We spend most of our days at work, so it doesn't make sense to be stuck in a job that doesn't inspire you. But how to find your true calling in a job that you're passionate about day in and day out is another matter. You can take steps to get there, however, and once you do, you'll find that the positive effect of having a job you love will spread to many other areas of your life.
List Your Talents
Make a list of what you're good at or have a natural affinity for. This list should not include anything you're great at but hate. Add to the list anything you love but think your ability in is only so-so. After all, that's your opinion -- other people might think your work is amazing. Don't be concerned either if you think your passion is strange or impractical. Even if this love doesn't translate to big bucks, it may give you a big clue about what direction you should be taking in your career. Muse over your talents first and see what comes up.
Take a Look at Your Envy Hot Spots
If your acquaintance who writes and travels full time fills you with envy and rage, then you need to stand up and pay attention. Often the things that we dismiss as frivolous or annoying are the very things we wish we could be doing. It's easier sometimes to poke fun than to own up to what we really want. Plus, we're often told to get serious. But if your passion involves a life of greater flexibility and freedom, then that's what you should pursue. Don't let the critics, or your inner critic, hold you back.
Think Back to Your Childhood Passions
Way back before grown-up ideas of responsibility and proper living got in the way, we probably had a pretty strong idea of what we loved and what we wanted to do in our lives. You might not want to become a ballerina anymore, but your childhood passions can point to careers that will give you great joy in the future. If you loved animals, perhaps you want to work as a vet. Or maybe you were the kid who never stopped singing -- sign up for a choir and discover if you still love it. Proceed cautiously by trying out volunteer or extracurricular activities that involve your childhood love and see if you still crave doing them.
Ease Off the Pressure and Have Fun
The way to find your life's passion is not to work harder but rather to play harder. Do things that make you feel creative, inspired and curious. Only by opening up and putting aside fear of failure will you learn new things and let go of old ideas. Commit to doing things that you crave more time for, that you get lost in, that make you feel like a kid again. Perhaps you love dancing so much that you can lose hours just following the beat -- if so, that's a major sign. Only by letting go will you find the clues you need to move forward in your life with a job that feels like your true calling.
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