Finding your life purpose can relieve stress.
Do you know that 70% of the people working are either neutral or hate their jobs? We spend 80% of our lives working, and we seem to be willing to sleep walk through our days or even being depressed, anxious, and hating our daily work. Why? Because we do not have the energy, willingness to change, desire, inclination, motivation, to seek out our true life’s purpose.Ev These choices, and yes it is a choice for each one of us, lead to addictive behaviors, depression, loss of productivity, a sleeping workforce not paying attention to where corporations and leaders are taking us, and in general a world of zombies being lead to the end of a road and what awaits us at the end of such a life?
Okay, that’s a lot of doom and gloom, but this is a topic I am quite passionate about. 10 years ago, I was working in a career, at a level, for a paycheck most people would be grateful for, but I was very unhappy. I was in an untenuous management position, where I did so much to help and solve problems, but could not see from day to day, the human impact I was making with my work. I felt like I was just running in circles, and not really making any headway in the job or my career in general. I knew something was drastically wrong, and I needed to change.
I did an exercise, which helped me identify my Life’s Purpose in 20 minutes. It isn’t as easy for everyone as it was for me, but I think I had reached a point where I was absolutely ready. I found the thing that “made me cry”, the thing next to motherhood, which drew tears of joy, knowledge that it was right for me. It took me ten years to complete the transition from a professional in IT to a professional counselor, but it was worth it. However, I know I couldn’t have done it without sacrifice and support of my husband along the way at a job he struggles at as well.
How can people who feel trapped financially or by circumstances pursue their dreams? What can we do to feel like we are moving forward toward our true purpose, if the thing that pays the bills is in the opposite direction? First, do an exercise to identify what is your true purpose? Steve Pavlina has a couple good resources for this:
After you have identified your life’s purpose, break down the steps, even the smallest tasks leading toward that goal. For you that might mean, updating your resume, looking for jobs with characteristics of your purpose (i.e. helping people, and you are in IT, doing help desk work), identifying financial strategies if you need to gain education or training to move toward your purpose, gaining buy-in from spouses and family who need to become your support system in achieving your purpose. Some people may ask, what if my life’s purpose cannot make me enough money to live? At that point I say, you will need to identify your purpose with volunteering in free time. This can still help you feel like you are achieving your purpose, even if it cannot be your full-time vocation. Cutting expenses is another way to achieve working in lower paid professions, such as taking roommates, eating out less, using pay as you go phone services, and public transport over private cars. I know that sounds drastic, but the question is, is 80% of your life worth being happy or not?
Living your life’s purpose is a choice, and even if your previous choices seem to limit your ability to achieve your purpose now, you can adapt, accommodate, and change in order to achieve your future purpose. You have to do so in a compassionate way that does not hurt others, but will still allow you to be happy in yourself, and what you are doing. Some people see their jobs as a means to an end which is their purpose (i.e. supporting one’s family), but I beg to differ, because families grow up, move away, and we are still left with ourselves and our own purpose. So many fade in retirement, because their purpose centered around others, their work, or their family members, but in the absence of all of those things which can be taken away, what we only control in the end is our own path. Don’t let your path be tied to others in such a way, that if they pass away, leave, or grow up/move out, you won’t be able to continue your journey and still be satisfied.