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Finding Your Work Archives - Page 5 of 8 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Finding Your Work"

How to Avoid Getting Stuck in Life

Did you know that people tend to walk in circles? It’s true. Studies show that if you’re blindfolded or lost in the woods you’re likely to go in circles.

This is one reason why you should stop walking when you realize that you’re lost. You’re just expending energy and may not be getting anywhere.

Jan Souman, a behavioral psychologist, performed a study to test this.  He asked people to walk as straight as possible for a few hours— some in a forest, others in a desert, and still others performed the test blindfolded.   He said,  “Just walking in a straight line seems like such a simple and natural thing to do, but if you think about it, it’s quite a complicated thing going on in the brain.”
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Finding Purpose in Life: The Long Guide to Finding Your Life’s Work

It was an earnest request: “I’d like to know how to find your vocation.”

We were sitting in one of Seattle’s finest coffee establishments. It was a sunny May morning— the best kind of day that you could hope for.

And I suddenly found myself unsure of where to start.

This is what I do! This is how I love to help people, but to answer the question so directly is challenging!

This is because the answer is usually pretty nuanced. It has to address who you, where you are, what you’re looking for in that question, and how you think of yourself, work, and life.

Here’s the trick about it: finding purpose in life is both beautifully simple and as complex as every person.

Finding your calling, vocation, and life’s work are about finding your identity. It’s about living into a deeper expression of who you are as a human.

As I expressed in the Meaning Manifesto, you were made to make something. If there’s one message for you to take away from that, it’s that you have something to say. So the question of finding your life’s work in essence is the question: “What do you want to say?”

And by say, I don’t mean actually say with words (though it could mean that), I mean create. Basically, what’s the impact you want to have on the world around you?

In this post, I’m going to lay out how you answer the question. Continue Reading

How Getting Stuck Leads to Progress

We’ve all been there: stuck, discouraged, lost, maybe even burnt-out and frustrated. And I know that many of you are there right now.

Have you ever thought about what causes “stuckness”? I don’t mean, how you got stuck, but why one person may feel stuck while another in the same situation doesn’t?

It’s our stories that define our stuck-ness.[tweet that]

We all have stories about how life is supposed to go, whether we realize it or not. We learn these stories from many places throughout our lives, particularly in our early and most formative years. The communities, cultures, organizations, and institutions that have shaped us tell us stories about who we are and the way life should go.

We often don’t notice these stories until things start to get complicated. We take a hit we didn’t expect: we loose a job, a relationship, a scholarship, an opportunity. However it happens, we find ourselves outside the storyline that we thought we’d be living. Continue Reading

Is it What You Do or Who You Are? How Your Identity Changes Your Work

In the quest for deeper meaning and purpose, there comes a moment when you must go from doing your work because it’s “what you do” to doing your work because it’s a part of who you are.

Steven Pressfield talks about this moment as “turning pro.”

Seth Godin talks about it as “choosing yourself.”

  • It’s when you go from writing here and there to being a writer.
  • When you go from taking pictures to being a photographer.

  • When you go from playing with code to being a developer.

  • When you go from being artsy to being an artist.

  • When you go from helping others train to being a trainer.

  • When you go from working as a nanny to being an early childhood development specialist.

  • When you go from volunteering at your church to being a pastor.

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How Your Past Connects To Your Life Purpose (A Letter to my 23 Year Old Self)

Dear 23-year-old Dan,

Man. Your hair is way longer right now than you’ll be keeping it in 10 years.

I have a lot to say to you, so get comfortable. You’ll need it, because this might get uncomfortable.

Marry Stacia. That’s the best decision you could ever make. That goes without saying.

That job you’re about to take is almost going to kill you. That’s ok. You’ll survive. And it will teach you something.

The next few years are going to be extremely lonely.

You’re going to make it. But sometimes it’s going to feel like you’re just barely making it.

Go to therapy. Spoiler alert: you’ll decide to go to therapy in a few years, but you should start sooner. I know a guy. I’ll send you his number.

Learn to care for yourself and learn to care for yourself during depression.

Create things. You’re happiest when you’re creating, and people always seem to benefit from what you create.

Don’t just create things, build a creative habit. You make such great things, but you won’t make great things unless you set aside the time to do it. Inspiration will come from time to time, but most great things are made by sitting down and struggling with them.

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