For much of my adult life and career, I thought my calling in life was singular, something that needed excavation. I imagined myself joining different networking communities, taking on new projects, and using my curiosity as a sieve that would help me discover my diamond in the rough. The skies would part and I would feel a sense of peace.
That moment never came. And my curiosity started to pair with an existential anxiousness. Where was my diamond? Why couldn’t I just find it already, and how come other people around me seemed to know? Was everyone else pretending?
After working with a coach and a recent career planning discussion with my manager, I realized I had it all wrong.
My calling isn’t a singular diamond in the rough, it’s living every day in alignment with my value system. Below are just a few questions that helped me learn this lesson and reclaim my peace.
- What are 3 key words or phrases that describe you?
- What’s the greatest compliment someone has paid you? Why?
- How do you want people to describe you when you retire?
- What does a great day and a bad day look like? Why?
- What are your values?
If you find the above too abstract or difficult (I certainly did!), I found this article to be a helpful companion. Here’s a brief summary:
- Take a moment to identify important areas in your life (e.g. family, friends, career, community, health, etc.). For each of those areas think about a time you were best in this area. Be as specific as you can.
- Once you are done, go back and underline key words or themes that stand out to you. Choose words that are action-based vs. emotion-based. Our emotions may not be something we choose but our actions are more within our control. For example, if I value being happy (emotion-based) I’m likely to set myself up for an ideal that I can’t reach. Instead, if I value freedom to create (action-based) which brings me happiness, I can cultivate space for creativity.
- Based on this you can start to build a mission statement or your personal guiding principles. How do you want to be in these areas? If faced with any choice, what will guide your decision?
How have you cultivated your passion(s), your values? What helped you get there?
This article is cross-posted from my LinkedIn post. To leave a comment check out my original post.