For a while, I stopped asking people that I met, one of the most obvious questions we usually ask: `what do you do for a living`. Not that I wasn’t interested. But because the question in itself is a bit boring. What do you do? While what I am really interested in is what you are. Are you an inspirator? Or a supporter? Or a caregiver? Or a bringer of joy? What is it, that brings you joy and happiness? That makes you experience flow and abundance. Your work should not be about what you do, but about what you are.
The problem was that I didn’t dare ask the questions. I was afraid people would find me prying into their lives too much. Or too intense. Or too weird. So I ended up I meaningless conversation, just what I had been trying to avoid.
While it is so simple to find out what someone is.
“What do you do?”
“What is that you do in your work/job?”
“What do you like most about your work?”
“Why is that what you like most?”
Just a small series of questions that most people will be happy to answer. But more importantly, a small series of questions that I dare you to answer. If you want to know what you are, what makes you happy, what should be in everything you do for a living to keep you feeling fulfilled and wanting to do more and move forward. Ask yourself:
What jobs/work/projects have I done for a living?
What was this work about?
Why am I really good at what you do? Or what makes me good at certain parts of the job?
(I know, this is the part where we shut down the most. Because we never feel good enough. We have been told not to brag. There is whole other world behind this. But you can do this.)
What did I truly enjoy about it? And why did I love that part so much?
Maybe you weren’t all that excited about it. But looking back, you see there were specific tasks that sparked joy. That made you feel fulfilled. That made you feel good about yourself. What was it?
If you are a teacher, what is it that you love the most? Being an inspiration to your students? Or letting them grow? Or is truly the teaching itself, the sharing of valuable information that will help your students become better?
If you are a nurse, what is it for you that sparks the most joy? Are you a carer? Or a supporter? A reliever of pain?
If you are an accountant, are you a bringer of order? Of (financial) freedom? Helper of building dreams?
Because the truth is, people, connect with what you are behind what you do. Of course, they want to learn the things they need to learn from a teacher, but they connect with the inspirator, the one that lets them grow or makes them feel confident. As a nurse, they want you to give them the right care, but they connect to the one that consoles, who supports them in their hour of need. They want you to have the papers in order when you are an accountant, but they connect tot he one that makes them feel financially safe and secure.
Once you find what you are, realise that there are many ways to find things to do for a living, being what you are. If you are a teacher at heart, the obvious answer would be to teach in front of a class. But a manager can be a teacher too. You can teach by writing books or being a coach. You can even be a teacher by selling clothes. (I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. You could teach people about what looks on them. How to feel more confident. Or about style and fashion).
Look for what you are behind what you do for a living. Are you an inspirator? A supporter? A leader for love? A teacher at heart? A thought leader? A bringer of joy? A beautifier?
Let that be your guiding light in what you will do next for a living.