Are you doing the work that is right for YOU! If you are, will feel energized by what you do. Sunday nights and Monday mornings will be joyous and you will know that your heart and mind are in sync.
People often speak of passions and interests that are completely unrelated to the work they are performing. That’s why they call it “work”, right? Try thinking differently, from the perspective of work / life integration verses work / life balance. I believe that our work is our greatest opportunity to express ourselves in this world. Work, if aligned with our true selves, can be the purest form of self-expression.
Work as Duty
Too often, we let our “shoulds” guide us down the conventional career path. Then mid-life we wake up and think, “how did I get here?”. Every time I hear a “should” creeping into my thinking – I need to stop and be aware of where it is coming from. Most of our “shoulds” are learned from our environment – our parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, and society in general. Rarely is a “should” an authentic guide to what will bring happiness or fulfillment to our lives. Try living by the saying “don’t should on me”.
Work as Energy
We are beginning to understand more and more about the energy of the universe, but how does this relate? I believe that we incorrectly view our jobs from a limited viewpoint; we doesn’t understand how energy flows in the universe. We are conditioned to thinking, if I work 40 hours, I will receive $$ – trading time for money. Our goal is often to “work” the least amount of time possible for the most amount of money. What if we all started thinking differently?
Work is really a giving activity. It is a path of service. I give 100% of myself and talents, and give unselfishly of my energy, in return, I receive energy in the form of money. In this viewpoint, our goal is to provide the most value possible, knowing that the universe will match our energy in return. This kind of thinking can open a new world of experiences, providing a new sense of freedom.
A colleague of mine decided to go to graduate school and get a masters degree. She was trying to decide between two programs. One is a more traditional program that prepares her for the myriad of regular corporate jobs on graduating. The other program will set her on a path to be a freelancer. She knows that her heart is not in the first program, but feels it is a “safer” option. She is afraid to choose the unconventional program. Why? This is your life! Your Life…
Follow Your Heart to Discover Meaningful Work
Why are we so afraid to follow our hearts and pursue our bliss? Why have so many of us lost our inner compass? One reason is the over-intellectualization of our culture. Ever since the Scientific Revolution, we have favored our intellect over our intuition. The Scientific Revolution has definitely improved the quality of life for many people and has freed us from some destructive superstitions, but at what price? Environmental issues, distribution of wealth, etc.
Our society and its educational institutions teach us to live in our heads. We favor our rational intellects and many of us are disconnected from our hearts and bodies. Without this connection, it is difficult to use our inner compass to chart our life course and follow our bliss. As we shift into the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are more connected than ever to everything around us. Work to connect with yourself and integrate the body, heart, and mind so that they may function holistically.
I recently overheard a conversation where one woman wanted to find work that she was passionate about. She said, “I just need to sit down and think about this some more.” And therein lie her problem. We often believe that if we just think harder about something, a solution will present itself. When it comes to finding work you are passionate about, the answer will not come from your rational, logical mind – it will come from your heart and soul. To connect with your heart and soul, you need to be able to access your emotions and body sensations in real-time, and align them to your thoughts.
Try this little exercise: think of peak moments in your life – moments when you felt happy, blissful, relaxed, energized – like all was well with the world. Where did this feeling come from? Your head or your heart?
To discover meaningful work, you need to connect with your heart by paying attention to your emotions. Dismiss any shoulds that appear. Pursue work from a path of service, knowing that this is the legacy you will leave to future generations.