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If you absolutely love what you do, without a shadow of doubt… if you’d do the same thing all over again, without a second thought… if you are living your true purpose in life, and have no hesitation in announcing what your true calling in life is – then bottle it. That is pure gold!

If, on the other hand, you realise that you are less than fulfilled in your everyday life, you will probably at some stage have asked yourself “Why am I doing this?”

Do you wonder why you ended up in the career/role/job/business that you’re in now, when it just doesn’t feel good?

Perhaps you sometimes ponder how you came to be doing what you do each and every day.

I chose my own path, but it still doesn’t feel right…

I had arrived at the point where I was completely baffled as to how I didn’t really feel like where I was, was where I wanted to be. Even though I was the one who had made all the choices that led me to being here.

I chose to be here, so why do I not want to be here, doing this today?

How is that? How can it be that I chose my path, but it appeared to be not what I wanted? I chose this, I tried everything I wanted to, but it’s still not seeming right.

The day I discovered that the starting point I left from is what set me off down the path, leading me to where I am now, is where the “hiccup” occurred.

Did I actually choose my own path?

Now, not to say that it was a bad hiccup. Not to say that it was wrong. No regrets.

But I realise – I didn’t actually choose my path! I was guided down my path. My career advisors and caring adults around me presented my path to me as something that was good for me to do. And, as was my nature at that time, I did what I was told and did what was presented to me as a good choice.

Did you do the same? Or do you know anyone that this may have happened to?

Perhaps there was family pressure to follow in the prestigious career of their parents (medicine, law).

Perhaps there weren’t many options at the time. In my secondary school and university days there were many options for careers, limited only by budget, imagination and inspiration. But in the generation before mine, the choices were more limited. My mother tells the story of the two options being available to her as hairdressing and teaching. She chose teaching. And, she was an amazing teacher, touching the lives of many hundreds of students in so many positive ways. (Would she choose the same again, I wonder?)

So, often we ended up in our chosen vocation and living the life we are now, based on other people’s choices, or based on opportunities available (or not) at the time. Furthermore, if we launched a study into this, I’m convinced I’d find a million more reasons why people end up in a certain place, wondering how they got there.

Is this a bad thing?

No, and yes.

Firstly, it is what it is! No regrets! There is no point whinging, bitching, moaning and complaining about the past! The past is the past. Leave it there. The past happened for a reason and it brought us to where we are and made us what we are. The people advising us at the time were (I choose to believe) doing the best they could to help us in the best way they knew how. We made choices and decisions with the best of the information and knowledge we had and based on what we felt was what we wanted at the time. It’s all good.

Does that mean we continue to push through, clutching valiantly to those past decisions, if it does not feel right for us in our lives now? In my opinion – no.

In all likelihood, this is what happened:

In all likelihood, our environment at the time chose for us what we would do with our lives. If that choice happened to marry beautifully with our values and true purpose in life, then that is magic. Then, we are possibly still living our dream, in a vocation we love.

If, however,

  • we did not know what our true values were, or
  • we did not know of a way of choosing our career to suit what we valued and loved, or
  • we were guided into something that was available or someone thought good for us

then at some stage we sit in a place where we are dissatisfied. We are possibly unhappy, stressed and unfulfilled.

Sometimes, we can ‘tweak’ our direction numerous times to make choices and decisions that seem more exciting and to suit us better. This could be because we see other people have success with these new ideas and it appears fun and possible. Opportunities like this abound today, in the internet era. This is a wonderful time for entrepreneurialism and there are so many wonderful opportunities available.

However, chances are, if we don’t know what our true values are, or our purpose in life is, then it can be like “clutching at straws”. Have you been accused of going after “BSOs” (bright, shiny objects)?

How do we know what we want to do?

Some time ago I was introduced to the concept of a one’s ‘values’.  It was suggested to me that identifying my values would lead me to knowing what my true purpose in life was.  I was shown how to determine what my own true values are.  And that led me down a path that resulted in powerful, meaningful and lifechanging realisations!

In fact, such a contrast was my realisations of my values and true purpose, and the life I had always thought I was supposed to be leading, that the experience was quite comical in parts!

Whilst every moment of my past choices and my past are incredibly powerful and valid in what I am doing today, making the pivot to embrace the opportunity to live in a way congruent with my true values was essential to my life’s fulfilment and happiness.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Japanese concept of Ikigai.  Ikigai is a concept that represents a ‘reason for being’ or a ‘reason for getting up in the morning’. This is very similar, and a beautiful concept to study, if you’re able.

Choose My Own Path

How to make this happen

For a great many years, now, I have worked with mentors and coaches who have the ability to help me accelerate my progress towards my own success – as chosen by me this time!

Having now experienced my own transition from frustrated and dissatisfied with my work, to excited and fulfilled by my work, it’s my duty to share this gift with others.

The comforting thing is – it does not necessarily depend upon entirely ‘throwing out everything old’ to embrace the new. It could be a ‘tweak’. All that may be required is a fresh perspective. A second (or third!) opinion might clarify what you need. Determining our true path does require a growth mindset and a little courage. And is significantly enhanced by a great coach!

If anything here resonates with you, and you’d like to have a conversation with me about it. One on one, on the phone, with no obligation or commitment, I’d love to talk to you. CLICK HERE