Making a living is not the same as making a life. Find what makes your heart sing and create your own music.
Many people work all their lives and dislike what they do for a living. In fact, I was astounded to see a recent USA Today survey that said fifty-three percent of people in the American workplace are unhappy with their jobs. Loving what you do is one of the most important keys to maintaining a positive attitude. You can’t fake passion. It is the fuel that drives any dream and makes you happy to be alive. However, to love what you do, the first step is to self-analyze, to simply know what you love. We all have unique talents and interests, and one of life’s greatest challenges is to match these talents with career opportunities that bring out the best in us. It’s not easy – and sometimes we can only find it through trial and error – but it’s worth the effort.
Ray Kroc, for example, found his passion when he founded McDonalds at the age of 52. He never “worked” another day in his life. John James Audubon was unsuccessful for most of his life. He was a terrible businessman. No matter how many times he changed locations, changed partners, or changed businesses, he still failed miserably.
Not until he understood that he must change himself did he have any shot at success. And what changes did Audubon make? He followed his passion. He always had loved the outdoors and was an excellent hunter. In addition, he was a good artist and as a hobby would draw local birds.
Once he stopped trying to be a businessman and started doing what he loved to do, his life turned around. He traveled the country observing and drawing birds, and his art ultimately was collected in a book titled Audubon’s Birds of America. The book earned him a place in history as the greatest wildlife artist ever. But more importantly, the work made him happy and provided the peace of mind he’d been seeking all his life.
How do you find your purpose in life? There are no easy answers, but here are two practical tips that can help:
Discover Your Gifts
We’re all unique and each of us has our own special gifts. Make a list of what you consider your strengths and your weaknesses. Next, don’t just assume your assumptions are correct. Get feedback from what Ken Blanchard calls “trusted truth-tellers” – friends and family members who won’t just tell you what you want to hear but who will share their true opinions. With their help you can get a realistic perspective of your gifts.
Discover What Moves You
Find your passion and strive to live your life around it. Make your list. Do your homework. There is this caution, however…have patience. Your purpose in life probably won’t surface overnight, but like love, it will find you when you least expect it.
Finding your reason for being brings a positive attitude that can be unstoppable.