Are you doing what you love to do?
Is work tremendously satisfying?
I am one of the lucky ones because I love what I do for a living. In fact, I can’t imagine retiring! What would I do with myself? What could possibly be as stimulating as the conversations I have every day? My clients are extremely bright and talented people. I have the great fortune of speaking to them about the profound issues of their lives.
- What are your dreams?
- Are you satisfied with your life?
- What are you trying to accomplish and how could you get there faster, easier and more easefully?
- How could your life matter even more?
- Are you happy?
Truly, these are questions of the soul. It is the territory I was meant to inhabit. When I am having these conversations, I imagine I am having a similar experience to Michael Jordon playing basketball or Warren Buffet picking stocks. It comes naturally to me. It is my gift.
It wasn’t always this way for me. For many years of my life I didn’t feel special at all.
I was completely out to lunch in grade school. I hadn’t connected the dots that you were in school to learn. To me it felt like some kind of a prison. Then send you there at 8 a.m. and my job was to survive until the final bell rang. I was free until the next day. Needless to say, my grades were average.
I had an extremely rude awakening in middle school when I discovered that Algebra II and French II followed Algebra I and French I. Suddenly, I was expected to know something from the year before. I was academically downing in my ignorance and as any drowning person does, I grabbed for any life jacket I could find. I cheated. I got caught. I was humiliated. I had stomach cramps every morning before school.
Fortunately, my survival skills kicked in. I opened my eyes to the need to learn some of the stuff I was being taught and disciplined myself that task. I began getting B’s and even a few A’s. Self-discipline and focus enabled me to sufficiently achieve in high school, college and even seminary where I found I could even master such boring and difficult subjects as Greek and Hebrew. But, it took a lot of effort. I certainly wasn’t having the experience of being Michael Jordon.
I had a short stint as a pastor of a church. It wasn’t my intention for my tenure to be brief. I thought I had been called to that job for the rest of my life. Fortunately, trouble, conflict and suffering saved me from myself. The church went through a split (which is not an uncommon experience in the evangelical world). I was a young man with a wife and two small children whom I loved and desperately wanted to provide and care for.
I fled to a Ph.D. program in psychology. I was desperate. But, blindly I had stumbled into one of those pivotal experiences that changes your life forever. I discovered I had brilliance. For the first time in my life school was both interesting and easy. I remember raising my hand (an extremely uncommon experience in my past) and quivering with excitement because I found myself intuitively “knowing” the answers to almost every question. I finished my exams an hour before anyone else. I was top of my class. I had found my gift, my “genius”, the thing I was meant to do in the world. Executive leadership coaching and working with individuals eager to thrive in their careers is my genius.
Have you found yours?
If not, here are some places to look:
- Look at your past. Where have you experienced success?
- Ask yourself what you would do if money were not an issue.
- Ask the people who know you and love you to honestly tell you what they believe is your greatest gift.