What do you want to be when you grow up?
What did you answer as a kid?
I don’t know about you but my response frequently changed.
For years, I swore I was going to be an actress (Julia Roberts and I share the same birthday—October 28, so it was meant to be).
I also knew I was going to be a writer. By age 6, ever since I learned to put a pen to paper and makeup stories, I was determined to be published like my favorite Louisa May Alcott (i.e. Little Women), and Ann Martin (Babysitter’s Club).
In addition, from elementary through college, I toyed with: fashion designer, teacher, nurse, trainer, Child Life Specialist, psychologist, counselor, public relations coordinator, journalist, registered dietitian, public health specialist, and finally, occupational therapist and nutritionist.
Just thinking about it all makes me tired.
You are not alone if you’ve wanted to be (or actually have been) multiple things in your life.
I officially settled on my Bachelor’s in Journalism (Broadcast Journalism to be exact—fulfilling my aspirations to write and act; Today Show here I come!)…
Want to see my resume tape?
However…after working in the local newsroom for a couple years as a producer and reporter-in-training, building my resume, I quickly realized that the whole “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality of local news was NOT my jam.
Fluffy entertainment news is more my style
While I loved my news crew and loved the daily ‘beat’ of the journalistic life (never a dull moment), I knew in my heart of hearts that I was not fully fulfilling my life purpose or heart’s passion: To help others.
Enter: occupational therapy, nutrition therapy and fitness coaching.
Three distinctly service-based professions that allowed me to tap into my inner heart’s cry—finding meaning in my work.
While my story is not yours, our journeys are the same.
Throughout our lifetimes, the pursuit of happiness is…well, an ongoing pursuit.
We seek fulfillment in:
- social connectedness
- self-worth, health
- beauty and appearance
- success (financial, personal)
- fun and leisure
- our jobs, and;
- ultimately, our purpose.
When we are not doing things that feel fulfilling…then we fall into this slump.
A slump I like to call the “sigh” slump.
A slump when someone asks you if you are happy (in your job, in your relationships, in your health, etc.) and you…siggggghhhhh….
Or you say: “Yes, I am happy, BUT…”
Often times, this phrase comes up around the job-front.
“I am happy, BUT…”
It’s not my passion.
It’s not what I went to school for.
I don’t feel valued.
I’m looking for something different.
I’m not making enough money.
I am bored…not growing…really wish I was doing my dream is…
And the beat goes on.
One fact of life, no matter where you are: The grass is always greener on the other side.
One more: You CAN and most certainly deserve to work in a job you love—or at least one that’s in line with YOU—your heart and your passions.
Love health and wellness, but you’re stuck behind a cubicle trying to make sales in your business casual attire?
Went to grad school to work in your dream field, but forced to settle waiting tables or working a $15/hour gig because your dream job doesn’t exist or no one will hire you?
Been with the same company now for two years, but day in, day out dread reporting to the office?
Often question, and wonder, if there is something better out there, or a place where your skills will be utilized or valued more?
Why are you settling?!
“But…it pays the bills…it’s a good job…the people are nice…it’s easy…”
Wah. Wah. Wah. (Woodstock from Charlie Brown noise).
Did anyone see the latest unemployment statistic this past week?
The U.S.’s unemployment rate is now at an ALL-TIME LOW since the past 7-and-a-half years.
In August, the jobless rate in the US declined to 5.1 percent and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000- the lowest unemployment rate since April 2008.
While this is GREAT NEWS, and financial stability is definitely not a bad thing…are you doing something you love? That you are passionate about? That you naturally have skills, talents and abilities to do?
Even if you don’t have a ‘dream job’ in mind, life is wayyyyy to short to spend it settling for subpar.
Recently, I sat down with a girl to discuss life—her current goals, her health, her job…and a theme that continually came up was: fear.
“I want to do XYZ, BUT….”
And so, she wasn’t getting anywhere.
Even if it feels like you are hitting a brick wall, or the cards just aren’t working in your favor (i.e. getting turned down from job after job that you want; striving to just get an interview; not feeling appreciated at your current job; struggling to figure out how to pay the bills—even if you did take it)…there is no time like the present to listen to your heart.
You don’t have to stay stuck.
If anything, necessity is the mother of all innovation, and where there is often struggle, there is often opportunity to create, grow and make the ‘impossible possible.’
THRIVE, for instance, was crafted out of the passion of my own heart.
When I graduated from grad school in occupational therapy, what it is I really wanted to do (lifestyle redesign work; holistic, relatable eating disorder recovery coaching and therapy; a holistic approach to healthcare) did not currently exist. The dream practice I had concocted in my mind during grad school was not out there.
And when I found myself dreading the thought of working full-time in a fluorescent lit hospital setting…or all day, every day in a clinic or rehab where the clients were referred to as ‘patients’ (not people) and force fed Eggo Waffles and Egg McMuffins as part of their health and healing…I could not bear the thought.
In turn: THRIVE was born.
You don’t necessarily have to be an entrepreneur, or start something new…BUT what is it your heart, your gut, your intuition is telling you that you were meant to do?
Where there is passion, there is no need for motivation.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.- Maya Angelou