Following your passion is a hard road. More than half the battle is finding out what the heck your passion really is! Sounds easy enough, and I’ve seen it so many times before, people feel they ought to ‘know‘ what their passion is. But behind closed doors – trust me – the majority have no idea. This is great news, really!
Blank slates are my favorite clients to work with. And that’s because there is humility, vulnerability and exploration involved. There’s an open curiosity about how to contribute to life. And when one discovers what direction they’d like to go, it’s a rewarding experience for everyone.
It’s also messy and uncertain. Which is why so many don’t allow themselves the opportunity to imagine. It really all starts with your own conception of what work is and how it defines or doesn’t define them. Do any of these sayings sound familiar?
- Don’t quit your day job!
- Pull yourself up by your bootstraps
- Work hard, play hard
- Bring home the bacon
- Is it, “live to work?” or “work to live?”
Work used to be, just a job
In the previous generation (and I’m talking about the 80s and 90s) work was seen as separate from your life. It was something you had to do instead of what you want to do. This idea was not sad, but, rather, honorable. The industrial revolution gave material opportunity to many. It was an opportunity to give a comfortable family life, which made life better. Work wasn’t a passion; it was a means to an end.
Work is now something we should love
However, now we are in a different era and things are different. Now, if you are not doing what you love, this is seemingly a problem. THIS generation takes for granted (for better or worse) that comfort is accessible. That box has been checked by the many that provided this comfort for their children. So many millennial’s got a bad wrap for this. But this is exactly what our parents wanted to give us: hope and a future to live our dreams.
So now, work is radically different. It includes passion, choice, information, and grit. Living our dreams is much harder work than getting a day job! You may think it sounds like fun, but living out your destiny is the hardest work we will ever face. This new generation is entering the workforce in truckloads and they don’t have an easy street with the challenges presented to them. They no longer can pat themselves on the back for providing for the family (even though that pressure is still there). They also have the heavy burden of being meaningful too. Not only for financial success but also making a difference. Without this depth of career experience, many become disillusioned and fall into despair.
Because what if you’re mediocre?
The good news? Impossible!
The choice is yours
Every single person has unique attributes that are a wild compilation of experiences, education and choices. Thank goodness the material resources are becoming increasingly available for young people to find meaningful work, especially with the access to education on the rise. The bottom line is mediocrity is a choice not a destination. Oh and one more thing, it’s NOT easy. It comes with self-reflection, believing in your strengths and putting them into action. It takes endurance more than talent. It takes vulnerability more than climbing the ladder. Talent is a natural gift. Endurance to believe in yourself and putting one foot in front of the other is of a different source.
The world of work is a mirror and reflects back to us what we believe our value is. Work doesn’t give you value, rather work is a reflection of your belief system. The choice is yours. Once you decide on a career change, expect to work harder than you ever expected or were told was necessary. I prefer this conception of work: