“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to ultimately be at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be.” – Abraham Maslow
Do you wake up in the morning dreading the day ahead of you? If so you aren’t doing what you’re meant to do. Now of course even when we love our work, there will be things we don’t want to do at times – that’s just life.
When you look at the big picture of what you do there should be an overall sense of meaning and fulfillment. If there isn’t, I believe something is missing. There isn’t a right or wrong thing we are supposed to be doing of course, but if you don’t enjoy what you do it probably isn’t a good fit.
How long are you willing to keep doing what you don’t want to do? This is your life we’re talking about. Really think about how long you are willing to put up with what you don’t want! Five months, five years, ten years!? If you’re ready to start doing what you’re meant to do, here are some tips to help you get started.
Do What You Do Best
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is an important place to start because we all have areas we tend to excel in. These areas may or may not be what you enjoy doing, (however our strengths are often our passions) but it at least gives you awareness of your natural strengths and talents.
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein
Doing an assessment of strengths and weaknesses also gives you awareness of where you have some work to do. Just because something is a weaknesses doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means you have to develop the skill and really practice your ass off. If running a business isn’t your strength but you want to be self-employed you can learn the needed skills. Or you can connect with the right people who can help you.
Follow Your Bliss
The mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell wisely tells us, “follow your bliss.” From his perspective when we follow our bliss we are doing what we are supposed to do. There are countless other authors and philosophers who share this same sentiment so there must be something to it. When we feel joy and fulfillment we are aligned with our purpose. We all have something that we love to do. What do you love doing? What are you most passionate about?
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell
Always Look For Opportunities
There are many common excuse for not doing what we’re meant to do. We don’t think we have the resources, the time, or general opportunities we need. To do what you’re meant to do is a process and takes time. It takes planning, preparation, and patience. That is why it’s important to start looking for opportunities today.
If you’re willing to be creative there are probably numerous ways you can get involved in something you are passionate about. There are ways you can start learning what you need to learn and meeting who you need to meet. Even when obstacles appear keep looking for opportunities.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
Know What’s Most Important To You
One of the most insightful ways to help people get aligned with what they are supposed to be doing is to identify their values. We all have certain aspects that are most important to us about the work we do. For some people it might be flexibility in their schedule or that they get to help people. For others it might be prestige, money, and power. Or maybe it’s a mix of these values.
The point is when we know what’s most important to us we can begin to create a career that aligns with these values. Here is an article that explores work values in more detail.
Try To Be Great, Not Just Good
Just because we are meant to do something doesn’t mean it will come easy. To me doing what we’re meant to do is about reaching toward our potential. Doing something that is bigger than our current reality and pushing past our perceived limits. It’s important to set the bar high in life. Whatever you are directed toward doing take the approach of always doing your best.
“Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were mean to do.” – Satchel Paige