Is Your Career What You Want to Do or What You Think You “Should” Be Doing?

If someone were to ask me what is the most important question you could ask about your career this would be it: Is it what you want to be doing or what you feel you “should” be doing? The answer to this question is extremely telling and often determines the level of success, enjoyment, and fulfillment you can attain in your professional life. Think about it. Compare it to your personal life. If you have an event to go to that you truly want to attend you are excited, have a positive frame of mind, and get the most out of it. If you have some obligation you need to attend because you “should” or your family will disown you if you don’t, are you nearly as enthusiastic? In the end do you enjoy the experience or simply endure it?

I could certainly take a spiritual angle and assert that your experience is what you make it and that even in situations that stretch you that you could adopt a chop wood, carry water mindset:

What that means is that the tasks are the same, but who you are being as you do the tasks is totally different. While I am certainly not claiming enlightenment, I can say that I am so much better at being clear, open, and present with a task than I ever was before. Even tasks that are exhausting and not quite my cup of tea. Instead I did my best to approach it with the bigger picture in mind – serving families in need of decent housing and with the mindset that anything you do can be a meditation if you choose to allow it to be. And, when you do that a whole new world opens up to you.

I totally believe this mindset is crucial to living fully. Engaging in experiences that stretch you are enriching. However from a day in and day out perspective would you rather spend your time doing something that works for you or suffering like a martyr attemping to fulfill someone else’s expectations of you?

How do you know what that something you most want to be doing is? [Read more…]

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