When your business can’t be aligned with your purpose
It’s glorious when you know your life’s purpose, and you dedicate your business or your 9-to-5 to it. It’s the best possible scenario. It might feel like everyone on social media is flaunting how they are dropping everything and following their purpose or left their 9-to-5 to start a business aligned with their why. But what happens when that is not the case?
Many people have an opportunity or make a choice to start their own business or take a job, and it has nothing to do with their purpose (their why) or their passion, but it pays the bills. It provides a living. So they make it theirs and continue to do it. Sometimes that’s just the way life is.
I like to hope most don’t hate what they do. Life is far to short to get up every day and do something you hate. If that is your case, please stop and ask yourself why you are doing it. I bet it’s not for you.
What do you do when you can’t drop everything and follow your purpose?
For those who don’t love what they do, but have to it or chose to continue to do it for now, my suggestion is to find something that makes your heart sing outside of work. Do something that feeds your soul, your purpose, or your passion. It could be volunteering with a cause you believe in; it could be painting, sewing, or another hands-on activity. It could be life. My friend Kim, who is an ultralight marathon runner, loves spending her free time in the woods. There are as many activities as there are people, so find what is yours.
I know for a fact that if you do something that feeds your soul – work or otherwise – it spills over into other parts of your life and things are different. Things are better.
Figuring out Your Why
Figuring out your purpose and your passion takes some work. There is a great book called The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood. It is a simple test that helps you discover your top five passions in life. This is the test that started my path to doing things differently in my life. I am certified but haven’t run the workshop is awhile. I’m thinking of putting one together soon, so contact me here and let me know if you are interested.
Your purpose takes a bit more work; your why is your driving force in life. Yet when you have it, it also seeps into the rest of your life and holds you together when things suck. It drives you forward when you need motivation and keeps you sane when things go to shit.
It also keeps you sane when you are in a business or have a job that does not line up with your purpose. The key is to follow your passion outside of this time in your life, then you have something to look forward to while you’re putting in hours doing what you need to do.
I am not naive, and I know that not everyone has the possibility of following their passion or purpose into their work life. We have bills to pay. Some of us turn an opportunity into a huge success. I did with my first company, yet I was missing something. I didn’t know back then what I know now, but I did have pieces of my why mixed into my life without even knowing it. That kept me going.
Find your purpose
If you don’t know what your passions are, if you don’t know what your purpose is, spend some time with it and make it part of your life. We are only here once, and it is our life to live.