The other day my son asked me, “What did you want to be when you were a kid?”
Forty years of my life’s career path played like a movie in my head, going in reverse. I watched how well I was living in congruence with the true answer to his question overlaid against four distinct periods of my life.
Most recently, for about the last five to seven years, I have been becoming more & more aligned with my truth, through practice. (We can discuss this in more detail in a future post.)
Second most recently, for about ten or fifteen years, my work was a bit less to do with my dreams, and more about building general relationships, skills and abilities.
The third scene in this private movie was my ‘dark’ period. During my teens and early twenties I experienced depression. As that relates to one’s dreams and career, well, that means mostly feeling lost and without ambition.
Finally, passing all the back way in time to my childhood, I arrived at the true, sometimes buried, answer.
Perhaps one or two seconds in real, objective time had passed in the car with my son. I ‘watched’ all of the above in subjective ‘slow motion’.
He didn’t (consciously) realize how powerful such a question could be when posed to a grown-up.
I chuckled and said that I wanted to be a teacher. I added that I was not always sure what I wanted to be, and that I was proud that he did. (Presently he wants to be a scientist.)
So, what does this have to do with your health?
A lot. You probably spend more time at your career than you do with your own children, so, if you hate it, that’s a problem.
This doesn’t mean that you should quit your job today. Unless you have a long runway or a firm opportunity for improvement, you should not.
But often the answer to ‘how to improve personal satisfaction with my career’ lies in the question ‘what do you love when you were a child?’
There are a myriad of ways you can begin to work your dreams and passions into your career. In fact, today, there are more opportunities to do so than ever before, so, don’t despair.
I think, for today, we’ll stop there, and save that topic for a future article and discussion.
The first step is really for you ponder on the main question.
Sometimes the answer doesn’t come right away. Perhaps you don’t remember. That is the signal that you need to look deeper.
Whatever is blocking you from feeling or remembering joy is probably the very thing that will unblock the answer.