The practical American philosopher Buckminster Fuller famously said "The minute you begin to do what you want to do, it's a different kind of life".
One of the great dreams of our generation is to be doing a job that is closely aligned with our purpose, with our true selves and that is serving the world in some definable way. I love helping people realign their working life with their life's purpose, it truly does create a different kind of a life. Sometimes it's high-stakes thrilling work, other times it's a slow and steady realignment of an existing career to make it more soul-filled. So, how do we know when we have found our life's work?
1. The days fly by. It's 8am, and then, boom! It's lunchtime. Clock-watching is a thing of the past, you are so absorbed in what you are doing. Time takes on a new dimension when you are on purpose. You are present and connected with what you are doing rather than the only pleasure being to cross it off the To Do list.
2. Opportunities come to you easily. Contacts. Contracts. Clients. Connections. You are not fighting against the flow. You meet the perfect next client randomly at the tombola staff at the school fair. You see a newspaper article that gives you the contact you need to collaborate with in your venture. An email pops in asking you if you are interested in your dream opportunity. You feel lucky as stuff just seems to work out.
3. You feel you are "serving" in some way. It might be getting the best price for stakeholders. It might be mentoring young managers for success. It might be teaching others that food can be a powerful medicine and seeing their bodies heal and respond. You feel that you are giving of your best and that it's making a difference to the world in some way.
4. You don't have to rely on your game face. The you at work is the same you as at the netball court and in the supermarket. You feel authentically yourself, pretty much most of the time. You can allow yourself to shine at work and at home without a facade or pretence. That is relaxing: ah!
5. Money is your friend. There is a big myth that you can't earn good money doing what you love. That by working in your field of passion you will be so lucky to do so that you will automatically be poverty stricken! It's a deeply unhelpful belief. In my experience clients who start to realign their working life with their passion almost always amaze themselves by making more money than they did in their comfort-zone passionless job.
6. Monday is a good day. Sunday evening blues are a thing of the past. You are energised and excited about what the week has in store. Even the tough stuff. Hello Monday!
7. You back yourself. You know you are doing what you are meant to be doing, when you know you have the fortitude to overcome whatever hurdles or obstacles there may be along the way. Being on purpose gives you confidence and resilience.
8. People want to help. It's an amazing phenomena but it happens pretty much without fail. When someone starts to get on purpose they will be dazzled with opportunities, ideas and offers of help from the most unexpected and unlikely places.
9. You speak the truth. To yourself and to others. Integrity is naturally high. You don't need to kid yourself or anyone around you. You say what you mean, and you do what you say.
Living your purpose doesn't mean there are no curve balls or that things are not repetitive now and again. It doesn't mean that the GST doesn't need to be done and all the filing magically disappears or that the kids clear up after themselves. Even when you do what you love there is still stuff that doesn't rock your world all the time. The thing is, though, it matters less. It's less annoying. Why? Because you are so connected to the big picture of why you are doing what you are doing. You can feel a rightness to your days so the little annoyances are so much less irritating. You can bask in the big picture of life unfolding as you feel in your heart that it should.
Your vision of your life's purpose might be grand, or it can be incredibly humble. It might make no sense to anyone else, but you will feel it in your heart and soul when you connect with it and you take the brave steps to align with it.
Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise, visit positivebalance.co.nz