Do you remember when you first started your career? You were probably nervous, maybe some doubt, but you had some great energy to achieve. Everything you did had a purpose in some way. If you look back on what that purpose may have been or what you think it may have been, probably the first thing that comes to mind is you were foolish. You wish you could have that energy and direction again, however you know the purpose does not speak to you anymore. You are older, wiser and of course things have changed in your life. What you value most has changed, which means how you see your professional career has changed. Does this mean you must change jobs and do something different? For some yes, as their job is making them suffer rather than prosper. For many others, I would say no, just rediscovering your passions in life will help improve your career.
How can you tell if your job is still meaningful to you? Well, you need to rediscover what is meaningful to you in the first place. I know, first thing you are thinking is here we go again, another question about trying to find the meaning of life. Well no, it is not about the meaning of life, it is about what is meaningful in YOUR LIFE. What gets you smiling, excited and happy. What calms you and provides you energy to move along. You would be surprised if you tried to figure it out and then try to build the strength to really follow it.
So the normal answers to that question is my family. “Yes, but my family does not pay me, so I need to find a living.” Well here is what I have been discovering working with some amazing people. Why are you talking in absolutes? Do you like food, sports, cars and other things? If you live in singularities then you are missing out. Sure, your family can be more purposeful, but you are allowed to like things that provide you energy and excitement, just the priorities may be different. What provides you the energy at work, why are you working there? The reasons can be endless, such as: the hours provide me time with my family, I like helping other people, I love being the leader, I make great money, this job makes me think, I am good at what I do and many other things. Does it have to be one, or a combination? Well that is up to what really drives you, however again I hope you do not live in singularities or absolutes. You cannot just choose them, you need to truly rediscover them in yourself. You already know them, however normally unconsciously. It is about connecting the complex puzzle of you, that brings all the pieces together. Remember it is about finding what is meaningful in your life, not others’ lives. You have lived a very complex life that has filled you with more knowledge, resentments, and passions.
How do you do all this? You need to rediscover the things that are important in your life. Yes, that means personal aspects of your life will influence your work. They should, again life is not absolutes neatly separated by perfect lines. Things blend into each other, which is great because it helps us redirect our lives and enable flexibility to change what we are doing in this fast paced world, while still achieving our passions. Take the pieces and place them together, starting at the most important and working your way down, while working on how the things in your life connect with each other. What is important to you? What is it about your job you like? What do you like about working? How does your job support what is most important to you and what you like to do for work? Does this enable you to achieve both your personal and professional passions? Remember, avoid thinking in absolutes, give yourself the flexibility to be real and honest to yourself. Saying every day you will be home at 5pm for your family, for most people is just not realistic. Sometimes the timings in your life change to support achieving what you need to do that day to support all your passions. That is not bad, it means you prioritize your life to really help you move purposefully through your days to achieve success. Try to be as detailed as you can, however honest as possible to yourself. You have the real answers in you, you know.
So what have I shown you here. That you have changed in your life and in order to improve your career you need to rediscover your purpose and passions in your life. Then you need to build the capability and strength to see what these are, to help direct your life to achieve them. It is ok to be passionate about more than one thing. Your professional passions and your personal passions will blend and it is about prioritizing them to help you achieve all of them when it is their turn. Having purpose and passion in your life will help you achieve your objectives and help you learn from and move away from those things that cause you suffering. Understand that you will continue to learn in life is key, so continue to rediscover and stay flexible to the change that will continue to come. It is about building that capability to see what is purposeful in your life and knowing how to work towards improving your career by rediscovering your passions.