I attended a 3-day online retreat recently which changed me. I remembered my family story. I remembered why work mattered to me. That is what I talked about in the 20th episode of my podcast Unique Careers, Unique Lives.
I think work is a very meaningful word. It is your organised effort, focused into making a difference. That focused effort and the difference is unique to you.
Work is the activity, which gives you a sense of purpose, which gives you flow. At the end, it also makes others, the world, a contribution. It is why you are needed in this world. All of us have this unique power to make a contribution. All of us bring something unique to this world. When we get to do the work we love, it doesn't only impact us, it impacts everyone around us.
When I talk about your unique contribution to others, that doesn't necessarily mean that you are actively, creating a product or you are actively designing something new or you are bringing a service to the world. These are all great contributions and these are usually the ones that come to our mind when we think of the contribution or work. But I believe, the energy you bring to this world is also a contribution and is a very important contribution. There are two ways of this. When you do the work you love and you feel connected, when you feel this sense of purpose you are energised. And this energy is sensed by everyone around you in every environment. This energy is reflected to every life decision that you take. It's contagious.
If you are doing the work that you don't like, if your work sucks your energy, if you despise your work that you want to get rid of, you bring this energy to everywhere you go as well. And you are making an impact with this energy.
It is a responsibility that you have for yourself, to take care of your energy, but also be aware that, however you feel has an impact on others as well.
When you take care of yourself, when you make changes in your life so that your energy rises or that you look forward to life, you are actually contributing to others by bringing this energy to everywhere you go. So it's not only about you, it is about us all. We are connected.
Skills that help you to find work you love
Very few people start life with knowing what they want to do as work. Some people do know it but the circumstances don't allow them to pursue it. They later connect it back to their life. Most of the time, finding and doing work you love is a process. You do something, you don't like it, you change you do something else. You like it a bit better but it is still not "the work" so you change it again. At some point you create this great mix for yourself which satisfies
you and which energises you.
This is a process. But this process, only happens if you take action. If you don't do anything, you're not satisfied with where you are and stay without moving, nothing will change.
You'll take action. And you'll see that it's again not the work that you love. That's okay. It's a process. You learn from it, you do something different you learn something more. This knowing that it's a process gives you an understanding and patience for your life. You can recognise what you have learned so far, and decide what change you will do.
Patience comes with knowing that it's a process. So you don't judge yourself or expect from yourself that in the next move, you got it. It doesn't have to be. You only make choices based on the information that is available to you right now. But some of the information reveal itself when you start doing the work. And you notice some of the things you do is not actually matching with what you want to do or who you want to be. Patience is important virtue and you can develop it. Knowing that it's a process will help you.
Second skill, persistence. You have to choose yourself. You have to keep on choosing yourself. You don't have to settle. You remember the process. You keep going. And you'll keep on creating.
Third is connections. In most of my interviews, people found their jobs and the work that they love through another person. Another person offered or suggested a job or acknowledged a talent in them. That I think is related with curiosity, you stay curious about your process, and also about the people around you. You ask them, you observe them and you get in touch with them. You will learn from them, and they will increase your awareness around what is possible in you and outside of you, so that you can make a better choice next time.
Fourth is letting go, which I have learned is a very important skill. Letting go of the past mistakes, letting go of your self judgment, letting go of the previous job experience or letting go of yesterday's story. And starting the day, the hour, the minute fresh. Everybody who could invent themselves new were able to let go of their past. It doesn't mean they forgot their past. They did use their past and built on it. But they could let go of who they were once to become who they want to become.
These skills will help you to find fulfilment in your work and find the work you love. Forget about diving deep alone to understand who you are, what you do. If you will put yourself on the process, if you will be patient, choose yourself, connect with others, stay curious, and let go of the past, you will enjoy the journey. And you will make better and better choices, and you will make this contribution that you are born to make.