Tag Archives: Passion

Mid-winter unemployed person rant

I haven’t found a voice for this blog so I never know what to write, despite having lots to say. My sister can tell you. She’s my only friend right now, and so she hears a proportionate amount of my mind vomit, which would be all of it.

Maybe I just don’t like my voice, and so I don’t write. Or make friends. Or wash my hair every week.

Anyway, essentially, this is the news: I arrived in Toronto on the 19th of January, and my friend has been letting me sleep on her couch ever since (thank God). She lives downtown, so I’ve been spending a lot of my time walking around, handing out resumes. No bites, except for a couple corporate (blegh) interviews (you know that means they went really well), and today: I scored an uber part-time job. I should be happy, but should I really? With an earning potential of $330 a month after taxes?

I’m also soul-searching, as always. I tell myself that this is an admirable thing to be doing and that I’m one of the few who are “awake” and that is basically the only thing that gets me through the day. If I’m wrong about any of this, shhhh.

I did realize that I really have to focus my energy on what I want, if I ever want to get it. I’ve been paying attention to my jealousy, because it’s supposed to tell you important things about yourself. The problem is that I’m jealous of pretty much everyone.

I’m jealous of musicians, actors, novelists, comedy writers, stand-up comedians, improvisers, life coaches, entrepreneurs, and anyone at all who has their life together, which is confusing because then I’m tricked into thinking I want to be things like doctors and nurses.

… would that be so bad?

Anyway, I think I’ve narrowed down my field of career interests to things that are creative. I want a creative career, and I haven’t, up until now, been able to admit that to myself.

I want to sing. I want to play piano.

I want to write books, TV shows, films.

I want to make movies.

I want to paint or draw or something.

I want to be on stage. Doing what? Beats me. (Oooor maybe it doesn’t. Maybe I want to do comedy and improv, but to say that’s what I want is so scary because I’m so bad at it.)

When I get confused and overwhelmed by everything I want to do, I try to clear the table by asking myself what my passion is, and what I spend my time doing anyway.

Well, here’s the thing: I don’t have a passion. Okay, I’m sure I do, but I can’t answer this question as easily as it’s meant to be answered. I haven’t had an obsession with singing or acting or whatever since I was a toddler. I’ve come to have serious beef with people in interviews who say “Well, I’ve always been a ___. I couldn’t have imagined doing anything else. People always told me I would be doing ___. I love my life. I have been chosen.”

What did I do? I dabbled. A lot. And I was good at some things. But I wouldn’t say that dabbling itself is a passion of mine, because I’m extremely frustrated at my lack of skill at anything.

And what I spend my time doing isn’t a good indication of what I should be doing, because I hate that I spend all my time on the computer or on Facebook or wondering what I would love to be doing.

When I finally do carve out time to practise the things I think will make me happy, I get super anxious, especially when I sit down to write fiction. So much crap comes out, which is actually probably my 14-year-old self’s backlogged ideas rearing their crappy little heads.

Okay, so I know this is all common for people my age. While it can be soothing to hear that sometimes, it just mostly doesn’t help at all.

I also know that passion comes from passion, so it’s my job to make passion with what I have, not to find it in something external. But I alsoalso know that as a human being, I’m entitled to a couple crybaby moments in the face of something difficult I have to do.

Anyway. Progress? Maybe.

I still get tricked into thinking I want to be a real estate agent when I see one in a suit, buying a round of drinks for his friends, though.

So really, I don’t know what I’m doing.

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Using Your Intuition to Buy a Car

I’ve been dreaming of a car for the longest time.

I love driving, I’m planning to travel, and the feeling of independence and not having to RELY on others to get me around will feel AMAZING. I truly can’t wait.

I don’t have much money to spend on a car, and I know that the universe knows what’s in my bank account. I also know that money can come from surprising places, so I placed my order with the universe, and I THOUGHT that I wasn’t muddling it up by worrying about the money.

I’m okay with used. So, I asked for: safety, ability to sleep inside and carry everything I own, a heating system that works, a colour that makes me happy, nothing to fix up, gas economy, low cost, relatively low KMs since I want it for long-distance travelling, preferably space for 5 people, something easy to drive and with a window at the back (I like my rear-view). I asked for the search to NOT be stressful, and lastly, I asked for something that just feels right.

I imagined what the perfect car would feel like, and it was awesome. I didn’t know what to expect, because I couldn’t picture anything that would fit all those requirements. I had been thinking about a camper van, BUT those aren’t super good on gas, or a pick-up with a cap, but sometimes you can’t see out the back of those. So I just relaxed, acknowledging that I am very unfamiliar with most types of cars.

But, I could feel that there was a conflict in my vibration, and I couldn’t figure out how to clean it up. I had the feeling that I wouldn’t find what I wanted.

Then–surprise! My friend found an ad on Kijiji for a station wagon. What a great idea! It fit every single requirement.

I went to see the car in the ad today, and it was absolutely perfect. The only thing is… it doesn’t feel right.

Still, when I was there, my impulse was to buy it. I know nothing about cars, and I can be relatively certain that this one will not be a problem. I also don’t like dealing with competing buyers, or waiting too long to get what I want, and I am really anxious to get the whole insurance/registration nightmare over with, so I really feel like just getting it all done. (Notice how this is all about avoiding discomfort!)

But when I think about bringing it home and driving it across the country and finally having the freedom I had dreamed of… I don’t feel excited. I almost feel like I’m buying a dress that fits just because it’s on sale, knowing I won’t wear it unless I have to.

My logic = yes, but my intuition = not yet. So frustrating!

It also kind of feels like when I took my last office job; logically, it was a good idea… but inside, I just felt so constricted.

So, I decided to let myself settle down a bit. I told myself that what I really want is to think about it, and if someone takes it while I’m thinking, it wasn’t meant to be. I thought about how I would feel if someone else did take it while I was making my decision… and I wasn’t upset–there would be other cars. THAT’s when I knew I was in the proper state of mind to make a decision: I had let go of attachment to outcome.

So what do I do? What’s my decision?

If there are other cars, why am I in such a hurry to buy now? I literally found the ad for this car 2 days ago, and I’m ready to buy it. I could just as easily find something tomorrow, and have a car by Friday. What’s the rush? Why am I so agitated?

ANNDDD here we are. I’ve just identified the part of my vibration I wasn’t able to clean up before. There was something in me that was attracting something less than what I was dreaming of–a disbelief that I could get what I wanted for the price I wanted to spend, a willingness to settle for less, a belief that there are only a few cars out there that satisfy my requirements. Scarcity. That’s what I expected, and that’s what I got.

Though I’m not a huge fan of the expression: it’s right here in front of me, a clear manifestation (makes me think of bugs) of my vibration.

So, do I swim in it, or do I clean it up? Do I stay here, or do I raise my standards?

Do I take the car despite this vague feeling that there’s one out there that is really fit for ME? If I settle for this, what else will I settle for?

I was afraid that if I walked away from this, I would feel as constricted as I did before. Trapped, dependent, small.

But something strange is happening.

As I consider moving right along on my merry way, the world is opening up.

Saying yes would have been easy. Which makes sense, because this car is evidence of where I’m at, and where you’re at is always easy.

Saying NO is the hard thing. Opening up to something you haven’t experienced, trusting that something better is out there, politely refusing without feeling like you’re missing out, THAT’s the hard thing. But that’s exactly what life is about.

This isn’t about buying a car, or even about buying freedom or independence. It’s about what I’m WILLING to let myself have in life. There’s infinite possibility out there, and in saying NO, I acknowledge it’s there & open myself up to receiving it.

And I truly believe this.

I actually feel way better saying NO than I would if I said YES. It feels like I’m taking a quantum leap, and that now, only better things are on their way to me.

Looking at ads that made sense but made me a little sad has led to this point. I could have heeded my emotions and, early on, paid attention to better fits, but I decided to follow the path all the way to the “NO TURNING BACK” sign, and that’s okay. Well really, I could always have turned back, I just would have been a little poorer and had a crappy car to sell.

Next time though, I’ll know better. 🙂

Where are you doubting your intuition? What would happen if you honoured your emotions? Is there a path you’re on that you know is just a detour, and can you get off of it now?

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Making Money vs. Being Happy

Lately, I’ve been spending almost every second of my day thinking about what kind of business I want to start. Nothing feels right… but now I know why: I’m too focused on bringing things to me, rather than letting them flow from me. I don’t spend enough time making myself happy, giving myself what I need and developing the skills I can’t help but use.

For some reason, shifting my focus from money to myself feels dangerous–so I know I’ve hit something important, because that’s ridiculous. I decided to sit down with myself today to unravel a belief that was keeping me stuck:

:: If I were to make myself happy with no concern for money, I would experience a slow decline into bankruptcy.

In other words, if I were to focus on being happy and ignore the job search, the business start-up, and generally ways to bring money into my life, there would be not enough money coming in to support my spending, and I’d end up, ultimately, unhappy.

I don’t like this belief, and focusing on income is not how I want to live my life–but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I spend a lot of time thinking, but nothing gets past the brainstorm stage because nothing feels right. I don’t want this–I want to be happy, create effortlessly, and spend my time with people I love and in places that comfort & nourish me.

So, I’m trying to reprogram myself to believe something else.

Here we go:

:: Making myself happy benefits and provides value to others. Even though being happy is its own reward, when people truly benefit from something, they love to give in return.

:: Being on the happy path is being on my true path, and the universe conspires to support me on this path.

:: Not only that, but to be happy, I love creating things that people enjoy. So I should focus on making myself happy and creating value… and everything will flow back to me from there. 

So, this is what I have to do:

I need to start with being happy. That can mean thinking different thoughts, taking care of myself and spending time doing what I love doing.

I’ll always come across people who want something from me, but if I’m practised at being happy, I can quickly turn away whatever brings me out of that state, and I’ll also quickly recognize when I can draw from my favourite skill set to solve a problem–and I’ll be happy to do it. AND, the recipient will be more than happy to reward me. If they aren’t, then a long-term financial relationship isn’t in the stars anyway.

I’m realizing that I still need to figure out what makes me happy and which skills I love to use, even though I thought I had figured that out. I know this because in the coming months I have some wide open time… and I’m feeling a little bit afraid that without the responsibility & satisfaction of a job, I won’t know how to take care of myself.

And this is the MOST IMPORTANT part. We only truly have control and responsibility of our own lives, so this is where we need to place our focus. Most of us have grown up being taught and believing that we have a responsibility to be of service to others. And while that can certainly be satisfying, the spin-off of that is that somewhere inside, we believe that someone is going to save us. We wait for the true love, we wait for the perfect job opportunity, we wait for something to change, for our friends to be nicer to us, for our parents to stop nagging us, for happiness to come. It doesn’t work that way… we’ve got to create what we want.

And, I truly believe that the best way to heal & inspire anyone is to be an incredibly uplifting presence. The people who most inspire me are those who are tapped in to their own happiness and support themselves, and that’s why I believe that it’s possible for me. I love believing that I am responsible for me.

I also believe that we love to be of service to others, not only as an uplifter, but in many other ways. So you can’t make yourself truly happy without engaging and co-creating with others. And THEN… the money will come.

I need to spend less time thinking and scheming.

This is going to take trust, but if that’s what it takes to live passionately, I’m going to have to try it out.

Long story short:

Step 1 (all-time most important step): Light yourself up.
Step 2: Create, create, create, have fun.
Step 3: Pay attention to where you can be of service.
Step 4: If you’re inspired to, create, create, create, have fun.
Step 5: Money rolls in. 

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Why Is Everyone Else So Much Smarter Than Me?

Do you feel like everyone around you always knows so much about all this stuff, leaving you mystified about how the hell they spend their time?

Do you have trouble concentrating when you read? Do you feel inferior, not clever enough, like you’re missing out on the information that matters? Like other people’s lives must be so much more interesting than your own?

Do you ask yourself:

Why does everyone know this and I don’t?
Why do I never have anything to talk about?
Why do I  feel so out of the loop?
Why can I never recommend a resource to others–why is it always me asking the questions?

When I felt like nothing excited me, like I didn’t know how to light myself up, I would ask myself these questions. Nothing I found to read was interesting to me, and I couldn’t stay focused. People who had found something to obsess about were the objects of my obsession, essentially.

So this is what I did: I added TONS of stuff to Google Reader. I added whatever I found remotely interesting, anything that I felt I might want to come back to, anything I thought other people were reading. Eventually, I had so much stuff on there that I could, if I wanted to, spend hours reading or looking at photos without leaving the application. I didn’t have to get through any boring articles or spend time wondering what to read in order to stay focused or up to speed with others!

Something interesting happened, though… I didn’t use Google Reader for very long. Not because it’s not great, but because I started learning and getting interested by so many other things, online and otherwise, that I just didn’t have time… and it started being a little boring. Whaaaaaaat? I knew I had the Reader as a backup, I had cracked the code, so I was free to read, learn and do whatever I wanted. I couldn’t even have imagined that being possible, but it happened, and that whole insecurity of mine is now GONE.

Really, it comes down to confidence. Follow your passion & interests, and you’ll find a never-ending wormhole of information. Kind of like what happens on Youtube–but expanded to books, magazines, websites, people, places, etc. It doesn’t really matter if you have nothing to talk about… you’re probably with the wrong crowd anyway. But finding your people and having good conversations sure does feel nice, and that’s more likely to happen when you’re enjoying and staying captivated by your life.

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Choosing Your Motivation

It seems I’m on a mission to find the perfect career to satisfy both my generous and selfish inclinations. After reading posts about lightworkers and darkworkers on Steve Pavlina’s website, I though long and hard about, first of all, whether this theory even made sense to me (I think it does), and who I am at my core. I’m not sure, but I think right now my behaviour shows evidence of a mixed polarity. I have lightworker ideals but I have darkworker inclinations. He says that living with a mixed polarity is not very effective nor is it helpful, but that’s what most people do.

Basically, lightworkers are committed to serving other people, and darkworkers are committing to serving themselves. You can read more here. Whether or not you identify with the theory, I think it’s useful to pretend you do, just to see where your mind goes and what new insights you discover. Then you can reframe those insights however you want.

Out of the two, I think I am drawn to the lightworker mindset. Steve encourages everyone to pick a polarity and to run with it in order to achieve any sort of success. I thought about whether or not I am being effective right now, and whether choosing a polarity would benefit me. I think it would, so perhaps I should adopt a lightworker mindset, at least for a while.

When I took the job at the office, working for an Aboriginal band, I thought that it might fulfill me because I am intelligent and the position I was offered would enable me to problem-solve for those who need it. There were two things I overlooked when making this decision. First, the job did not enable me to use my core strengths nor to build on and use the knowledge I already had. Second, it was full-time and required a constant outpour of work on my part–there was no time to reenergize, and I felt completely drained at the end of the day. It wasn’t a sustainable way of life for me, at all, because it did not enable me to refuel to the extent that I could continue giving.

I was frustrated because I believed in my company, but something was missing. I was running out of energy and becoming bitter. I had repressed my creativity and it was ready to gush out, probably in bad ways. So after I quit, I launched myself into creative endeavours–painting, photography, etc.

And now, I am extremely annoyed that I’m becoming bored. I know that I’m a creative person and I’m constantly coming up with ideas for projects, but I just don’t feel like following through with them. What the hell? Am I lazy?

I’m considering that maybe I’ve been hopping too often between the lightworker mindset and the darkworker mindset. Every time something doesn’t work, I try to define myself in a whole new way: first, I think “maybe I’m here to serve others,” and then when I burn out, I think “no, I’m here to be creative and happy.” Instead of trying to simply satisfy what might be a temporary need on the first path, I overfeed, and I become deficient in the opposite way. In a way, I guess, I’m testing out each mindset, but I don’t get anywhere because I don’t buy into either completely.

I did come up with one idea: I could start a business that would use my strengths, allow me to create and also provide significant value to those in need. But let me tell you, that is a hell of a puzzle to solve. All I’ve been sure of for the past few months is that I have to find an idea for that business, but I’ve still got nothing. So now I’ve got this lofty goal and every day I get nowhere. I’m confused and I don’t take action. I seem to have figured out what I want, but it’s still a head-in-the-clouds ideal. I need to know way more about the real world and its needs before I can even have the slightest idea what kind of business would work. It’s hard to admit that after all this soul-searching and research, this is as far as I’ve come, and I can’t see a way out.

It’s clear that I need to do some more exploring, but I’m tired of being at this stage, of acting for the sole purpose of “figuring stuff out.” I spend some days just imagining my future because it’s more fun than reality. I think everyone can identify with that; it’s kind of why we like movies and stories and stuff. Right now, my thought patterns are running in circles and I’m getting bored because it’s as though the current part of my own life story is taking too long. Then I remember that the best synonym for life is “confusion,” and that I will never be completely out of the exploration stage, so it’s something else that has to change. I’ll need to fall back in love with life, to put meaning into what I do. Confusion and exploration are still necessary, so how do I push through?

Perhaps my boredom is a result of having a goal that caters to both extremes, and is, as a result, foggy. According to Steve, following either path (lightworking or darkworking) leads to the same place (perhaps even a place similar to the imaginary business I had created), but in order to get there in this lifetime you must pick a way to get there. You must find a way to motivate yourself, make your inevitable mistakes, and refine your path.

Lightworkers and darkworkers are two groups of highly effective people, each defined by the way in which they motivate themselves: serving others, or serving themselves. If I accept this, then there are only two main ways to feel motivated. If there are only two, then I have to pick: which one excites me? If I let myself feel the excitement of lightworking, I will notice that I’ve lit a small spark–one that wasn’t there before. I now have something to work with.

What would the lightworker path look like? First of all, I could take immediate action, which is a huge plus, given my current situation. My first action would be to serve another person in whichever way I am able to (which excites me), and keep serving until I must refuel and do what I need to do to stay fulfilled. After I refuel, I can start again. This makes sense to me, and the simplicity in this approach gives me clarity.

It might seem really simple, but there were a lot of limiting beliefs I had to work through, such as feeling guilty even for the “refuelling” part. I now know how necessary that part is.

More important than a goal is the reason for your goal. If the reason is unclear or diluted, then how can you expect to take bold, decisive action? The reason you put food in your mouth (action) isn’t just because you’ve decided not to die (goal), but it’s because you value your life (reason). Imagine what would happen if you weren’t sure if you valued your life, or you hopped back and forth between yes and no. You’d probably be inconsistent in feeding yourself, and get very sick. On the other hand, if you knew you didn’t value your life (though I hope this is never the case!), you’d probably find a faster, much more efficient way to end it. Bold action and faster achievement of goals in both the first and last scenarios.

You must know why you act; otherwise, either your motivation to achieve will be weak and you’ll get distracted, or you’ll end up achieving things you don’t actually want.

Choosing a polarization gives you a reason. If you find your reason for acting, then why would you not?

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What I Learned From Selling Everything I Own

I frequently have these “ah-hah!” moments, usually thanks to quotes, movies, blogs or photographs, during which I feel this lightness and it’s as though I’m expanding and everything makes sense. Although I believe that probably some fundamental shifts happen at an unconscious level during these moments regardless of what follows, the clarity and excitement usually dissipate.

There’s a powerful thought that reliably brings me back that clarity, though. It reminds me over and over to keep adjusting my path as I’m walking it. It’s this: I am already whole. The idea that I do not have to become anyone, that I should only embrace the path I’m on and expand from there, is incredibly inspiring to me. It even inspired me to sell almost everything I owned so I could “live in the now,” and “not focus on the past,” and all that stuff, though ironically, selling my past has given me a deeper appreciation of it.

Perfection doesn’t exist

To an almost hopeless perfectionist, finding out you are already complete is absolutely wonderful news. Many people experience perfectionism as immobilization; there are always too many things to do to achieve perfection–it’s exhausting even to think about. But it doesn’t surprise me that we’ve grown up with this mindset, given the language we were and are surrounded by. First of all, we are shown that “perfect” does exist: 100%, A+, whatever. That’s what we are told to strive for, and we do.

So when we learn that perfect can’t be achieved, because perfect does not exist, what happens? Well, to a little girl who is showered with praise from family and awards from teachers for her excellent scholastic achievements and who falls out of love with the school system, it feels like the world falls out of love with her.

Also, we are told that we have to become someone. We go to school to learn skills that cost tens of thousands of dollars, because “McDonald’s is hiring” and be careful because that’s where we’ll end up if we don’t work ourselves sick to get the piece of paper that proves that we know what happens on Odysseus’ travels and which qualifies us to do more than flip burgers, which we should be embarrassed to ever have to do because it means that we are either stupid or lazy or both. (By the way, I’d love for someone to teach me how to flip a burger because that shit doesn’t come naturally and I can’t do it. And by the way again, I don’t remember what happens in The Odyssey, so I don’t know where that leaves me.)

N.B. There’s nothing wrong with working at a food joint. I’d never work at McDonald’s, but only because it’s poisoning us and the environment and seriously, screw them.

Anyway, I didn’t get a master’s degree like my friends did, which also meant that I had stopped becoming anything. I was unhappy and felt completely inauthentic. I wanted to start from scratch, and I wanted to find truth. I thought that this meant completely renouncing my past; after all, my past had led me here, right? I wanted to travel. I wanted to get rid of my belongings. I wanted new friends. I wanted to scream at anyone who tried to reel me back in. I was angry, but mostly sad.

I wanted to restart, but I was scared, so I did so slowly, without really realizing it. I moved to another province for a couple years. I left my stuff with my parents, and discovered that I didn’t need any of it. Future: 1, Past: 0. I got a job in my field, psychology, but it was boring and mindless, so I quit. I got a job at a grocery store because I was tired of PhDs controlling me. It got old, so I quit. I got a job at an office in a final attempt at using whatever skills I had already, and I hated it. All of this gave me the courage to really put my past-clearing theory to the test. I quit that job, spent a month selling all of my belongings, terminated my lease, hopped on a bus and crashed at my very generous sister’s apartment until further notice. This is where I am currently.

Shedding baggage makes you feel lighter

I still have some papers to get rid of, but I can’t tell you how liberating that leap was. Some days, while I was still working, I was ready to give in to the office life. I told myself it wouldn’t be that bad, and my coworkers are nice people to be around. Those were the days, I realize now, that were the most dangerous–the days my soul was closest to its death.

I experienced a lot of grief while I was getting rid of my stuff. I found it annoying because I didn’t understand it and it was getting in the way. But I didn’t dismiss it entirely; I went through everything slowly, keeping the stuff that I absolutely could not part with: some photographs, the doll my late grandmother gave me, stuff like that. I really didn’t want to keep them, though. Even keeping my identification pissed me off. I wanted to be like Christopher McCandless (yeah, the dude who died in the wild), but something about these objects made me happy, and I figured I could always get rid of them later.

Embrace and expand your past

Not too long ago, I was looking through my sister’s old photo albums. I hadn’t done that in so long and it made me so happy, yet I had been so annoyed with my decision to keep my own old photographs and dolls. These pictures were evidence of my childhood, of the care my parents took of me, of the true friendships I had even as a child, of how happy I was. The very existence of my sister’s photos of me is evidence that she cares enough about me to want to remember me. I remembered how I had been almost ready to throw all of mine away, and I started crying.

I’d always been so incredibly confused about why anyone would want to hold on to things–doesn’t it make them feel tied down? Stuck? Miserable? I think I’ve learned something valuable. Today, I’m glad that I was so scrupulous in deciding of what to renounce ownership. Though I’m happier now with much less baggage, I’m also happy that I still have a few things that remind me of wonderful moments in my past.

As someone who struggles with depression, I tend to remember bad events much more easily than I remember the good ones. In fact, I remember my entire undergraduate experience as generally being a terrible one–so terrible that I don’t remember most of it, because I’ve tried so hard to forget it. But when I remember that I met some of my best friends in university, I know that my memory is inaccurate. There were definitely many difficult learning experiences, but it wasn’t all bad. And whether it’s photographs, tattoos, jewelry, or yearly get-togethers, I need reminders of the beautiful things that have happened to me. Also, I’m discovering that what made me happy as a child is what makes me happy now.

There’s a limit, though. Visit the past to help you move confidently into the future, but don’t stay there. Keep only what helps you move forward.

Authenticity is your only career option

And so, here I am. These past few months have been so incredibly difficult. I’ve gone from feeling on top of the world to feeling like the most useless pile of crap, and back again. And again. I know that I really want to contribute to society, something I’m not doing very much of right now, but I’m also very selfish–what I find most difficult is doing something I don’t want to do. It’s a blessing and a curse. I’m convinced that it’s due to all those years in school trying so hard to be a good student; I’m burnt out–permanently.

I’ve lost all interest in becoming anything or anyone, but staying true to myself is my biggest battle right now. Everyone wants something of you. I value service, so I often get swept up into fulfilling someone else’s wishes, which inevitably ends in a burn-out.

So, I guess it makes sense that something clicks when I hear stuff like “embrace the path you were born on” and “you are already whole.” If someone else finds wisdom in this, maybe I’m not wrong! But I’m having trouble finding the intersection of who I am, and what people value.

I’ve done tons of research. I’ve considered every career under the sun. Some days I’m set on becoming a paramedic. Others, a nurse, a photographer, a writer, a lawyer. Overall though, nothing rings true. Should I just go for anything, because once you commit to something, you’re psychologically more inclined to be satisfied with it (truth, by the way)? Probably. But I won’t, yet.

I’ve considered entrepreneurship. I love business and marketing. I have tons of ideas. I love the idea of serving a market. The problem is that once I figure everything out in my head and come up with the perfect plan, I have no desire to follow through. What’s up with that? Anyway, for that reason I’ve considered business consulting. But still, I’d have to “become” that, because no one would be willing to pay for me at this stage, I’m too much of a noob. And with my history of losing interest unexpectedly, and given that I can’t do things I don’t want to do, I don’t trust myself to push through. I’ll just waste time.

You read a lot of self-help stuff that tells you that you can be who you are in this world, and get paid for it. That’s the dream, right? I choose to believe it. If I’m honest with myself, I think I would be almost perfectly happy dancing around all day, taking photographs, doing yoga, faking spanish accents and playing with puppies–the only thing missing would be my contribution. I’m almost over caring what other people think about my career, though. No one is going to give me a gold star. A couple years ago, that would have made me cry, but I think I’m okay with it now. Although I’m not terribly frightened of living a homeless life, it’s not ideal, so I’ve got to support myself if I want to be part of this system; however, the skills I want to get paid for aren’t up to market needs. If you’re in my position, learning of some sort (taking value) is probably in your future, which means you’ll have to compromise (provide non-ideal value) for a while.

I’m not talking about selling your soul. I’m talking about finding a way to satisfy your survival needs while you get busy remembering the path you were born onto, embracing it, and allowing yourself to expand until people will pay to learn or buy from you. Or not. If no one ever pays you, it’s still better than any alternative; there is no substitute for authenticity.

This is my next step: I’ll be working part-time for four months on a farm in exchange for room and board. Sort of like WWOOFing, I guess. For four months, my survival needs will be covered. I like multitasking, so I love the idea that I’ll be learning about farming (an interest of mine) while working (providing value) on one. Also, since it’s only part-time, I can either get another part-time job for some extra cash, or spend time on my other interests. This farm also happens to be near my parents, which I like, so this set-up is perfect for me.

There is a perfect set-up for you, too. Try thinking about whose dirty work you wouldn’t mind doing, and then see what they can offer you for it. Again, it’s not permanent, and it gives you the time to build the skills you want to get paid for. Consider picking a company you admire and that has high turnover positions. A few places that come to mind are health food stores, maybe coffee shops, local book stores–clerk jobs. Personally, as long as the managers are good people, I normally don’t mind these types of jobs because I like being around people.

If you spend time learning who you are, loving who you are, learning what you love to do and how to do it well, you’ll eventually become an expert. Experts can be professionals, and professionals get paid. Bam.

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Overcoming Disability — An Inspiring TEDx Story

A tear-jerker.

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March 4, 2012 · 8:25 pm