Why are you here?
If you’re feeling like there must be more to life, at a subconscious level you might be running and living your life based on what you were brought up to believe. When a child, you internalised a set of rules, what you can, can’t and should do and it may be that these rules are behind many of the career decisions that you’re still making.
If you were brought up to believe that your value lay in performing well at school, University and beyond then it’s not uncommon to feel unhappy as an older adult, when you’ve achieved your goals but still feel empty and unfulfilled. This could be because you are no longer fulfilled by your work life.
Finding your life's purpose
Finding your purpose is often the intersection of a number of factors. If you’re no longer feeling motivated by work, it’s useful to reflect on this. When you think about the work you do right now, how many of these can you tick off?
- I love it
- The world needs it
- I am paid for it
- I am great at it
If you’ve not got as many ticks as you were hoping, it’s time for you to have a think about how you can get your work life back on track.
Time to make new rules
There are tools and techniques which will help you break through and discover what you really want and what’s right for you. This can feel challenging, but scary is good; it shows you’re stepping out of your conditioning and doing what’s right for you. Fear holds you back, but it’s just the limbic part of your brain, the amygdala, keeping you in your comfort zone to keep you safe.
Be your own coach
Chopping and changing jobs is great if each change gets you closer to your goal and helps you live your purpose. However, it may be that all this change is signalling that it’s time for you to spend some time working on yourself.
Help can be useful when it comes to mapping out your life and purpose, especially if you’ve been suppressing emotions for many years, and there are many resources available to help you be your own coach. For example, to get started, you could think about the answers to the following questions before you make your next big career decision:
- How is this serving me in my life?
- Is this truly what I want to do (not should do, have to do, must do)?
- If I was being really brave, would I do this?
Time to think and reflect
It can be hard to find the time to think about what you want when you’re busy doing what you’ve always done. Doing a guided inner journey can be very revealing. All you need to do is get comfortable, read the instructions and spend some time reflecting on the answers.
3 ways to get you started
1. Turn the clock back and look at a time in your life when you felt your full power, a time when your spine, arms, and fingertips were tingling with excitement, a time when you simply didn’t care what anyone thought of you. You were absolutely alive!
Ask yourself: Where were you? What were you doing? Who was around you? What was occurring in them at that time? What was your impact on them?
2. You’ve been given a billboard and can put any message you like on it. Thousands of people will drive by and see your billboard each day. What does it say?
3. You’re in a space ship, on your way to an undeveloped planet in the universe. It’s a fine planet in every way, but it’s uninhabited. This means you can create this planet however you want it to be created. When you land, what will you do? What’s the impact you want to have? How will you create the planet the way you want it to be? The ship is landing on the planet. The door opens. You touch the planet and say, “It’s going to be this way...”
What is 'this way?'
Notice the themes and values that come out of all three exercises, and start working on your life mission statement using this as a template:
I am the ………………… (metaphor) so that people………………… (impact).
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