The best way to discover your brilliance and why it matters.

You’ve probably heard it said – do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life. Sounds good, right? Yet many Americans aren’t doing work they love. Gallup’s research suggests that only about 36% of us are engaged at work and the rest are just showing up and going through the motions or worse as small percentage are actually undermining the work of others. Given that fact that the average person will spend 90,000 hours or roughly 1/3 of their life the job, discovering what it is you love to do is important from an overall life satisfaction perspective.

Don’t believe me? Talk to people who’ve worked all their life in a role they hated. The lawyer who really wanted to become a chef, but his father and grandfather were both successful attorneys and a career in the culinary arts was frowned up. The accountant who wanted to be a film maker but didn’t dare risk the security of a good job to do creative work. The sales professional who wanted photography to be more than a hobby but was making too much money to pursue their true passion.

No matter where you are in your career, remember the quote often attributed to George Elliot – “It is never too late to be what you might have been”. Start today and discover the intersection of your brilliance and what the market will pay.

Step 1. Get out your journal and write down the answer to the following questions.
What are your unique skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKA’s?)
What are you doing when you are working at something and hours pass yet it seems like a few minutes? (In other words, doing what you love to do.)

Step 2. Marry the two together. Do some research. What kinds of jobs require your unique SKA’s? Based on your answer what jobs have both your SKA’s and allow you to work at what you love?

Step 3. Identify people you know who are currently doing the work you want to do. Don’t know them personally? Read the biographies of people you want to emulate. Use their stories as a model for yours.

Step 4. Create a plan of action. What can you do today, this week, this month, this year to move you closer to having a career you will love? Post your plan where you will see it every day to track your progress.

Step 5. Turn off the voice in your head that says changing your life is impossible. Even the word itself says I’m possible. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations.

Step 6. Celebrate along the way. Every time you take action on your dreams reward yourself in some small way. Share a glass of wine with a friend, do a happy dance, proclaim it on your social media page. Whatever reward will keep you taking action and moving forward.

I love what Oliver Wendell Holmes had to say about this – “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” What is one thing you are willing to do today to find a job that requires your brilliance? Post that here.

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