When I was 6, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved learning new things and share my knowledge with everyone around me. I’d put all my dolls in a row, do roll call, and rehash to them what I’d learned at school that day.
When I was 16, I wanted to become a psychologist. I’ve always been fascinated by people’s minds, figuring out what makes someone tick, and uncovering the subconscious motivations behind a certain behaviour.
When I was 24, I wanted to be a full-time blogger. I’d spend my days writing blog posts, attending exclusive brand events, and testing all kinds of beauty products that turned out in the mail for free.
And when I turned 30, I decided it was time to become a freelancer writer, and spend all my days doing what I love the most: reading, writing, and interviewing people.
Along the way, I flirted with the idea of becoming a hairdresser, a psychiatrist, a journalist, an editor at a big publishing house, a translator… the list goes on and on.
You probably think I’m flaky AF and have no idea what to do with my life.
But look at that list again. Carefully, this time. That random list of jobs that have nothing in common at first sight is all but random. And all those jobs have a lot in common…
Uncovering The Purpose Thread
Purpose leaves clues. You can find some of these clues in the list of jobs you’ve always dreamed of doing (whether you did them or not).
It’s like Steve Jobs said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
When you’re busy living your life, caught up in the moment, it’s hard to make sense of it all.
But when you look back, you can often see a defined pattern, a clear theme, a Purpose Thread, that ties everything together.
Looking back at my list, all those jobs had plenty of things in common:
- Writing: They all involved some form of writing. Writing is one of my biggest passions, so it makes sense that I’d be attracted to jobs that allow me to spend a lot of time doing it.
- Psychology: All these jobs require a lot of emotional intelligence and the ability to deeply understand people and their inner motives. Even blogging. You can’t be successful at it if you don’t understand your target audience and their deepest fears and desires.
- Learning: They also require constant learning. Learning new skills, keeping up with new psychological findings, discovering more about human nature.
- Counselling: One thing that attracted me to these jobs was the opportunity to act as a counsellor/coach in some way. A teacher can be a mentor, a hairdresser can provide a shoulder to cry on, an interview can be as cathartic as a therapy session… You get the point.
You only have one purpose in life. But that purpose can manifest in a thousand different ways.
You know what that means? You don’t have to choose one thing for the rest of your life. Phew! As you grow and change, the way you manifest your purpose can change, too. That’s your cue to change career.
But if you’re reading this, you must choose one thing now (because you won’t go anywhere if you try to do all the things at once – ask me how I know…)
So how the heck do you choose what career to pursue or business to start when you have so many options?
Focus On Your Lifestyle, Not Your Career
Here’s the trick: instead than focusing on what to do with your life, ask yourself what kind of life you want to live.
My top value is freedom. I want to be the mistress of my time, work the hours I set and take an afternoon or day off to meet a friend for coffee whenever I feel like it.
I also have a huge problem with authority. I don’t want to do meaningless stuff just because my boss told me so or because “that’s the way we do things around here.”
That rules out being a teacher. I love to teach and empower students but I don’t want to put up with silly school rules and governmental demands. Psychologist was out, too. I don’t want to work in an office from 9-5.
Freelance writing seems like a better fit. But it meant that my ideas had to be approved by an editor, who then would take months to pay me. That was more financial instability than I could take. I don’t mind not to have a stable income, but I do need to know when the money is coming into my bank account.
You get the idea. Your dream career or business must fit into (and provide) the kind of lifestyle you want to live. Otherwise, you’ll spend every day feeling miserable and regretting your choice.
I want a career that gives me freedom, financial abundance, and the chance to make a difference in people’s lives.
That’s why I started The Treasures Within. Now I spend my days helping women discover their life purpose and start their soul-aligned businesses, have complete time and creative freedom, and am in control of my income.
For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m doing what I’m on this planet to do.
Don’t know what lifestyle you want to live? Subscribe to the newsletter below to download the Life Vision Worksheet and find out:
Over to you, now. When you think about your career options, what’s the common pattern you see and how can you manifest that in a way that fits the lifestyle you want to have? Let me know in the comments below.