The path to your just right work must start with you, makes perfect sense, right?
But that’s not how it seems to work for the majority when it comes to this whole ‘who do you want to be and what do you want to do’ thing.
We start getting questions about what do we want to be when we grow up very young from well-meaning relatives and friends.
It’s an innocent question and we typically get all smiley and share with enthusiasm and bright, shining eyes, “I’m going to be an astronaut.” “I’m going to be a princess.” “I’m going to be lawyer like my dad.” Fill in your childhood response, “I’m going to be ____________.”
Then, the school system steps into the conversation, but it’s not cute, light-hearted and innocent anymore. Their involvement sets off a sifting and sorting process that can now begin as early as kindergarten, YES, as early as kindergarten.
The sifting and sorting process can begin as early as kindergarten, yup, kindergarten, think about that!
Which leads to parents competing to get their kids in the best elementary school, if not the best preschool. It’s the most insensitive and ridiculous way to introduce kids to this world.
Who suffers most? The child. Followed by the parents who from this point forward will wrestle with overwhelm and how to manage it all, especially how to pay for it.
This pressure around success and who wins begins before you barely realize you have feet.
The standardized testing begins early and continues throughout your grade school years; a brilliant plan to determine how you’ll serve society’s needs.
We can’t totally dismiss these efforts, after all, we’re each a part of a society and must contribute in some way, right? Absolutely!
What I take issue with is the hidden agenda. The way the system gets us to buy into it all.
I’m also very uncomfortable with others putting themselves in a position to decide for me and for you how this whole school/work thing should unfold for the rest of your life.
Yes, perhaps you’re young, maybe you’re inexperienced, and yes, most of the players in this game are just looking out for you. They want to make sure you get on the right path. But, at what point do you get to chime in and have a say about YOUR life? 18? 21? 30? 40?
I’m not cool with serving as a cog in society’s work assembly line and I’m not cool with you serving in this way either.
The winds of change are a blowin’ in the wacky world of work. Some see and others are beginning to see these winds of change and are moving into formation with them.
Others are holding fast to their traditional approaches in this process and it’s sadly tripping up a lot of folks – young and seasoned alike.
Now more than ever before, you can wiggle out of this traditional mold and kick it to the curb because there are unprecedented opportunities and possibilities to create the lifestyle and worklife you desire.
CHOICE. You have lots of them, but you’ve got to start with YOU.
Starting with you means knowing who you are, how you want to show up in the world, what you deeply care about and what you want to contribute.
Sounds simple, but we all moved through a system that didn’t ask or provide real opportunities to answer these questions.
You’ve grown up in an established structure that’s not really interested in who you really are and what you really want to do.
This is typically considered soft stuff, fluff and in some circles, it’s considered nonsense.
The attitude is to just get a job and do what needs to be done, without all of this talk about passion and doing what you love crap.
So, you’ve got some catching up to do.
Fortunately, there is a small minority of folks who get that the old way is out and what matters more than ever is a workforce of fulfilled contributors who are connected to their work.
And, they don’t want someone else drawing the map for them. They want to draw their own map, and they’re eager to start with themselves to get it done.
Vocation, lifework, calling, whatever you call it, is real. It’s not a myth.
The folks who say it’s a myth are typically folks who have given up their search, are disillusioned, or never started searching in the first place.
Perhaps they didn’t know where to begin. Perhaps they didn’t have anyone to help them. Maybe they gave up too soon. Or, maybe they just have a negative outlook that sees life as something to tolerate.
We can’t simply be what someone else wants us to be OR be whatever we want to be. We are born into this world with innate talents and abilities, proclivities and preferences.
When we explore these and what I like to call our natural rhythm, and align our inner and outer lives, we experience joy, meaning, and fulfillment through our contribution.
Can we function with temporary and occasional spurts of happiness when our inner and outer lives are not aligned? Sure, but it makes life so much harder, and who just wants to function or survive?
Starting with YOU can begin as early as you’re willing to begin.
Some parents understand how important this is and help their kids begin early. Most have/do not. Did your parents or guardians help you answer the following questions?
- Who am I?
- How do I choose to show up in the world?
- What do I deeply care about?
- What do I choose to contribute?
And, did they give you the space and time to really reflect and provide YOUR answers?
If you’ve never been asked these questions, it’s not too late to start answering them NOW. And, it’s not too late to start with YOU.
Grab some paper and a pen or pencil right now. Then, set aside some undistracted time to actually write out your answers to each of the four questions above and don’t spare any details. Write from your heart, not from your head.
Go ahead, stop reading right now, get a pen/pencil and some paper and start writing!
(PAUSE…la, la, laaaa…)
Then, take a close look at your day to day activities and ask yourself if how you spend your days align with your answers. Be honest, be really honest with yourself.
Are you happy with what you discovered? Is it time for a change, a shift?
Don’t know where to start? Need some help figuring out next steps?
You’re in the right place. With your help, I can help you build a bridge to your just right work, differently.
Click here and share with us what you discovered when you answered the above questions. Then, share with us some of your questions about how to move forward and make some necessary changes. Let’s get a real solution-focused conversation started.
This is why I’m on a mission to support student success!
I look forward to hearing from you so I can provide some useful, creative and applicable solutions.
It all starts with YOU, dear student!