Hot Tips, Cool Resources
It's the end of the month and so it's time for some Hot Tips & Cool Resources...but first...
I was at a family get together recently and we somehow got into a big conversation about careers and life purpose. I guess because my nephew is facing that time in his life where he has to make some big decisions about his future.
My nephew is 15 years old, and heading into Year 11 next year. He shared that he was struggling with not knowing what he wanted to do with his life. He said he wasn’t sure what he felt passionate about, and he was equally unsure if it was worth the effort of trying to pursue something he loved.
He asked us all to share our experiences around our career choices.
Specifically he wanted to know three things: 1) if we knew before the end of high school what our passion was, and 2) whether we had successfully created a career from our passion, and 3) whether we felt all the hard work had been "worth it" - i.e., had we found it fulfilling or not.
We took turns sharing while my nephew listened quietly.
My brother and my parents explained that for them, purpose and passion were not clear immediately, but each of them was blessed to find their way to fulfilling careers that brought much satisfaction to their lives.
My mother, for example, had few choices when she left high school. In the 1960's, she was told to become a wife and mother (which she did) and/or get work in a typing pool (which she also did).
She didn't love the administrative work, but it provided her with a lot of flexibility as she was raising us kids, and eventually it led to her being offered a role as a trainer of administrative skills. Mum loved this work, and said if she had had different choices as a teenage girl, she would have probably become a primary school teacher. Sadly, that was just not seen as an option when she was younger. So later in her career, after finding much fulfilment as a mother, she discovered a deep personal satisfaction sharing her knowledge and training others.
The it was my turn to share. I explained that by some freak of nature, I had known exactly what I wanted to do at 15, after taking a subject on psychology in Grade 10. I told him I had been blessed to experience great fulfilment and success pursuing that career. "But...", I told him, "...more recently I've been through a period of feeling really lost and I had to do some jobs that weren’t satisfying. It was challenging, and there were some dark times, but now I see it was all part of making a transition in my career..."
After a lot of soul searching over a number of years, I once again found my way into even more fulfilment as a Life Coach helping others find their purpose (I thought that was quite ironic given our discussion)!
It took courage for my nephew to raise his concerns. He was obviously feeling a bit vulnerable and confused. I hope he got something valuable from our discussion to help him on his path. I think our message was clear and unanimous:
Knowing your purpose in life doesn’t always come easily, but its worth the effort to find out and try to do what you love, as it will fill your life with joy, satisfaction and meaning.
The article below is dedicated to my nephew: Bailey, may you find the thing that fills you up and have the great pleasure of doing it for a very long time! If you know someone that would benefit from reading this article, then please forward this email to them :)
HOT TIPS, ARTICLE
Purpose: Why It's Difficult and Why It’s Worth It.
Finding your life purpose does not always come easily. In fact, it often requires a concerted effort to figure out exactly what lights you up. Some people have a ballpark idea. Others have no clue. This is not unusual. There are exceptions. People who just know why they are here - but they are not common.
For some reason, people think that knowing their purpose should come automatically or easily. And when it doesn’t just appear on request, many people quickly give up. It seems the effort required to uncover their life purpose just feels too big and they quit before they even get started.
Not Knowing Feels Scary
Giving up allows us to avoid feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty and disappointment, which arise as soon as you begin to ponder the unknowns of your lurking passions.
The brain senses both importance and uncertainty and decides it’s better to remain in your comfort zone because it can feel scary to desire a purposeful life and then feel confused or unsure about what that would look like.
So the instinctive brain does its job and tries to protect you from any pain by shutting down your efforts to explore uncertain territory.
And that’s why we need to consciously employ our neocortex (our thinking brain) and reassure ourselves that we are not facing any real or serious danger - just feelings which we can easily learn to manage. We need to manufacture confidence in the face of doubt. We need to hold onto hope when at times, it may feel hopeless. But we can use our big brain to help us with these tasks.
Yes, it will probably take some effort to discover what you want to do with the rest of your life, or how to turn your deepest passion into a fulfilling career. And you will likely feel some discomfort during the process.
Where There’s Effort, There’s Life…
Effort and discomfort exist in life anyway. In fact, I’d argue that doing a job you hate or living an uninspired life takes much more effort and brings much greater discomfort…and there are health issues too!
In fact, research studies have confirmed that people who don't have a clear purpose are more likely to experience health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, dementia and alzheimers. Living without purpose also impacts your memory and has been linked with depression and suicide.
However, for some, these feelings of meaninglessness, frustration, boredom, dissatisfaction and depression are familiar, feel safer, and therefore, are preferable, over uncertainty and vulnerability.
Some people will always choose safety...and that’s their right to do so!
For the rest of us, it takes both courage and a willingness to be vulnerable to reap the rewards of a passionate, purposeful life. We cannot wait for courage to show up. We must engineer it for ourselves.
Effort vs Rewards
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.”
And a purposeful life definitely is “worth having”. There are just so many rewards that you experience as a result of spending your days engaged in things you are deeply passionate about, that align with your values and that you really enjoy.
We shouldn’t need science to tell us this - it's obvious right? But for those who like proof...recent research does indeed confirm that people who do what they love are happier, healthier, more resilient and often achieve greater wealth than their unfulfilled counterparts.
These people have had the courage to look uncertainty in the face and say, “Any amount of discomfort is worth enduring for the possibility of living a meaningful and passionate existence.”
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive , and go do it. Because the world needs more people who have come alive."
- Howard Thurman
Not sure about your purpose? The first step towards knowing your purpose with any clarity is knowing your values (what's important to you)! Complete this simple and fun activity to get in touch with what really matters most in your life right now.
I recently discovered this really cool app called Moodies. What does it do? It tells you what mood you are in! You record yourself or someone else speaking for around 20 seconds and this brilliant little app analyses the primary and secondary mood of the speaker. I tried it recently on a night out with friends and it was scarily accurate! The app is backed by 18 years of research. Check it out via the iTunes store:
NEWS, OFFERS, EVENTS
Building Resilience Workshops
In the first half of the year I ran a number of workshops on the topic of Building Resilience for Stressful Times. I am happy to say these events were very successful and the feedback from each of the groups was really positive. Personally, I really enjoyed the discussions that we had in each of the groups and to see people feeling more confident in their capacity to deal with life challenges.
In the second half of the year I intend to turn the material from this program into an online self-paced coaching package so that people can access it from wherever they are in the world and work through it in the comfort of their own home. For those who have completed the workshop with me, you will be granted access to the materials for free.
I'm looking to run more workshop events in the second half of the year and want to hear from you... Are there other topics you would like me to speak on (or that you would like to see me create as an online course) that would benefit your life??
Let me know by clicking the link to the quick survey below:
'What Topics Interest You?' Survey
In the past few months I have been doing a lot of updating on my website to improve the experience for my coaching clients. A lot of the heavy lifting is now done and you are most welcome to check out the progress here on my main website including my current FREE self-coaching program (Courage, Risks & Rewards) and here on my secondary website which includes a Private Client Portal for my active coaching clients. This is where you will get access to additional resources, free content, and many other benefits to ensure you get incredible results from your coaching experience.
There are additional useful resources here that everyone can access.
Until next month, have a wonderful time focusing on whatever is meaningful to you!
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