We recently got an e-mail from a fellow Rehumanizer in a "passion crisis", usually a synonym for being at a crossroads or finding yourself at a dead end on the path you are on. She has a myriad of interests and skills that she so badly wants to integrate into her day-to-day, but she doesn't feel them being utilized in her professional life. Although I don't know her personally, her words 100% resonated with me:
"I always had this voice in the back of my head asking me where my passion for this job was. I tried to ignore that gut feeling, that dim red light going off telling me that I was agreeing to a job I didn't feel my heart pulling me into."
Who else has felt that gut feeling? Or noticed the dim red light that indicates something is off? Maybe you've felt this in a relationship when it just isn't quite right. But why might we be more likely to pay attention to this red light when it comes to finding a partner and not finding (or creating) a profession that we love? 9-5 is a long time my friends, and add it up over the years and you're more likely to be spending way more time on the job than with your partner. We better be doing something we are at the very least passionate about! So, then she went on to describe what it felt like working towards her biggest life accomplishment:
"Doing that work ignited me like nothing I have ever done. Going from something so gratifying to something that seems so shallow and selfish is something I can't do. I always took pride in leading a life of passion and not a life focused on my job or career path."
Amen! Raise your hand wherever you are right now if you've ever felt this way! She closed with hope for a new beginning:
"I'm currently finding myself trying to make the terrifying decision of giving up everything without having a plan B. But sometimes that's the only option for us, isn't it? Sometimes we have to put ourselves out there to actually see what is out there."
Alright everyone, brace yourselves for the three ways you can use love to start living your purpose, even if it doesn't involve a career switch, because guess what! The world needs more dreamers and changemakers like you out there. So let's get to it!
1. Analyze Your Flow State
Think about the last time you were in a state of "flow" where time seemed infinite and your body was in full production mode yet simultaneously at peace. When you were so in the moment that nothing could distract you from the task at hand.
Such a state is an extension of love. The flow state is, in essence, love in motion, which is why it's important to analyze how we find it.
Depending on what type of person you are, this state of flow can be achieved in a variety of methods:
- Through creative activities like writing, painting, or redesigning your home.
- By solving a problem or using logic like playing with a rubix cube, fixing something in the house, or putting a puzzle together.
- Being physically or socially active with activities like walking through nature, pumping iron at the gym, or dancing all night with your friends.
What type of activities help you enter your 'flow' state? This is where you will probably find what you love the most. When you are not in flow state, it seems impossible to focus at times, constantly checking e-mail or Facebook. But when you love what you are doing, flow is effortless and time flies!
Note that we don't have to be in flow mode all day every day, but if we integrate it more into our lives, every facet of our life will be positively affected. So let's start working towards your flow standard of living by making sure you get at least one flow state activity in once a day!
2. Reflect on What You Loved Most as A Kid
Ahhh, the good old days. When you had no worries in the world but stepping on dog droppings in the backyard or getting your pants pulled down at school.
Then we hit what everyone loves to call the 'real world', essentially when you start to depend on no one but yourself, no university resources, financial aid, or afternoon nap times. WHAT. At this point, we all feel somewhat coerced to get a job that pays the bills, so we spend our day to day doing something we don't love because it's what everyone does and it seems like the only way. This is not a bad thing. I believe working towards financial stability and independent living is a great thing.
But is it worth ignoring your inner child?
Take a moment right now to think of the things you loved most when you were a kid. What were you fascinated by? What were you doing when your parents came in to tell you it was bedtime and you groaned so loud the dog thought you were its twin?
3. List and Analyze Your Top Five Values
Mine are freedom, independence, creativity, empowerment, and connection. Without these things in my daily life I feel suffocated and lack the ability to put my heart and soul into my work. Here's how I used these values to create a work life that fits me:
- Freedom: I like to wake up and know that what I am going to do that day isn't dictated by anybody but me. Hence why I started my own project and consider the entrepreneurial life a pretty perfect fit.
- Independence: Although I love working in groups, I also value working independently. Another reason leading a freelancer/entrepreneurial life works for me. Rehumanize Me offers a great balance of both!
- Creativity: It is so satisfying to be able to create what I want in the world without anybody's approval. I just do it! And that gives me time to be creative in other ways as well.
- Empowerment: I love empowering people to fulfill their highest potential. I know you are worth so much more than you think and have so many unique ideas and projects to contribute to the world! I hope Rehumanize Me can assist you on your journey along the way.
- Connection: If I could spend all day talking to you and everyone else in the RHM community I would. Which is why I'm so excited to be hosting our first public workshop in Bloomington, IN this December. Hope you can join!
Like I said before, there is no need to switch careers to inject more LOVE into your life. But don't underestimate the things you love if they are calling you to make a drastic change. You, along with everyone else here, wants to live a life of purpose, which is synonymous with living a life of love.
Kimberly Lucht is the founder and Executive Director of Rehumanize Me. She loves uncovering the common ground of humanity through dance and culture and witnessing individuals realize their full potential.