“If you think your life is about DOINGNESS, you do not understand what you are about. Your soul doesn’t care what you do for a living and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you’re BEING while you’re doing whatever you’re doing. It is a state of BEINGNESS the soul is after, not a state of doingness.”
– Neale Donald Walsch
I have never been great at making a living and for a longtime I struggled trying to figure out why I wasn’t that great at it. I would compare myself to my friends and peers who through the years have consistently turned up to work, had great careers and made a really good living . It is only recently that I have discovered that I was truly happy when I was living my life doing what I wanted to do – writing, speaking and coaching. . For years I was choosing to make a living doing what I “could do” but not what I ‘wanted to do”. Now in hindsight, if I knew 25 years ago what I know now, I could have had both a lot sooner – living a life and making living doing what I loved.
The Purpose of Work
“In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.”
– John Ruskin
Work is essential as it brings us a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction to our lives. Work puts our creative energies to use, it stimulates us and can bring us huge successes BUT when it takes over our lives to a point where we no longer find the satisfaction in what we do or we become slaves to our jobs – then that is when WORK infiltrates our lives in a negative way. We find ourselves in a place where we are “existing rather than living’ and we are choosing to live a life of mediocrity rather than a life filled with happiness, joy and success.
Work is not our enemy, it only becomes the enemy when we allow work to take over our lives and our sense of self. When we asked are the question “who are you?” and we reply ” I am an accountant, lawyer, policeman, CEO…”, it is a sign that our self worth and our identity is based on the economic value of the job we do!
So why is it important that you should be making a life instead of making a living?
“When you’re following your energy and doing what you want all the time, the distinction between work and play dissolves.”
– Shakti Gawain
Today modern society’s definition of success is based on the concepts of money, fame and power. I think many of us become trapped in the mindset of focusing on making a living for survival and working really hard to make lots of money so that we are seen to be successful. The words happiness, fulfilment, passion and joy do not appear to be associated with the concept of making a living – this is why it is important that you should be focusing on making a life where your definition of success is built on the foundation of words such as happiness, joy, love, passion and fulfilment. If you are doing what you want to do, then work is a JOY and if you are doing what you dont want to do than work is a CHORE.
There is Hope if you use the Power of Choice
“The person who does not know how to live while they are making a living is a poorer person after their wealth is won when they started.”
– Josiah Gilbert Holland
Do not give up hope as there are things you can do that will enable you to live your life earning a living doing what you love to do. You have the power of choice. and all you have to do is to make the choice that you want to change from living a life where you are just existing making a living to living a life where you are happy, fulfilled and doing what you love.
” Making money isn’t hard in itself…What is hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to.”
– Carols Ruitz Zafon
A word of caution, to take on this challenge to find what makes you happy and how you can make a life doing what you love, is HARD WORK. It is hard to step out and be courageous. It is hard not to worry about what others think. It is hard to follow your dreams, to define your life purpose and to figure out what makes you happy. Making a living is much easier to do. It is so much easier to exist rather than live a full life, to procrastinate, to make excuses, and to accept that your life is what it is.
So if you do chose to Make a Life you love, here are 10 important steps to help you get started.
- Accept that this journey is going to be hard and that there is no better time than right now to take action and COMMIT
- Once you have done this, start to explore ways to define your Life Purpose – what are you passionate about and what makes you happy? When you have clarity about your purpose and your passions, then put a PLAN in place outlining the steps you need to take to get you to where you want to be in your life. Defining your life purpose in some ways is easy – defining the pathway to fulfilling your life purpose is the hard part and will require courage, focus and commitment. Remember that the reward for you, will be a life filled with happiness and success.
- Figure out how you will deal with your fears, your insecurities, your excuses or any blocks that you will use to stop you or distract you from going on this journey. Get to know them and be ready when they take action because if you are not focused, do not have self belief or you are not really committed to the journey then you will give up.
- Do not worry about others and what they are doing or achieving. Stop comparing yourself to others and start working on you and your belief in YOU.
- Be prepared to work hard and focus on delivering results. Set achievable goals, sort out your finances, get support and just start doing what you need to do – happiness will follow.
- Become Resilient – you need to learn how to bounce back and step up. Life will throw you some curve balls, you will make mistakes and you will feel at times very sorry for yourself. You need to overcome the low points toughen up and bounce back. It is just the way it is.
- Find your Courage – you will need it when you step out of your comfort zone
- Practice Gratitude daily, be generous and help others – this is one of the easiest things to do on this journey so do lots if it. The more grateful you are, the more generous you are and the more you help people, the happpier you will be.
- Enjoy the journey – live in the moment, make time to have fun and celebrate often. You will find that the more you do this the happier you will be and the closer you will be to making a living doing what you love
- Be Realistic about your ideal life – you may not have it all but you can have enough to be very happy. Focus on the top 3-4 priorities in your life that will bring your happiness and joy.
Despite the hard work required to find happiness and success in your life, it is so worth it. The 10 action steps if you choose to follow them will create the opportunity for you to make a great life.
Life is too short to spend time making a living where you just exist. Life is more than just living with mediocrity. You deserve more and you are entitled to live a life of joy and happiness. It is not too late to live your ideal life. I know that you need to factor in the economics of earning money – it is important to have in our lives. However, you can make a living while making a life, people all over the world are doing it – So why cant you be one of these people?
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are hear in order to enable the world to live more amply,with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand.”
– Woodrow Wilson