I’m out with a new Dear Gabby video, and this one totally rocks. As you know, for the past decade I’ve been a motivational speaker and self-help book author. I wake up every day freaking thrilled to run to my computer and get to work. I am so psyched about my career because I let passion and purpose become my life’s work. And I believe we all have the power to turn our passion into our paycheck. Continue reading →
In the new economy, and especially if you want to build a fulfilling life and career for yourself, the emphasis is on
Following Your Passion
Doing What You Love For a Living
Living Your Dream
It’s all great and true when you know what your passion is. What, if you don’t? What if you are clueless about what you want from life, let alone knowing what your dreams or passions are?
When I ask my clients the same question more often than not I get a blank stare and a shrug: “I am really not sure.”
The good news is that this is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have a burning desire or a clear calling to follow. It does not mean that you are not passionate about some things and that you cannot find out what those things are. At this point you just don’t know and that’s all right.
By accepting this fact you already take a lot of the pressure off. In my experience it’s the worries and the expectations that cloud your vision and make it so hard to see your ideal life and career. The more you let go and relax, the clearer you will see what you want.
Step One: Give yourself permission to explore. Let go of the unrealistic expectation that you have to have all the answers. Embrace the fact that you don’t. It’s a very good place to start.
Step Two: Foster curiosity. Now that you have permission to explore, get interested in yourself. This may sound strange. We think that we have our best interest at heart but more often than not we don’t. We are hard on ourselves, we push and pressure, we are impatient and we are critical.
Stop treating yourself badly and practice loving appreciation. Embrace your fears and struggles, they are beautiful. You are beautiful and your life wants to work out for you. Your job is to stay out of the way and to feel good about yourself.
Step Three: Start a journal. This can be your ‘passionate book of secrets’ that only you have access to. I carry a little notebook with me wherever I go, it is my silent companion. In it I write my thoughts and impressions about things that inspire me, love notes to myself, ideas for new businesses, blog posts, things I am grateful for, and about life in general.
I also have a notebook for my worries, fears or considerations. When something really bothers me I take some time out and write down all my thoughts and resentments about that specific issue. When I am done dumping everything onto paper, I either rip up the pages and flush them down the drain or I burn them in a bucket in my garden. It is a very cleansing experience and helps me to get rid of obsessive thoughts.
These are some initial steps to clear your mind and to start the ‘finding your passion’ process. You may observe that your creativity increases and that new ideas and inspirations come forward. If this happens, record the ideas in your journal. Mostly, just give yourself time to relax and to ponder. Trust that things will work out for you and that you, too will find your passion!
In tomorrow’s post I’ll give you next steps and two practical exercises to further help you identify your passions.
Today, I visited Reaching Recovery a team of researchers at the Mental Health Center of Denver looking into what "really" helps people overcome psychological issues and get on the road to mental health recovery.
Here is what they say about themselves on their website:
At the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) we believe strongly that recovery is possible because we see it happen every day. The vision of Reaching Recovery is to transform the mental health system from one which helps people stabilize their illness to one which helps people take the next step and achieve a full and meaningful life in spite of their illness.
We began the process – which lasted for several years – with logic modeling and statistical expertise to insure reliability and validity of the data. In the process we obtained valuable input from all stakeholders, including consumers, case managers, managers, and psychiatrists. This helped us sharpen our focus on recovery and long-term success for consumers and led to the conceptual framework of The Four Measures of Recovery that provide a constant feedback loop about consumer’s recovery. </blockquote>
During our conversation, Roy Starks, the director of the program, showed me one surprising result that popped up after combing through mounds of their data. Whenever, someones level of HOPE increased, their level of symptom interference increased as well.
What did that mean?
Basically, when people start believing they can change their life (hope, they have an upsurge in "issues" or "problems".
So if you are someone that has dealt with depression through your life. Then it may work this way:
Increased Hope = Increased Depression
This is similar to something I deal with in my life coaching work. I often say it this way: You are going to face your hardest challenges when you pursue your most important dreams.
This frustrating truth is one reason so many keep their dreams on the self and never really try and make them become a reality. This paradoxical effect weeds many people out, side-lines them, and can lead to some serious despair.
However, it is also true (and this was supported by the data as well)when people hang in there, find ways to cope with the added pressures, tolerate the increase in symptom interference, get support and encouragement, and understand this process — dreams can come true, goals can be achieved, and a new level of joy does eventually emerge.
So – expect the heat to turn up when you reach for the stars. And don’t give up! You can ride it out if you hang in there and keep hope alive!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, WEBSITE, OR BLOG?
You can free of charge, as long as you notify me by email and include this complete blurb with it: Mark C. Jones, MA, LPC, ‘The Life Calling Coach,’ publishes the ‘Art Of The Soul Newsletter’ to his online community at thelifecallingcoach.com. If you are ready to unlock the secrets to your own life calling, turn your pain into purpose, and renew your passion for life, get your copy of The Life Calling Formula today at http://www.thelifecallingcoach.com.
Today’s post picks up where I left off in part 2, with you dancing in your living room.
Hopefully, you will allow this “dance” time to be more than a Minute Waltz–perhaps you’ll give yourself a few days, a few weeks–even a month–to re-claim your soul, and re-kindle your vision. But soon enough, it will be time to get out in the world and get to work, literally. So let’s go.
If you’ve been following my thread in these posts, then you likely have picked up on a theme — a “life-shifting” mantra — that is near and dear to my heart. Turning any job loss into a life-gain is about shedding an outworn identity, re-claiming your vision, your passion, and values–who you KNOW yourself to be– and aligning these with the world of work. It is about finding that oh so sweet, sweet spot: The place where the world pays you to do what you love.
Of course, in a Mcdonalds, Gap, Starbucks world, this is easier said than done. BUT, it’s worth the effort to go for it. Otherwise, how else will we change the world? How else do you ever make the shift–from a consumer cog caught in the machine of commerce, to a human being manifesting your true potential? This is the real job, for all of us: the job of having a meaningful life.
So if you’re finally feeling fearless (ok, maybe a bit of trepidation, but ready!) and charged up, here’s what I consider to be the next steps:
5. Don’t network. Here’s the skinny on networking: it doesn’t work. What we really need, in order to find our next home in the world of work, is not a stack of business cards, a long email list or 600 friends on Facebook. We need instead, maybe one, two or three REAL connections–real people who will help us, listen to us, point us in a new direction, and likely connect us to one more REAL person that brings us closer to our “sweet spot.” The problem with networking is that it is far too often a “transactional” form of human intercourse — where quantity and speed are valued over depth and connection.
Recently, I was invited to attend a “networking” breakfast. It was one of those regular Tuesday morning affairs, held at the ungodly hour of 7am by a “business networking association” (that shall remain unnamed so I won’t get hate mail!). I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see how these things work. For me, in a word, they don’t.
When I arrived, there were about twenty people sitting around a table, all looking like they needed much more caffeine than was provided by the now empty urn on the side table. Each person got two minutes to stand up and give their “elevator pitch.” It was fast-paced, anxiety-provoking, and mildly entertaining (of course it was 7am so I have to be fair: not sure that ANYTHING would have been very entertaining to me at that hour). There were accountants and lawyers and real estate agents and recruiters. Other than the few who had polished their speech with a good metaphor or self-deprecating joke, I can’t for the life of me remember ANY of them.
The only person that I would consider a “connection” was the wonderful woman who invited me in the first place, a person, by the way, that I had only recently met at another association function, and who I had the pleasure of really talking with, listening to and SEEING. She was/is a really great person, and one whose friendship and support I hope to nurture for years to come. The other twenty people at the “networking” social, are still sitting on my desk, known only through their innocuous — if graphically stylish– business cards. For my taste, the whole early morning-breakfast-spiel-business-card-swap thing–is a colossal waste of time.
What you really want to accomplish when you “hit the pavement” and enter the fray to “build a network” is this: real connection. Talk with a few–maybe just ONE–real person and do more listening then speaking. Connect with their dream…and ask them to connect to yours. Make a date to get to know them. Creative solutions to life’s dilemmas are not born from a three-minute spiel, they are born aloft on the wings of deep dialogue.
6. Don’t look for a job. Ok, let me get this out on the table (it’s probably been too long in coming): I think the whole idea of a “job” is outdated. A job–that is, a “slot” in which to fit a person–is rapidly going the way of the typewriter, the hand-held calculator, and newspapers.
We love to forget that the idea of a “9-5 job” is probably less than one hundred years old, and like “retirement,” is an anachronistic invention of the post-industrial revolution. What has always existed, and what we humans are driven to seek, is WORK. And, work that is meaningful, value-added, and flexible enough to accommodate today’s fast-paced global economy, more and more often doesn’t “fit” neatly into a box called “job.”
I tell my clients this: don’t look for a “job,” look for a problem to solve. Get out and meet people, reconnect to old friends (this is where Facebook can be GREAT), sit down with them and listen in for their “problem.” Ask yourself: what problem do I LOVE to solve? The key to finding real, meaningful work in today’s tough climate is to BE THE SOLUTION to someone else’s problem. Whether or not there is a job, there is usually a problem. Your “job” as a seeker of work, is to find the intersection–the sweet spot–between the world’s problem and what you love to do (the solution).
More and more companies these days are hiring temp workers, part-tim’ers, consultants, and project managers. In fifty years, I doubt that very many people—beyond government employees and unionized plant workers (which will surely be ALL overseas)—will have traditional jobs. We will all live a “portfolio” life, doing a bit of this, a bit of that, a project here, a consulting gig there.
It can be unnerving—and challenging to juggle in the checkbook—but it is better to get with the program: a portfolio of work, not a job, is the future. And, for many, the future is now (Freelancers Union, a non-profit organization for people who live a portfolio life — a “gig life” as many of them call it — was formed only eight years ago, now boasts millions of members, and is doubling in size every year!).
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go on Monster.com and look for a “job” as listed there or elsewhere. You should. But don’t put all your eggs in the traditional baskets (if you ever wonder that the world of work is changing rapidly, just consider that job hunting sites like Monster are now considered “traditional” when they didn’t exist ten years ago…).
What really “works” in the new world of work, is this: get really clear on your vision of what you want to do in the world; get out and meet a few people and offer to help them with their “problem” (whatever that may be); be flexible and fluid and prove your value; do your homework and find out what your “value” is worth on the open market; once proven, demand same. Done. That is, for now.
Until next time the bottom falls out…and it will. The biggest lesson that we all need to learn from this turbulent time is that there is no such thing as “long term” any more. Everything is changing, faster and faster, and we must adapt.
But this can be great news for those who learn to master the process of “life-shifting.” Becoming adept at changing stripes, shedding jobs, identities and attachments (think Zen Master in a suit/tie), you pass through a doorway and enter a kaleidoscope landscape of possibility, meaning and progress, bestowed by life with the greatest gift of all: the gift of re-invention.
As I sit here on a sun-drenched, freezing Sunday morning, gazing out at leafless trees, a river of ice flows, and a dozen, dipping, undaunted ducks, I can’t help but pause and remember: the seasons “re-invent” themselves four times a year. We could learn from that.
During this trying economic tine, many folks are losing their jobs and this can be devastating. Maybe for some of us this is a good time to re-assess what we want to do with our lives.
For the next 3 months, I am offering my coaching services at a significantly reduced rate for those who are looking for a new job or a new career. I will work with you until you find a new position for up to 1 year for a fee of $150 per month. Typically, my fee is $300/month.
Please contact me via email if you would like to talk; I will look forward to it.