What did you want to do when you were little? And are you doing that now? Probably not. Most of us end up doing something completely different than what we dream of. It doesn’t mean that what we dreamt of as children is what we should be doing, necessarily. What it means is that we should take our dreams seriously. We should do something that feels meaningful to us. We should fulfill our desires, instead of just wasting our lives doing something meaningless. When we start to value ourselves and our time, we start to do different things.
For many years – 20 years on and off, to be exact – I was a teacher. I still love teaching and will probably always do, because I love watching people grow in their own eyes, but I don’t love working as a teacher within the school system, because it means I have to do a lot of things I really dislike. For example, I have to force pupils to learn things they’re not interested in, just because it says so in the curriculum. And I have to grade children, meaning I have to judge them. That is almost diabolic to me, to tell a child “You’re not good enough!”. That might scar them for life.
For many of those 20 years I tried to get out of teaching. Even my body tried to get me out of teaching… I ended up burnt out several times. But for some reason it still wasn’t unthinkable to me to go back. And as long as we can put up with something, we will. We have to get to that point when it’s no longer negotiable. When there is only one option – to quit.
Eventually it became unbearable. It became unbearable to be a part of something I disliked with my whole being. It became unbearable to not do the things that make me feel alive and happy. It became unbearable to waste even another minute not doing what I love.
Do you know what that is for you? Do you know what you would be doing even if you weren’t getting paid for it? If you didn’t need the money? Do you know what lights you up, and makes you just want to do more of it and not go to bed? Do you know what puts you into flow? That feels like play even though it’s work? What is easy to you, but complicated to other people? It might even be something you’re not aware of, because it seems so simple to you!
Grab a pen & paper and start writing the answers to the questions above! Draw a picture of yourself doing that thing and how happy you look when you’re doing it and put it on your desk. Remind yourself daily of what you are passionate about, and find time to do it – even if it’s just 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes might change your whole world.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!