“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it.”
We aren’t always fully prepared to go down the path we most desire, but the preparation transpires during the moment we accept our truth that rests within all of us. We just need to take that first step out the door, and then we will become prepared along the way. It’s a co-creative force between the actions we take and the opportunities provided within the Universe. We grow into our calling or purpose as we accept it as our authentic certainty and then pursue it.
Many people believe the destination is the goal. But our destination is just the motivation to take this self-discovery journey. It’s the journey that is the most important because this is our growth period. This is the time we learn who we are and what we are capable of in this life. When we choose to go down a new purposeful path in life we find that we don’t form this path; the path forms us.
How do I know this? Because I am on this path of purpose right now. I used to work for a Fortune 500 company in the medical industry. Although this career was very lucrative and prestigious, I was empty on the inside. It was as if I was chasing the illusion of happiness, always thinking it was in arms reach and then grasping at a puff of smoke. So, I decided to quit my corporate job and go down a more authentic path for me of writing, public speaking and inspirational teaching.
Speaking from my experience I knew I wasn’t fully prepared for this new path, but I had this nagging feeling that this was the right time. Logically, it made no sense to quit my job with nothing lined up, barely any savings in the bank or a business plan for my new path in life. But, logic became secondary. My intuition was pulling me towards this new path.
When I had finally decided to announce my decision to leave my job, to my friends and family, I could see that they were concerned. On the outside, it may have appeared to them that I was experiencing an early mid-life crisis. Others probably thought I had a few marbles loose when I decided to abruptly leave my career on the proclamation that I was going to be a writer and inspirational speaker.
Some laughed at me and the others tried to talk me out of my vision. Some friends and family began to openly express their worry and fear that, “I may be making the wrong decision.” Collectively, they stated,
“You need to think this through for a while. You’re being irrational and reckless.”
But, I knew that this was my purpose. I felt it in my soul and every part of my being. In fact, doing anything other than pursuing my purpose would be irrational and reckless.
This is usually the part where dreams are killed and here’s why: when you have a vision or dream that you want to accomplish in your life, and you start to share your ideas with people, you will be confronted with differing opinions from others of why “You can’t do it.” These people are what we call “Naysayers.” It is imperative at this time that you remember that not everyone will be able to see your vision because the vision wasn’t given to them–the vision was given to you. The danger in all of this is if you start to believe the naysayers. Although you still have this vision, you still have a little bit of self-doubt lingering behind the scenes. You have a choice to make: Believe that you deserve to live a life with more freedom and happiness or to believe in the people who don’t believe in you.
The people closest to me in my life, asked me why I couldn’t stay in my career and start this new “endeavor” on the side. But, that would be an impossibility. In fact, the word “career” became foreign to me. This was my life’s work, my calling. “Career” suddenly felt like something different—Not inferior, but more like synthetic. My career was no longer a part of “me.” It was a tool that I used to use to define me. It gave me a false sense of purpose and identity.
The less you identify yourself by the sum of your actions and the labels people have placed upon you; the more you will connect with your authentic self.
Career is defined as an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.
The verb definition of career is: to move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction.
That is exactly how I felt–my life “careered” out of control. I was moving swiftly, in an uncontrolled way, in a specified direction.
I believe there are people in careers with purpose, also known as a purpose-driven life. I also believe there are people in careers without purpose—which I have termed as a “Careered Life.”
What’s the difference between having a careered life and a purpose driven life?
In my previous career, I felt driven by obligation, not driven by inspiration. I didn’t feel that it was a workforce, rather it was “forced work.” The majority of my time was spent in a stressful, unengaged, purposeless atmosphere, which focused purely on beating the competition and financial gain. My life felt hollowed out, selfish and heartless.
If I didn’t love what I was doing, then why was I doing it? To pay for the things I bought to distract me from the misery I felt in my everyday. It’s a terrible cycle of confusion and delusion.
You don’t like your career, so you buy things that you believe will make you happy; such as name brand clothes, fancy cars, jewelry, and bigger houses. You even spend thousands of dollars on vacations from your life— You are spending money to vacate from your life. You continue to spend to fill that hollowed out place in your heart. But, the money to pay for these distractions stems from the exact place that is causing you all of this pain—a careered life. It is like pulling weeds out of a beautiful garden, but never getting to the root of them, so they continue to wreak havoc.
I also knew I wasn’t fully utilizing my skills and talents in this career. By continuing to do so, I would never be able to reach my true personal potential. There are public pressures by society to get a college degree, and immediately join the workforce. By having this system in place, many people lose sight of their passions, ideas, and dreams because it seems like an impossibility to pursue them. It’s as if they become redirected down a different path based on society’s definition of “success.”
Society teaches us to be “realistic” and put our childhood fantasies and passions of being a baseball player, actor, poet, baker, and writer or any other nonconventional life choice aside so that we can put on a suit and tie and blend into the backdrop of our life. The primary motivator here is money, not happiness. They confuse happiness with the influx of money. Many are born into this culture of acquisitiveness and accept it as a normality.
If this is the most efficient and effective way for the majority of society to reach happiness and fulfillment than why are nearly ninety percent of world’s workers unhappy with their jobs and view it as the main source of their frustration?
*In fact, sixty-three percent of people, are “not engaged,” in their careers. In short, they’re checked out. They sleepwalk through their days, putting little energy into their work.
A full twenty-four percent state they are “actively disengaged,” meaning they pretty much hate their jobs. Because of this, many workers will act out or undermine what their coworkers accomplish.
In other words, work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfillment for nearly 90% of the world’s workers (Gallup, Forbes Magazine 2013).
That means that most workplaces are less productive and less safe than they could be and people are walking around this planet hating their lives and doing what is necessary to live, rather than what is extraordinary to live. Therefore, doesn’t something have to give?
I believe many people have been unknowingly living a careered-life because they don’t think they have another option. The problem with this careered-life system is not only the emotional distress it can cause someone, but also the massive distraction from one’s true purpose.
These days, I’m finding that although I am making less money, I’m happier. Inspiring others doesn’t feel like forced-work, it seems like inspired play. It is a perfect balance between giving and receiving: I am giving of myself to help others, but I am also receiving so much joy in doing so.
That is what your purpose should provide you. A consistent feeling of fulfillment, inspiration, and happiness knowing that you are doing something you love, which inspires you while simultaneously helping others. Your purpose serves you, while you serve others. It is; giving and receiving. A balancing of opposite or contrary forces which are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent. This is how we give rise to each other as we interrelate to one another.
So, why isn’t everyone doing this? Do you have to be of some esoteric, divine, greatness that is superior to everyone else to live a life of purpose? Absolutely not, in fact, everyone has a purpose in life waiting to be awakened. You just need to ask one QUEST-ion for the journey of self-discovery and happiness to begin: “What is it that I can do every day that will bring me happiness, fulfillment and also help others in return?” That’s your purpose.
Release yourself from the careered life and discover your life’s purpose. More info on: Finding Your Life’s Purpose
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Susan, Adams, “Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones By Two To One Worldwide.” Forbes Magazine, Gallup Survey, 10th, October 2013, www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/10/unhappy-employees-outnumber-happy-ones-by-two-to-one-worldwide/#3d7d962e2f29