Are you one of the many people who find themselves at the intersection of where you are and where you want to be? The main aspect to remember is that you are not alone.
We have all gone through rhythms of joy, fear, dumbfound and plain old,
“What the heck am I doing here?”
About 9 years ago I was working as a graphic designer for a company where I was creating CTP (computer to plate) outputs for a Heidelberg printer. The press operator was a great guy to work with, and I still work with him in my own business. However, the owner was a very difficult man to work for (way too many reasons why and not the point here). I was still running my own company at the time and thought I could make it through my daytime job by having my own joy-filled work in the evenings and weekends. Was I wrong. Every time my partner would pick me up from work at the end of the day (we had one car), I jumped in the car and shouted “DRIVE!” It was all I could do to ask her if she could just slow down, not stop, fling open the passenger side and like the Dukes of Hazzard, pull away from the enemy. Something was gradually happening inside of me that didn’t rear its ugly head until I really sat down and pondered why I was so tired, unmotivated, feeling like I was losing my voice. I was dying from the inside out.
Fortunately I saw the progression and where it was heading. I caught it in time before I lost my sense of self. I left there and started working for myself full-time.
I choose to let my soul live.
On the wall of my office is a statement that I read every time I walk into it in the morning, throughout the day and every time I need a bit of a reminder. It states,
“Wish It…Dream It…Do It.”
Just let that resonate within you for a moment. Don’t rush. You are the navigator to your sense of fulfillment, the orchestrator of the music of your life and the one who knows yourself best. Don’t sell your soul to just exist, find a way to truly live.
Finding our place is a momentous task in itself, but eat that elephant a chunk at a time (Not that I am promoting the harming of any animals – but that phrase just fits).
Who are you? I mean, really, “Who are you?” What are you interpersonal skills, your talents, your desires? Are you an entrepreneurial spirit, or more of a manager and organizer? Do you prefer to cloister yourself in code with all of the lights off and get joyed by the glowing jQuery on your computer? Knowing the finer points of you will help to discover if you are heading in the right direction.
We are often having to wear many hats in our daily lives which often flows into our work. I love the design aspect as well as the project management and the down and dirty coding. It allows the artist and the mathematician in me to breathe. It is a harmonious balance for me. Maybe you prefer one specific area, or a couple of seemingly unrelated work identities that make sense to you. I think our careers are like a good pair of jeans that have accompanied us on camping trips, cleaned out the garage or just relaxed on the couch. It takes time to get them to fit ‘just right’. We have to allow time to weather our steps. I believe the path we take is not just a well lit straight highways, but rather a well worn path in the woods.
Sometimes it rains and you get your feet dirty, but it allows you to see the beauty and view that gets revealed as you go.
When you take that first step to allow yourself to be honest with yourself you have taken a choice to allow your voice to be heard. Use a vision board to post up clippings and ideas or words that mean something to you. Make your possible future working identities more visible and tangible. Don’t just write down your ideas on scrap pieces of paper or in Evernote (or whatever digital tool you use) and leave it there to collect dust. Plan and implement. Make it measurable and assess often. Find a good friend or colleague you can be accountable to. Seek out a corporate mentor. Just do it.
When your soul knows it has been heard and it allowed consistent input into who you are and where you are going, there is a sense of balance, ‘rightness’ and peace.
You deserve to dream. So what’s stopping you?
Here are a couple of links to some personality tests to help you discover you.