“I think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. Most of us, like the assembly line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.” – Nora Watson
In a survey conducted by Life On Purpose Institute, Inc. one of the highest ranking life issues or challenges was job dissatisfaction. It appears that people are working more and enjoying it far less. Few things in life can be more frustrating or stressful than being in a job you hate, yet can’t seem to leave without creating even more stress and frustration by not being able to pay the bills.
Talk about a catch-22 situation. Do you presently find yourself in a boring, life-draining job? But every time you explore getting another job, everyone expects you to do essentially the same kind of work? And the jobs that look most exciting, you don’t have any previous experience or training in? Do you feel trapped in such a vicious career circle?
It’s Time to Put the Horse Before the Cart Where It Belongs
I’m going to suggest a shift in perspective. I’m suggesting to you that there’s nothing wrong with your life and not even anything wrong with the way the system is set up. Instead, perhaps you simply have the cart before the horse.
I honestly believe that the reason so many people are unhappy with their jobs is because they started working without first knowing who they truly are and why they are here on Earth. In other words, they don’t know their life purpose.
After all, most of us had to start work pretty young in life, many times before we even began to think about the purpose or meaning to our lives. You may have first gone to work as a teenager for a little extra spending money. You probably didn’t think much about what kind of work you’d be doing. You just wanted some way to make enough money to do the other fun things you wanted to do. But, it was long before you found you had to go work to make a living — to pay the bills, and put food on the table. It’s likely the notion of finding work that nurtures your soul and spirit didn’t even flash across your radar screen.
And before you knew it you were trapped in the vicious circle of a deadening job.
Or you might have even thought your work was your life purpose, which is another common trap many people fall into. Take my dentist’s father for example.
When my dentist learned that I was a life purpose coach, his first remark was, “Boy, my father could sure use you.” He went on to explain that his father had been a prominent and successful physician in the community for close to 40 years, but recently had to stop working due to his health. “He’s miserable. He feels like he has no purpose in living.”
This can also happen with the roles you play in life. What happens when you mistakenly think your role as parent is your life purpose and then all your kids grow up and leave home? Your purpose moves out with them. The empty-nest syndrome often results in a very empty feeling as well – the emptiness of not having any real meaning and purpose in your life.
So, I’m suggesting that your life purpose isn’t what you do, nor the roles you play in life. But, if you’ve been thinking this way, you have simply had the cart before the horse, and you’re likely to stay stuck in that boring job that doesn’t nurture your spirit.
But What if I Don’t Have a Clue What My True Purpose in Life Is?
You may be asking yourself, “Well, if my life purpose isn’t what I do then what is it? If it’s not my job or career, and it’s not even the roles I play in life, like being a good parent, employee, or spouse – than what is it??
Those really are key questions – questions which start you traveling down the purposeful path. And once you’re on the path it’s inevitable that you will eventually gain clarity of purpose as long as you remain on the path and engage in the process. Of course, this process often takes years, especially if, in the meantime, you remain stuck in work that numbs the heart and mind. All of which is complicated further if you’re surrounded by a bunch of other people caught in the very same trap, who may be so resigned about it, that they aren’t even fully aware how trapped they are. But they will do a good job of not supporting you or anyone else who’s interested in escaping. Feel familiar at all?
Waking Up to What’s Been Missing is the First Step
Realizing that there’s nothing wrong about your life but only something missing – namely not knowing your true purpose in life – is the first step along the purposeful path. But where do you go from there?
The next step really depends how ready, willing and able you are to proceed. It’s likely that if you’ve read this far, there’s something about what you’ve been reading that resonates with you. It may even have upset you a bit as you’ve realized how long you’ve allowed yourself to be remain trapped. If so, the questions really are, “Are you going to do anything about it? If so, what?”
I’d like you to try on one other thought. I’d like you to consider that it’s no accident that you and I have been connected in this way. I’d like for you to consider that perhaps, just perhaps you were guided to read this article so you could begin to answer those last questions. And here is why I’m saying this.
About 13 years ago, I started down my own purposeful path, after having spent the first 40+ years caught in my own purposeless trap. It eventually led me to clarifying my own life purpose. You see, an integral part of my life purpose is the possibility of all people living purposeful, passionate and playful lives of service. What I mean by that is that I truly feel it’s possible and paramount for each of us to know our life purpose. When we do, that purpose becomes fueled by our passion for living it fully and playfully in the service of others.
Does that make sense to you? Does that resonate with you at a deep, soulful level? If so, I’d like to offer several ways you can move forward along your own purposeful path to clarifying your live purpose so you can live true to it. By the way, it is also the path out of the vicious career trap. How do I know? Because, not only have I followed that path, but I’ve been privileged to work with thousands of others, serving as their guide along the purposeful path as a life purpose coach.
It is to this that I have dedicated my life. It’s why I founded Life On Purpose Institute. It’s one of the major ways I express and fulfill on my own life purpose.