If you haven’t had a chance yet to read the How Do You KNOW? post from last week, please do as today’s post stems from a comment left there by fellow writer, Denise DeSio. Thanks, Denise, and to everyone else for your comments; they fuel me and inspire me as well as just plain make me happy that you are reading and thinking about these topics.
When I tell people that I am switching careers from speech-language pathology to writing/coaching/speaking, I get several responses. Here are some examples:
- So, if you want to go back to speech-language pathology you can still do that, right? (This one usually comes out in a cautious tone and often from well-meaning people who love me and don’t want me to “screw” up. I simply tell them, “No, because I don’t want to”.)
- You’re so lucky your husband’s doing so well/you can afford to do that. (I’m never sure how to take this one. The workload in our family is definitely equal – those of you who stay at home with small children as their doctor, teacher, chef, entertainer, chauffeur etc while running 2 businesses and a household know what I mean. Success of any kind in our home is definitely a joint effort.)
- Who’s going to pay you? (Understandable. And totally a blog post on its own.)
I could write several posts in response to these examples. Today I’m going to focus on some points that address Denise’s thought-provoking comment and possibly tie in to the above points. If this blog post ends up going anywhere else, well, that’s just how it goes. We’ll get to it all, eventually. Here we go! *deep breath*
Denise points out that not many people dream of busing tables, flipping burgers or cleaning houses. Let’s look at why someone might be in this situation in the first place. Sometimes the issue is education – and not that the person flipping burgers is not educated, but maybe their education is not recognized by the particular country in which they live. Or, perhaps the type of smarts they have hasn’t translated to a college degree. Maybe they couldn’t afford to acquire post-secondary education. What I’m trying to say is that people in these types of jobs who don’t want to be there (because some do, and that must be said) are not intellectually inferior or creatively challenged or anything of the sort. It’s a matter of circumstance. I hope this point is clear. And like I said, there are people who do enjoy these jobs and would think I am crazy to be wasting my time dreaming up reasons why they “ended up” there. So, I’ll stop now.
Sometimes people, like me, aren’t completely satisfied with their day jobs because they simply made choices that brought them to a different place. That goes to show that prestige, status, financial security etc. are not enough to make you truly happy. Many people have left careers in law, engineering, and medicine to do something completely different. Or they’ve taken up something on the side.
A lot of people tell me that they can’t just give up their day job to do what they really love because it would be financially disastrous. That’s why I wrote the post The Feasibility Of Living Your Passion and I posted it as a re-run last week, too.
Here’s what I think is important: If your day job is not something you are passionate about, then find a way/time to engage in activities that make your heart sing outside of your day job. Sometimes words like passion and purpose can feel so loaded. We think they need to be more grandiose than they are. Don’t be limited or obstructed by the semantics. Just think about what makes you so happy that you’d do it regularly or for long periods of time, willingly. Then incorporate it into your life in whatever way you can…and watch it grow! It may grow into a regular hobby, a side business or a full-time career. Give it space in your life. Often this means de-cluttering other areas.
If you’re not sure how to go about doing this, don’t worry. That’s a pretty full boat. When I wasn’t sure what to do with the ideas I had brewing about what I felt would be my ideal life, I hired a life coach. I worked with Dr. Susan Biali for a few sessions and here I am, now coaching others to add more passion to their lives. I knew what was innate in me, what I felt my life had been shaping me to do for others, but I just needed some guidance to help me make it fit into the life I currently had. I think because I was ready and willing, it happened rather quickly. Getting over the mental blocks (fear, anxiety, insecurity) was really the most challenging part for me.
So, am I just lucky? Is Denise just lucky? If you’re spending the majority of your day doing what you love, are you just lucky, too? I consider myself blessed and I always have. But I don’t think luck is what got me here.
Luck insinuates random-ness which I don’t think exists. (Another blog post!)
I think there is a process that includes an inner search to remember what makes you happy and to collect clues from your life to become re-acquainted with your true Self.
There is a longing to overcome the ordinary and be the extraordinary person you can be.
There is a desire to overcome boredom, anger, frustration, jealousy, lethargy and a number of other undesirable emotions (that are actually very useful in your path – don’t discount them, use them!).
There is an ability to trust. Trust that those who depend on you the way you are will still be OK when you make your changes, big or small. Trust that if you fall flat on your face, you’ll land in a bed of roses. Trust that you can find the time and the energy to get started and that when you do get started, it’ll get easier to find the time and the energy.
There is finding the right support whether it’s internal or external.
There is a commitment to your Self and your dreams.
And THEN there is that beautiful high you feel when you are doing the things you love, that make the whole process so much easier. There is that gorgeous feeling of peace and satisfaction that spills over in to the rest of your life – into your other job(s), your relationships, your health, your outlook on life.
The whole thing becomes cyclical – the process never ends. You may feel sometimes a little low on trust, or a little low on support, but then that inner yumminess kicks in and injects itself into your lows and brings you up again. We’re all human. We’re all prone to our habits, our limitations, our powerful minds and emotions. But we all have this enormous potential to be happy when we connect with our true Self (God/Source/the Universe) and when we do whatever we can do to release that creative/spiritual Self.
Thanks again to all of you for reading and for your comments. Keep them coming – they’re a wonderful part of my day!