How to do work your love: Part 3
One of the greatest pains in life is that of unlived potential….And the sad truth is, if you never figure out what you really want to do, or are fully capable of… you will probably feel lost, stuck, or unfulfilled your whole life.
Sadly I’ve been a witness to this truth first hand and learned that our work significantly impacts our overall joy, fulfillment, and energy in life.
But it’s really easy to get blinded by the financial security vs fulfillment or potential when it comes to choosing your work.
Today I want to share a story of how this can lead you astray in life.
I used to be really embarrassed to talk about this, but over the years I’ve come to see the power in sharing it. So today I’m opening up a little piece of my heart with you...
Financial Security or Fulfillment?
I’ve had to worry about money and the security that comes with it since I was a small girl. My mom was a young single mom who never received child support, and we spent most of my young years moving around trying to hide from my abusive father. As a result she never really got a career off the ground and we relied on government assistance for some of our living expenses.
I saw first hand how this impacted her own self worth and drive in life.
She was a beautiful women with so much potential, but she was never able to really see herself that way.
Instead she took jobs that would pay quick cash, which I now realize was helpful for us to get by in life. But it wasn’t the only option.
It was the easy option, and it deprived her of sharing the special gifts and strengths she had to offer.
My family always told me about how smart, beautiful, and the potential my mom had. She was a shining student, athlete, and the only one of her siblings to go to college. But the women I knew was entirely different.
Over the years I watched her struggle with her self worth and go from bright/cheery in life to dependent on drugs, alcohol, and abusive relationships.
Truthfully this made me so angry and embarrassed at even a young age. But no one ever really knew how bad it was because I was too nervous to speak up. This was the only “home” I ever knew and I was too afraid I would be taken away if anyone knew what was really going on. Plus deep down I was struggling with the guilt of thinking I ruined my mom’s life. But that’s for a whole different topic on the beliefs that limit us in life ;)
But for today let’s stick to the pain of unlived potential and choosing finances vs fulfillment.
I wish I could tell you that this story has a happy ending. That my mom finally allowed herself to pursue the things she really wanted in life. That she got back to challenging herself and enjoying life, but sadly that’s not the case.
My mom actually had her last rights read to her three times. My grandmother and our family had to come to terms with losing her on multiple occasions. But not even multiple second chances seemed to wake her up to more intentional action in life.
Yes she got clean from a substance standpoint, but she never made her self care a real priority. She never fully applied herself to anything that lit her up or challenged her in life.
She lived very numbly in life and over time lost her sense of purpose. Sadly this is what walking through the motions in life leads to over time, a lack of luster and drive in life.
She passed away when I was 27 and it breaks my heart to say but she died alone.
I know this seems like a terribly sad story, and yes it is.
But the story of my mom’s life, losing her, was one of the most impactful wake up calls in my own life. And I hope it can be a similar wake up call for you.
A wake up call
When she passed I began to see life through an entirely different lens. I saw the pain and the loneliness that comes from playing it small in life. From numbly walking through the motions.
I looked at my own life and career differently. I started to realize how precious the time we have is and that when we’re gone, finances and what we do for work, it won’t really matter.
What will matter is the impact we’ve made, the way we’ve made people feel, and the memories we’ve made with those we’ve left behind.
When you look at your life through that lens you start to shift the priorities in your life. You start to see things more clearly and live much more intentionally.
A powerful shift
If you’re looking to do work you love, I want to encourage you to shift your perspective from what can I do, to what can I give. Rather than looking at success in work from a financial standpoint - look at it from an impact standpoint.
At the end of your life, What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to have given the world?
I know it’s deep but it’s powerful.
Part of living out your greater purpose and potential in life is discovering and sharing your own special gifts.
Thinking about what you want to give sheds light on the special gifts you feel called to share.
It gives you insight into what really means the most to you and what your heart truly desires. It helps you rise from a daily job to a mighty mission.
Try it out and see what comes to mind. And for a little extra guidance on reorganizing your life around your true priorities check out my purposeful planning retreat. It’s completely free and a chance for you to go from walking through the motions in life to living with more purpose, passion, and peace.
If you want more insight on living your purpose here are a couple of additional posts for you :)
Later this week I’ll pull it all together and I’ll share the secrets to doing work you love.