Twice in the last week two people reached out to me to have a chat about their life goals and passions. The redundant nature of these conversations inspired me to jot out a post on the difference between doing what you love and loving what you do.
Many people move through life and are happy with their jobs, but feel like they’re not necessarily living their passion. I think because we spend so much time behind our desks and so little time doing what we “love”, a divide is sometimes created. So what do you do when you like your job, but you’re not in LOVE with it?
Here is the thing…..
It is not about what you’re doing but about HOW YOU FEEL doing it. It’s not about figuring about some specific thing or ‘job’ that is your calling. Your truest passion can be something pretty general – maybe you’re passionate about feeling free, or happiest when you’re in nature. Perhaps you are happiest when you are in service of others – running errands for a sick friend or babysitting an overburdened parent. While these passions can seem vague, they are root passions and smart to note. Once you sort out what really gets you going and lights you up, the specifics of what you want to be doing will show themselves to you.
A vague sense of direction is also common when you are exploring, growing and learning how to TRUST yourself. Perhaps this is a time to question the life rules and stories you were taught to have; Now is your time to focus on whether you believe them. Do you really need a full time job in order to feel safe? Do you need a masters degree in order to draw a six-figure income? These beliefs may be unconsciously limiting your choices. (As an example, I have a limiting belief about my access to money – I don’t think I’ll ever have a lot of it! That’s a problem because I WANT a lot of it. So it’s something I have to work on regularly – changing that belief.)
If you’re looking to pinpoint your passion, now is a great time to decide what makes you smile inside, what lights you up. Don’t let others dictate what you HAVE to have in your life IN ORDER TO FEEL a certain way. While a full time job and a mortgage are thought to make you feel secure, maybe you’re happier feeling like you’re constantly jumping off ledges. Maybe risk is a passion, because it inevitably leads to personal growth.
When you trust and tune in to where you’re going, your passions begin to present themselves easily to you. And if they don’t, start with what makes you curious. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray Love, sums this concept up nicely. “Follow your curiosity,” Gilbert says. “Follow it,” she says, and “It might lead you to your passion or it might not. You might get nothing out of it at all except a beautiful, long life where all you did was follow your gorgeous curiosity. And that should be enough too.”
Passions, I have found, can be ever changing. Just because you want to be a nurse today doesn’t mean you want to be one in 10 years. Give yourself permission to change. Relationships change and passions change – these are all growing experiences. When we are growing, we get uncomfortable – this is a very good sign you’re changing. They don’t call them growing pains for nothing.
It’s good to note that perhaps all of your PASSION projects happen outside of your job. Maybe your 9-5 job supports your obsession with yoga or your propensity for sipping expensive wine. It’s up to you to decide whether this is a good or bad thing. I find that practicing gratitude is a huge help in this. Do you need to change your job or your attitude about your job?
So, start with this – make a list of all of the things you LOVE doing. Don’t limit yourself to professional endeavors. Without judgement, just write it out.
Here’s my list:
.Making connections to/for people ie supporting peoples projects
.Being in/on/near the water
What is yours? LIVE YOUR PASSION! Keep me posted.