How to Choose a Passionate Career

Even if we accept it or not, our career and work define our life, our identity. But usually we don’t choose our career being aware of our deeper passions. We choose it either being influenced by our social and economical context (people around us and community’s economical and industrial development) or being motivated by money.

But let’s put away what others say and listen quietly to our own voice. Many will suggest us to follow money, but doing so may imply to live our passions behind. And let’s be aware not always “money is the shortest route to freedom”.

The funny thing is that most people have good instincts about where they belong but make poor choices and waste productive years on the wrong work. … Put your calling in a lockbox, go out and make a ton of money, and then come back to the lockbox to pick up your calling where you left it. … majority of us aren’t just putting our dreams on ice — we’re killing them … The ruling assumption is that money is the shortest route to freedom. Absurdly, that strategy is cast as the “practical approach.” But in truth, the opposite is true. The shortest route to the good life involves building the confidence that you can live happily within your means (whatever the means provided by the choices that are truly acceptable to you turn out to be). It’s scary to imagine living on less. But embracing your dreams is surprisingly liberating. Instilled with a sense of purpose, your spending habits naturally reorganize, because you discover that you need less. … I met many people who had left the money behind.

If your career or job is already chosen, you may be in one of the following situations: “you either love what you do or you don’t”. To know if you love your work, analyze these signs:

  • you feel that you have found your calling and place in the world;
  • you are so captivated by what you do, that you don’t watch the clock, don’t dread Mondays and don’t worry about years passing by (you experience what is called “the work flow” or “the optimal experience”);
  • you are a source of good ideas;
  • you make easily the extra effort;
  • you demonstrate the commitment;
  • you rescued many times “this drifting ship”;
  • you feel rewarded by satisfaction that comes from what you do and not only by money;

But what about if you don’t like what you do, your work or career? If you don’t like your career you have two possibilities: go on because you need money to survive or take the risk to find your true calling, passion, identity and place in the world.

Let’s say you decided for the last option. You have to ask yourself a question that will help you end the conflict between who you are and what you do.

Asking “What Should I Do With My Life?” is the modern, secular version of the great timeless questions about our identity. Asking The Question aspires to end the conflict between who you are and what you do. Answering The Question is the way to protect yourself from being lathed into someone you’re not. What is freedom for if not the chance to define for yourself who you are? … I have spent the better part of the past two years in the company of people who have dared to confront where they belong. They didn’t always find an ultimate answer, but taking the question seriously helped get them closer. We are all writing the story of our own life. It’s not a story of conquest. It’s a story of discovery. Through trial and error, we learn what gifts we have to offer the world and are pushed to greater recognition about what we really need.

Tip: Spend some time exploring this question, then when you get a whisper or a faint urge about what you truly want to do, take this “simple test: Is your choice something that will stimulate you for a year or something that you can be passionate about for 10 years?”

What Should I Do With My Life?