enjoy, it gives you the opportunity to be able to say: I am better at this than anyone else in the world. And that’s why you should hire me” ( a bit of encouraging self talk to help you believe in yourself ). “It’s the person who has the courage to go deep, rather than broad, who has the ability to make a mark”.
Following your feelings is also the best tool to decide between many ideas that you might have: always follow your guts and go with the idea that allows you to be the most YOU. As passions are exactly this: “things that complement us so well that they bring out the best of who we are”. Don’t follow what you think makes the most sense, but instead dig deeper into your motives. “You can have confidence in an idea without having confidence in yourself yet – but only by knowing how you tick. If you know how you tick, then you can take that and apply it to any idea in the world”. This will be your unique compass that will naturally divert you in the right direction.
What happens if you have nothing that makes you tick? It doesn’t mean that you don’t have enough meaningful passions…but that you are lacking meaningful experiences. And how to fix this? By getting out there and experience new things! “You have to interact with the world and feel what it’s like and form opinions about the things you see and the activities you do and the people you meet”. Enrich your experiences and register how you feel. “What makes you feel more like yourself when you do it?”. You will learn more and more about yourself, and discover more passions that can than turn into amazing ideas that resonate with you.
I was so glad to read that Ash agrees with me: “there is no such thing as work/life separation – what you do for work does become your life, because how could it not?”. Thank you Ash, finally someone that gets it. Work is not a mean to an end. Work can be life and life can be work, even if money is involved. If you do what you really love, something that makes you happy and represents you and resonates with you…what you do becomes life, and not work anymore. The two merge into something that has no longer a boundary. It’s not stressful, it’s not an obligation, it’s not about money or status or career…it becomes an extension of who you are.
Start with one idea, the one that most makes you feel like you. “Don’t get too wrapped up in picking the perfect thing and doing it perfectly and being perfect. Don’t let fear of choosing wrong prevent you from choosing at all. If you like it, it’s a good idea. That’s all the validation you need. Let your own interest be enough”.
Just go, go, go and let your feelings guide you.