I’ve had a lot of conversations lately focusing on our current and future positions in life.

I’m guessing that at some point in the near past or present, one of the following has crossed your mind:

  • “Is this job really what I’m supposed to be doing?”
  • “Am I truly happy, or just going along with the norm?”
  • “I am stuck.  I am not happy, and I am in a total rut.”
  • “I know this is not right, but I have no idea how to focus on what the right next step is.”

In the past, I have been through this stage many times.  I have either: changed jobs, gone back to school, or left on a 2 year international volunteering quest to “find my purpose.”

Railroad tracks

I used to BELIEVE that another job, degree, or company could fulfill that one “thing” that I had been missing.  unfortunately, it has taken me 20 years to learn that none of these adventures would prove to be fulfilling if I didn’t  take the time to be 100% truthful with myself .

I have degrees in Wildlife Ecology and International Development. I have worked in education, government contracting, child care, international development, training, and wildlife management. According to my degrees and experience: I should be teaching people to love the earth while lobbying for governmental policy change in a developing country.

If I’m truly honest with myself – That sounds like a TERRIBLE job.  But at one time, I had convinced myself that it was my path.

Why? Because I had convinced myself that it was what I wanted to do for a job, but I hadn’t taken the time to think about what kind of work inspired my soul.  And when I did think about it, I don’t think I was ready to be honest and listen.

It’s key to really consider what kind of mission we want to accomplish while we are on this awesome planet.  Sometimes we have to dig down REALLY deep (past the bullshit degrees, job postings, and advice we get) to find the real answer.

I only recently forced myself to answer hard questions like:

  • What REALLY gets me excited, even if I wasn’t being paid for it?
  • What do I think my “talent” is?  What and I good at that comes incredibly naturally to me?
  • How would I define the ultimate vision for my work – personal and professional?  What do I want to leave the world having done?

When I REALLY took the time to think honestly about those questions, I came up with something like:

I have a talent for being relatable and connecting others, and I love encouraging people to grow themselves. I want to help and energize people to be the best version of themselves possible.

If you are able to dig deep to define that ultimate vision or mission, you then start to realize there could be about 25 different roads you could take to achieve it. It’s up to you to start thinking about which of those roads inspires you to move forward (and is feasible).

I could probably fulfil my “purpose” by being a teacher, life coach, therapist, kid’s soccer coach, a motivational speaker, and more.  Currently, I’m a training and development professional that helps people grow and learn. I know my road has not ended, and I’m excited about what my future holds.

I think we all need to shift the way we view career success.  More and more, we need to be focusing on “What kind of difference do I want to make, and what kinds of roles might make me happy doing it?”

If you are able to shift your thinking from “What job/position should I look for?” to “What’s the undeniable mission I am put on this earth to fulfill?” you might find peace and excitement in the path that appears before you.

Take a chance—dig down deep and embrace what you were put here to do.