What’s my purpose? Am I on the ‘right’ path? Should I be doing something more ‘spiritual’ with my life? Many of us ask ourselves these questions at various times in our lives – usually at a point where we are dissatisfied with our present employment situation. Perhaps you’re in that situation right now. Your job may not be as fulfilling as you’d like it to be or perhaps you just feel you are the proverbial square peg in the round hole. Perhaps you’re attempting to make changes – applying for something new or looking into upskilling or setting up your own business. Or your dreams of your life’s work are to express your creativity in some way or to help others – but right now it just doesn’t seem to be happening. If so, what can you do?
I recently saw the most amazing film called Searching for Sugar Man. It was a documentary about a singer/songwriter called Rodriguez who in the ‘70’s was signed to a record label only to fade into obscurity in his native United States. He spent the next 40 years working as a construction worker not knowing that during this time he had become bigger than Elvis in South Africa and that his songs were the anthem of the anti-apartheid movement. What struck me about this story was that even when he became aware of his fame on the other side of the world, Rodriguez did not treat his music or ‘celebrity’ as any more or less important than the manual construction work he had been doing. In other words, this man knew that all work undertaken with mindfulness and gratitude is spiritual work and no job is more important than another.
So, if you’re waiting for that career shift to come through, what lessons can you take from this story? As odd as it sounds, first – be grateful you have a job. Perhaps it is boring but it pays the bills. Also, when we are grateful for what we DO have the universe responds by sending us more to be grateful for. So, rather than focus on what’s wrong with your job right now, focus on the fact you have one. There are millions of people around the world who would be grateful for the work you are doing.
Second, detach from the things that annoy you about your work – no matter if it’s your boss, a co-worker or your customers. Don’t take anything personally. Remind yourself there are some things we can’t control in life and those things just aren’t worth pouring our energy into! Also, don’t take work stress home with you. Remind yourself that problems at work stay at work and make sure you have hobbies and pastimes that sustain and empower you outside for work hours. In work hours remember to pace yourself and take a break if you feel things are piling up.
Remember, we don’t need to know what our purpose or our ideal job is to be enjoying our work right now. You may try out several career paths before finding your ‘niche’. Look at what you are doing now as valuable experience. Who knows, skills you are acquiring at your present job may be ones you can use later in another area entirely.
By remembering that all work is spiritual work and we are here to have many life experiences, we then put ourselves in a position where opportunities open up for us. Know that what you are doing is important for you to experience in some way now – and then you will go on to have new and perhaps deeper and more satisfying experiences as a result of this. Our outer work reflects our level of inner work so if you want to change the kind of work you are doing, work on your inner mindset and the outer changes will surely follow.
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