Some people say that it’s okay to have a job you don’t love. Your job’s purpose is to pay your bills, right? So why talk about this woo woo “do what you’re passionate about” theory?
Let’s take a step back and look at it from a 10.000 feet perspective: Why are you here? What is the purpose of your life?
If you answered these questions with “Guess there is not much meaning to it. You know, just do what everybody else does and you’re fine”, or with a blank stare, that’s to be expected.
And here’s some truth: There is no big built-in purpose in life. The good news is, YOU get to decide what your purpose is, meaning what you’ll do to make your life worthwhile.
Now how does this relate to doing work you love? Here’s the scoop:
Let’s say you start working when you’re 20 and retire when you’re 70. That’ll be fifty solid years of working. If you, say, have 80 years to live on this planet, that’s about 80,65% of your adult life. Your work takes up the majority of your life’s time. This makes it an incredibly important part of your life.
I don’t know about you, but spending the majority of my life doing something that I don’t really give a fuck about FREAKS ME OUT. Like big time.
Do you really wanna look back at your life and say “Oh yeah, I spend most of my life sitting at a desk wondering how I was going to survive another day of boredom. The rest of the time I didn’t have enough energy to do something fun or meaningful because work was so damn exhausting. I guess I didn’t really make a difference. ”
This. Is. WORST Case Scenario.
If you don’t think it is, you’ve probably been fooled by society to think that making a paycheck is what life is all about. They’re lying.
The fact that you’re reading this shows that you likely have an inkling that there’s more to life than having a nice job and getting a regular paycheck. You’re here because you want to feel alive every single day and use your time to make a difference in the world.
So if you’re stuck in a job you hate, know that you have the power to turn it around.
In fact, you have the potential to do great things. As Marie Forleo likes to say, God didn’t build any extra peeps. Each and everyone of us is capable of doing something extraordinary with our lives. There are people out there who are absolutely rockin’ it. Let’s see if we can learn something from them.
Why is it that some people are changing while the majority of us counts down the minutes til lunch break?
How come some people are able to do work that matters and that is meaningful to them? Is there a secret the rich don’t tell you? Do they have a sexy oracle that tells them what their purpose is and gives them step-by-step instructions to make sure they rock it?
Take Beyoncé, Michael Jordan, Angelina Jolie or whoever your idol is.
Do you think they grew up with some kind of a privilege that allowed them to go out and pursue their passions while you had to pick a lame job to pay your bills? Do you believe they just got lucky?
Nah. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, some of them had more support than others, but they are not much different from you or me.
The biggest difference is that they believed in their own potential. They knew in their heart that there had to be a way to get paid to do their life’s work. They had faith and trusted that they could make it. This belief made it possible for them to put in the hard work required to make their dreams a reality.
If you want to do work you love the first step is this: BELIEVE it can be done. How do you do this? Look for people who are doing what you wanna be doing. Look for people who are leading their lives with passion.
So rule #1 to find and do work you love is:
Surround yourself with passionate people.
If all your friends, co-workers and gym buddies are stuck in jobs they hate, guess what: You’re gonna have a hard time believing that it’s possible to do work you love when everyone around you shows you the opposite.
You don’t necessarily need to fire all your loved ones, but you do need to go out and search for people who inspire you. If you can’t do it in real life because you’re stuck in a village that has more cows than people, search for them online. No excuses.
Hint, hint: The Sensophy Inner Circle is full of people who are going after their purpose and getting paid to do what they love.
Start doing the impossible
Once you understand that it’s not crazy and indeed quite possible to get paid to do what you love, it’s time to take some action:
Do something that you previously thought was impossible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small. It just needs to stretch your mind a little. It might be something as small as starting a new habit like juicing daily, or saying hi to that cute guy in your seminar.
Though there is one way that could be seen as the most powerful to change your idea of what’s possible: Fitness. If you’ve previously been the girl who couldn’t run more than five minutes and you put in the effort and do the training to run your first marathon, you’re gonna feel invincible when you cross that finish line.
That girl sounds a lot like me. I started doing Ju-Jutsu recently. What I didn’t know was that half of the training consists of hardcore strength training. We literally do jumping jacks, push-ups and sit-ups for 45 minutes, plus fun things like standing on the shoulders of a partner (Know that classic scene with Jack and Rose in titanic? Imagine Rose in that same position, just on his shoulders. Now imagine the look on my face when I do this).
Before I started doing Ju-Jutsu I was a real loser when it came to push-ups. It seemed impossible for me to do more than 3 push-ups (with cheating) in a row. Now I can do ten without cheating, and I also don’t look like I’m dying a horrible death when I’m doing it anymore. My view on reality has shifted. And that’s exactly what we want.
When you change your definition of what’s possible in one area of your life, that’s going to change what you think is possible in general. If I can run a marathon, maybe I can run my own business?
Alright, let’s take a look at rule #3:
Know Thyself, Yo
You can’t do work you love if you have no clue what you’re passionate about. And guess what, nobody can know this except for you. So you gotta do some diggin’ and find out what lights you on fire. Take this serious: If you don’t know what you wanna do you can’t make it a reality.
A good way to find your passion is to ask yourself some quality questions like:
- What do you love so much that you would pay to do it every single day?
- What are you really good at?
- What do other people ask you for advice on?
- What makes you come alive?
Become a student of yourself. Explore what makes you tick and what turns you off. This is crucial. In fact, a very basic concept to finding work you love could look like this:
Yup, nothing fancy. Getting to know yourself is a ton of fun, really inspiring and sometimes surprising. I believe that paying attention to your feelings, thoughts, values, and desires is one of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself.
Why our world needs YOU to do work you love
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman (aka really cool dude)
About 80% of people dislike their job. Look at the state of the world we live in. Just turn on the news. Yeah, looking kinda crappy, right? Is there a correlation between mindless work and the problems we face as humanity? I’m sure there is. And I’m not alone.
If you’ve been stuck and wondering how on earth you could start doing work you love, now’s the time to do something about it. Wouldn’t it be cool to look back at the end of 2013 and be able to say that you took action and are now living your passion? Damn, that would be hot!
Whatever you decide to do with your next year, we’ll be right here to cheer you along.
“You’re here because you want to feel alive every single day and use your time to make a difference in the world.”
Most of us spend the best, most energetic hours of our day at work. Doing it for anything less than something I’m passionate about feels like I’m wasting my life. I’m a huge believer in just getting activated toward your passion and meaning will emerge.
Big fan of Scott’s work too, changing the way people approach life.
The realization that we literally are wasting the best years of our life for something that bores us can make a huge difference. Glad to hear you don’t want to live as a corporate zombie. :)
Wow! Great article as usual,Iris. Thank You so much for writing it as I am really inspired by it and the point where great people didn’t know there purpose, nailed the idea.
I think you just transformed my life for better.
Glad you’re feeling inspired, Shavvy! Now go rock with it :)
Iris, I love your writing! As someone who has already gotten past the “I don’t know what to do with my life” phase, reading your blog re-inspires me to get off my butt and actually make that want a reality! Keep up the amazing work, I’m sure you will inspire many more! :) xxx
Thanks so much, Annika! I’m so glad we’ve found each other through the blog. Keep rockin’ it! :)
You always make the best posts!! I stopped “sleepwalking” through life years ago. You’re right, work does take up the majority of our lives, so we better love what we do!! Thank you again for the uplifting and fresh approach to tackling life!! :)
Good to hear, Jessica. I’m glad you’re on the side of the light now :) Thanks for being an awesome contributor to our community.
Thank you for this! I just quit my super boring day job to pursue what I really want to do with my life. Most people I told were super supportive of this change but some (mostly my parents) were somewhat worried. And I have to say, so am I. Freaked out! But life didn’t seem worth living anymore and I had to make a change. I am really looking forward to what is to come. Thank you for giving me some strength :)
Congratulations for taking the leap, Vanessa. It’s okay to freak out, especially in the beginning. What are your plans now? Do you already now what you want to do now that you’re free? Maybe “Uncertainty” by Jonathan Fields can help you deal with the uncertainty you’re feeling right now. I’ve read it and it does help! Here’s a link to it on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591845661/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=brilitsoc-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1591845661
PS: Do you live in America or Germany? I’m from Germany too :)
Sometimes a job might be necessary until we can get what we really want to do off the ground. I like Hugh McCleod’s idea of Evil Plans. That’s where you have you plan and you’re working on it so that one day it can replace the 9-5. We can also use jobs to learn skills and do good things that we can carry forward into idependent lives.
Great post Iris. Super stuff. Really… really super stuff. Loving this blog. Great vibe.
I love that when you’re thinking like this, you actually see that there are so many people doing it. Wonderful stuff, I’m bookmarking this!
There is a plugin that posted a link from my website, sorry, it was not my intention, you can delete it!
no worries. :)
Awesome post! I wanted the 9-5 job in 2010 after graduating. I never really got it. Since then, I have been trying to find a passion and I finally found it through kiteboarding, now teaching in Egypt while developing my blog. It has been a fearful journey, but I vowed to live by “Doing what scares you everyday.” I am proud to say that living like a rebel, a legend really pays off. Scott Dinsmore, as well as Corbett Barr are super awesome as well.
Wow, very inspiring story! I love that you teach kiteboarding, that’s something I definitely want to learn one day. :)
Living like a rebel is absolutely worth it. Glad you’ve found this to be true for you.
Great post Iris!
I’m a big fan of Scott Dinsmore as well. Just out of curiosity, how do you find that Live Your Legend compares with Jonathon Mead’s Trailblazer?
To this day I have only done the part of the course about identifying your passion. I absolutely believe it works. It wasn’t the only resource I used to identify mine, but it helped me ask the right questions and gave me some answers as well. I really enjoyed it.
It’s different from TB as far as that it doesn’t feel like a course as much, more like a guide and workbook. Which I love :)
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