“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” You’ve no doubt heard that saying before, but what does it really mean? Can you truly earn a living by shopping, reading books or gardening?
Well, sometimes. But simply put, work is less stressful if it involves something you’re passionate about. No matter what you do, there will always be days where you have to perform tasks that are tedious or even unpleasant. If you care about what you’re doing, you’ll be able to see past those times to the greater satisfaction you receive overall.
In other words, don’t decide to become an accountant if you could barely stand high school algebra just to get a big paycheck. As grown-ups, though, we often get caught up with obligations and responsibilities and lose sight of exactly what it is that revs our engines.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to rediscover that spirit of wonder and enthusiasm. Here are five steps you can take to find those activities and interests that make your light shine a little more brightly.
1. Think back to your childhood and what inspired you back then. Don’t limit your examination to academic topics. How did you enjoy spending your playtime? Find a way to translate those pursuits into career choices.
2. Start a collage of images, quotes, articles and other materials that spark your creativity. At some point a greater picture will emerge and you’ll be able to connect the dots and find some possibilities.
3. Follow a virtual mentor. Role models serve a valuable purpose at any age. Identify people you admire who have been successful in areas you would like to pursue. Learn from their actions and apply those lessons to your own blueprint.
4. Start small. Don’t wait until all the stars align. Get your feet wet by doing some part-time or volunteer work in your chosen area.
5. Take a break to indulge in some of your favorite activities. Returning to your examinations with a refreshed mind can help you gain some new insights.
Stress and burnout don’t have to be the consequences of a successful career. Find a purpose you love and work will be renewing, not depleting.