“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”Rumi
When we find ourselves at a crossroads with no destination to load into our work-life GPS, it’s so easy to get discouraged and conclude that these words by Rumi simply don’t apply to us. However, I believe they do.
My fascination with loving one’s work began when I was a child. My dad was a truck driver; he hauled produce locally. The first time I went to work with him, I remember sitting in that humongous tractor-trailer, watching him shift those big gears while we bounced in our seats and rode high above everyone else. I observed as he interacted with farmers, fellow coworkers and customers with a smile and such joy. When he arrived home after a long day of work, he would head outside to engage in a variety of other activities that also seemed to bring him joy. To me, he modeled a love for his particular work, inside and outside the parameters of his paid employment.
When I reflect on this experience, having spent a couple of decades studying work-life, I’m convinced that we just get tangled up in the titles, prestige and money, when it’s really about the work itself and our contribution.
I cannot confidently say that driving a semi-truck was the work my dad loved, but he sure seemed to enjoy himself, and everyone he came in contact with seemed to enjoy him. He had a knack for interacting with others, he never seemed to meet a stranger, and he was a creative problem solver. For the record, he did love to drive just about anything – cars, motorcycles, vans and RVs – and he handled an 18-wheeler like the best of ‘em.
I do believe the desire for our particular work has been put in our hearts. Isn’t this evident when we’re children? You can see it in our curiosities and everyday play. Our unique interests, way of exploring our world, and solving problems become clear quite early. So what happens? Oftentimes, that light, that fascination, those sparks get squashed. Well-meaning adults in our lives, for a variety of reasons, gently (or not so gently) nudge us in a different direction. Through their language, what they reward and criticize, and through their modeling deliver the message that we’re not on the right path. Their unrealized dreams, practicality, fears, judgment, etc. take hold, and they believe we “should” be doing something different than what we really want to lean into. The result: all of those shoulds add up to internal conflict, which can jumpstart a lifelong struggle with work-life decisions.
The current zeitgeist is rife with misinformation, mutterings, misunderstandings and myth when it comes to work choice. As a result, many people are leery about veering away from the so-called “safe,” traditional path, or may discourage their loved ones from pursuing their particular work because that wasn’t what they were encouraged to do.
It’s only when we release all of the shoulds from others that the internal conflict starts to subside.
We all have key card access to work we really love, and we don’t need permission to begin swiping it. It takes commitment, persistence, some introspection, unlearning, exploring and uncovering to arrive at the point where we can comfortably, without guilt, pursue the work we love.
And, we must remember that no choice is permanent. We can pivot, change it, or make a different decision at any time. When we know what we want to do and take action in that direction, the “being stuck” disappears, and we feel empowered.
This is why I hosted a free coaching hour, “What If I Have No Clue What I Want To Do Next?” to help you learn how to figure out what your next steps should be, even when you have no clue what to do next in your career.
The point is to make sure that you make space to be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love, and I want to help you find what that is.
~ Coach Robbi