This is a guest article from Carrie Severson, CEO of: www.seversonsisters.org
Throughout my 20s, I jumped from job to job. I would get bored right around the two-year mark. I couldn’t find the right job to really fit me just right. The issue wasn’t the job. The issue was me. I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do with my life. Once the job I had felt wrong, I wasted no time finding my next gig.
Until the middle of 2009.
I knew I was at a job I would have to leave someday. Rather than call a friend to talk about it, or jump onto a job web site, I came home from work, sat on my living room floor and surrounded myself with magazines. I was on a hunt for my life purpose.
I decided the best way to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life was first clarify what I liked to do with my time.
I looked through dozens of magazines. I pulled out images or stories that caught my eye. It was a great exercise in stream-of-conscious thinking. I didn’t think about why they caught my eye. If I was intrigued, I tore out the page and put it in the pile!
I’m a visual learner so all the images I pulled created a path. I dug through the pile of images and split the images/stories into different categories based on emotions I felt just by looking at them.
If I felt happy – they went into Pile A.
If I felt playful – they went into Pile B.
If I felt empowered – they went into Pile C.
If I couldn’t pinpoint how I felt – I threw them away! I was done with my own indecisiveness. I was on a search for clear, concrete answers.
I had three piles in front of me. One pile made me feel happy. One pile made me feel playful. And the last pile made me feel empowered. I realized that those were the feelings I wanted to have at my job – throughout my career – not just in my personal life. I wanted to be one of those people who say, “It doesn’t feel like a job because I love what I do.”
To love what I do! In order to love what I did for a living, I had to make some major changes. And I knew just from this one simple exercise that jumping to another company wasn’t the answer.
If you’re anything like me, you’re searching for a way to make an impact in the world. Here are three tips to help you find your clear, concrete path to your own life purpose.
1. Stop Looking Externally
My exercise in stream-of-conscious thinking was a beautiful lesson for me. I realized that I was searching externally for my life purpose. I was expecting to just land at a job that sparked something deep within me. It wasn’t until my magazine image exercise that I realized it was up to me to find the spark and understand myself first. The job would come second. Use my magazine exercise as a tool to help you break any external searching you’re doing right now. Sit down, and listen to your own desires. What makes you feel happy? THAT is your life purpose.
2. Day Dream
Once you know what makes you happy, get creative. Day dream about your most perfect day. In what way could you make a career out of whatever it is that makes you happy? Are you happiest around animals or kids? Make a list of all the ways you could spend your days. Once you’ve done your day dreaming, it’s time to hit the internet highway!
You know what makes you happy. You’ve created a list of ways in which you could carry out happy, soulful days. Now, it’s time to find companies that match you and your desires. Get to know them. Is there a place for you to volunteer at events the company has or within the company itself? Do you want to make a career out of your life purpose or fulfill it during your free time? It’s all up to you! The only key element here is that you TAKE ACTION somehow!
When you’re jiving within the energy of happiness and purpose, things in your life will take a very different shape. You’ll attract in new people, opportunities and ingredients to your life for you to stay in your happy place. When you’re there…you’re living out your life purpose. Keep on riding and dreaming and playing and laughing and enjoying!