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10 Things To Remember If You Want To Do What You Love For A Living

10 Things To Remember If You Want To Do What You Love For A Living

According to the latest Gallup polls, only 32% of Americans actually love what they do for a living. That leaves a whopping 68% of people feeling unfulfilled with the work they do on a daily basis. In my mind, this is unacceptable. And if you’re reading this article, then it’s likely you think so, too. So, if you want to do what you love for a living—or want to help someone who doesn’t—then scroll down for my 10 must-read tips to help you on your path to success and long-term fulfillment both personally and professionally.

1. Map out your GPS (Greatness + Passions + Service).

When I first started trying to figure out how to find and do what I love for a living, I was confused just like everyone else. With so many ideas, it can be hard to pick just one thing. That’s why I developed an exercise called The GPS Formula: the ‘G’ represents what you’re Great at. The ‘P’ represents what you’re Passionate about. And the ’S’ represents how you can provide a Service by combining both G+P.

The overlapping of the three (GPS) is your sweet spot for making a living doing what you love. Let’s dive into the details of each individual portion of The GPS Formula so that you can discover a combination that’s the right fit for you.

2. What are you Great at?

What are you great it? Seems like a pretty simple question, right? The unfortunate truth of the matter is, that most people have absolutely no idea how to answer it. Even worse; corporate cultures are predicated on trying to improve on weaknesses rather than cultivate strengths. And this puts a lot of us in an emotionally unstable position; making us feel as if we’re not great enough or good enough.

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So how do you figure it out for yourself? Make a list. Write down every single thing you’re skilled at. When you’re done with your list, you’ll feel good about the fact that you’ve actually got something positive to look at on paper. Next, organize that list based on what you believe you’re best at from the list of skills and qualities you’ve written down about yourself. Take your time with this.

3. Passion: Don’t try to find it. Try to bring it.

People get way too caught up in trying to “find their passion”. Let me be crystal clear here – we do not find passion. Passion is a result. We bring it about by taking action.

We need to inject passion into the things we do. The best way to do that, is to try doing more of the things that you actually love to do. And while you’re doing those things, you might find it beneficial to take note of whether you love that thing enough to try and make a living out of it.

4. Determine your highest point of Service.

Your highest point of service (or contribution) is where your greatest gifts (G) intersect with your passions (P) in a way that allows you to serve (S) other people. Similar to what I outlined for you above (see #3); this is where you focus on the “S” part of The GPS Formula — the part that requires you to produce value for other people (your employer, or your customers) so that you can actually make a living doing what you love.

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The best way to figure out your highest point of service is to first make a list of the things you’re great at (G), and second, to cross reference it with what you’re passionate about (P). The third and final step, is to figure out the best combination of G + P which will allow you to provide a service (S) so that you can make some moolah!

5. Always be reading.

People who do what they love for a living have a voracious appetite for learning as much as they can about the work they love to do. They’re constantly looking for ways to expand their knowledge by reading the best books about their industry.

You should do the same. Once you’ve figured out what you love and want to do for a living, go find 5 of the best books about that industry and read them cover to cover. Or if you’re on a time-crunch, at least read the book summaries. And if you absolutely can’t focus your eyes to text, try listening to the books in audio format.

6. Take action.

When I decided to start my own self-improvement podcast, I knew I needed to acquire some tech-related knowledge to get the ball rolling, so I took a course on how to start a podcast. The course taught me a lot of material, but I didn’t wait until I was done with all 12 weeks of it to start taking action. No, no. Every single lesson was followed up with immediate action. Taking immediate action allowed me the opportunity to apply what I’d learned, and more importantly, to see if it actually worked. If I’d waited until the course was all over, I’d be overwhelmed and confused as to where to begin.

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If you want to do what you love for a living, you need to always be taking deliberate action immediately after you learn something so that you can decipher the difference between what works and what doesn’t.

7. Find a mentor.

It doesn’t matter if you’re learning from someone in real life, or if you’re learning from them through their books and videos – find the best of the best in your industry and use them as guides and role models to help you become more successful and avoid painful pitfalls so that you can successfully arrive to that sweet spot where you’ll be making a living doing what you love.

Wondering where — or how — to go about finding a mentor? Start by making a list of potential mentors. Next, learn more about them. Read their work. Follow them on twitter. Listen to their interviews. And if you’ve got the courage to do so, go ahead and reach out to them. They (probably) won’t bite.

8. Get out of your comfort zone.

Several years ago, I used to be in terrible physical condition — fat, unhealthy, and totally out of shape. I knew that if I wanted to make a change, I’d have to get myself out of my comfort zone and dedicate myself to eating healthy and working out 5+ times per week. But I had my fair share of challenges. For example: It was scary to go to the gym because it felt like everyone was watching me and thinking “what’s this worthless slob doing here…” But even though it was uncomfortable to go to the gym, I forced myself to do it anyway. Why? Because the temporary pain of feeling like people were watching and making fun of me, wasn’t as heavy as the long-term pain I knew I’d feel if I didn’t get a handle on my health.

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Eventually, I got myself into the best shape of my life and developed a passion for health and fitness; in fact, I even ended up working as a male fashion model as a result. On top of that, my confidence improved and my energy shot through the roof! But I’m not telling you this to impress you, but rather to impress upon you, that it’s crucial to get out of your comfort zone if you want to find and do what you love for a living, because the benefits of doing so will pour into every area of your life.

9. Don’t burn yourself out.

A little grit never hurt anyone, but far too many folks hold the irrational belief that they must succumb themselves to back-breaking work in order to earn their keep. This is non-sense. Doing work you love isn’t supposed to be totally easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be excruciatingly hard either. People who do what they love for a living know that the secret to success is to cultivate a symbiotic relationship between labor and love. So remember: if you’re burning yourself out, then you’re doing it wrong.

10. Make friends with failure.

In order to successfully do what you love for a living, there’s one thing you need to get comfortable with whether you’re ready for it or not — failure. Throughout my own personal journey to doing meaningful work, I failed so many darn times I decided to create a public list of all my failures. This way, I can have something to look back on and learn from, and more importantly, something you and countless others can learn from as you embark on your own journey to doing work that matters.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that failure is inevitable on your path to success. But the beautiful thing about failure is that the more it happens, the closer you get to that sweet spot. That place you’ve defined as your own unique intersection of where your greatest gifts collide with your skills — coming together in a way that allows you to finally fulfill the dream that all of us are really after in life and business: to combine what we love to do with what we do for work.

If I can do it, so can you.

More by this author

Dean Bokhari

Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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