20 guiding habits to finding work you love
Finding work you love is everyone’s ideal. Sadly, less than a third of Americans report doing work they love. I am fortunate to work with clients every day that are on a journey to a new future for themselves and their work. In fact, they are talking about a future that they find authentic and meaningful; not without challenges, but inspired and impactful. They are each growing in their careers or starting new businesses. They are changing careers or leading new companies. But there some similarities between their paths that they are learning, or have learned to live by in this journey. I call them the guiding habits for creating or manifesting work you love.
20 guiding habits
- Think big.Have a big vision of what you intend to accomplish from the get-go. Get out of your head trash and go to the place that causes your hands to shake because it would be exciting and scary. Stop listening to the people who say you can’t.
- Don’t play small. When your vision isn’t big enough, you only accomplish the middle of the dream. Sometimes your idea of “realistic” is really code for not knowing how to get there, or a mindset that it’s not possible. Sure, you can stay there for a little while, but go back to #1 – inspire yourself.
- Fail big. Fail often. Fear of failure is a waste of time. I get it, failure stings. Actually, it’s not a failure when you learn from it. Better to do it soon though, before giving away your time, which isn’t a renewable resource. Remember your strengths. Most of all, take time to assess – but don’t stay there.
- Value your time more than money. So don’t waste your time on the 80% (Pareto’s 80/20 principle), or on networking without connecting the dots.
- Invest in yourself. Get a coach and a mentor. Sign up webinars and classes. Read every day. Because there’s not enough time to learn it all on your own.
- Creativity is key to your success. Actually, it’s a mindset change. It requires putting yourself into a state of absorption, and fearlessness. Be a maverick. Get out of your ruts. Learn to rest and recharge.
- Focus on your strengths. You can spend a lot of time focused on trying to improve your weaknesses. If they are relational, work on them. Otherwise, outsource your weaknesses and the things you hate doing. Stop thinking no one can do it as well as you – delegate!
- Do uncomfortable things. If it’s comfortable, you know you’re not pushing enough. Sometimes setting goals is the first place to push yourself. A little discomfort leads to productivity.
- Speak up. If you don’t tell the world what you are doing or thinking, they won’t know about it. Contribute your observations or successes to your team, to your customers, and to your community.
- Get others to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This goes hand in hand with #11.
- Be vulnerable. Let people in. Since the state of being vulnerable can be an act of courage, this kind of risk-taking isn’t passive but instead, is actively being willing to put it out there in reaching for the greatest rewards as you define it.
- Promote yourself. Just do it a genuine way. Bring your whole self. Don’t wait to be seen. Write, comment, vlog.
- Your competitors are your role models. Study and learn from them. It’s where you will recognize not only how you’re different, but how they interact internally, externally, and ethically and how you interact.
- See yourself as a contributor in your field. Don’t exclude yourself because you are new or inexperienced. When you’re new, you see things with fresh eyes and fresh ideas.
- Take care of yourself. This is a long journey. You need healthy mind, body, and heart. Make your own self-care plan and stick to it. It’s not a badge of honor to be exhausted.
- Find a powerful support group.A mastermind. A small group of like-minded colleagues. Find people who will help you grow, make connections, truly see you, and keep you accountable.
- Find inspiration and guidance in those who have mastered what you are trying to accomplish. Reach out to them. Follow them on social media. Doing work you love is a journey of discovery.
- Share your expertise freely. Give more than you take. Don’t hoard information. Let people learn from you. The more you give, the more you receive – in relationships and inspiration.
- Pursue your passion for its fire, inventiveness and life force. Your inspiration is what gives you the fuel you need even in the dark days. Don’t let anyone dampen it.
- Nurture patience. Finding/doing work that you love is a process. No one is an overnight success. There will be down days. (see #3, #8)
Mindset and heart space
Remember that your mindset and attitudes underpin the whole journey to doing work you love. Creation and manifestation are acts of courage. In making a transition, it’s not just understanding the past, but what you can change about it to move on. For many people, uncertainty can overwhelm: it can be difficult to see which path to take, in the midst of change or transition. So, stop going it alone. Ask for help. And bring your hesitancy, your disappointed, overwhelmed, or confused self on a new journey toward the life you deserve. When you allow yourself to deeply listen to yourself, you will gain clarity and passion for doing work you love.