Sunday, August 7, 2011

Steps in the Right Direction

I’m a firm believer in getting out of bed each morning to do exactly what you’re meant to do in this world. No, this doesn’t mean sit around all day eating bon-bons and watching reality tv (which used to, by the way, be soap operas). It means hopping out of bed each day in the pursuit of your life’s mission. What you love. Your raison d’etre.

Some people are meant to lead. Some people are meant to follow. Some people are meant to cure. Some people are meant to create. There is honor is all of it, no matter how esteemed. The only thing that matters, in my humble opinion, is if you’re getting out of bed each morning and doing precisely what you love to do.

How do I know it matters? Because, well I do, and because I’ve spent a fair amount of the last few months doing something I don’t love and it is sucking the life out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I was paid well and the work was far less hazardous and unpleasant than what many people have to endure. But, my heart wasn’t in it and I didn’t believe what I was doing would make any difference in the world.

The impact? A slow, certain and consistent drain on everything else in my life. The first thought in the morning is dread. The last thought before the eyes go to sleep is relief. This is no way to live, trust me. I’ve seen the other side, too.

What I know for certain? If you’re not doing what you love to do, it is time to do something about it. You don’t have to quit your job today but I would suggest you take a step in the right direction. If you don’t know what the right direction is, take the first step to figure that part out. When you know what you’d love to spend your life doing, make a list of the 10 things you need to do to get you closer. It is possible that one or more of the things on the list are things that won’t really thrill you (go back to school, start saving more money, change who you spend your time with). I think you’ll find once you’re doing something you don't really love in pursuit of something you really love, the doing the icky part gets easier.

I am not suggesting you resign yourself to toiling away at a job you hate until you make it to retirement. There are plenty of things that can go wrong between here and there and there is really no point to waiting. Simplify your life. Get back to basics. Pursue your dreams.

What else is there?

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