In an earlier post, I challenged you to ask yourself some questions about what kind of work you would do if you lived on an enchanted island and the only requirement was that your work must naturally bring you alive and make your heart sing.
To make sure I was right there with you, I answered the questions myself; frankly I was surprised at what I discovered!
The questions were:
- What kind of work would you do?
- What would your unique contribution be?
- Who would you be?
- What could others say about you that they cannot say now?
- If you woke up tomorrow and such a miracle happened, what would you see differently?
- How would you feel?
Something I almost didn’t admit was that I found these questions a real challenge to answer. As a coach, I’ve lived an extremely aware life for many years. I’ve made vocational choices by following my heart since 1992 – so I was surprised at how difficult this was for me!
What happens when suddenly we have the opportunity to imagine what it would be like to live in complete vocational bliss? You may have a different experience, but mine was fascinating. When I began answering these questions, I faced a great void. My relatively safe and formerly dark hole of dreams was now illuminated. Then, once the pressure was completely off (i.e., I didn’t have to be concerned about the marketability of what I did on the enchanted isle) it felt heavily on like never before.
Why? I’m going to take a few guesses.
- When we finally have permission to let our wild, unrestricted selves out, when faced with freedom, we hesitate to seize it. Kind of like the animal who becomes so used to the boundaries of his cage that he still won’t cross them once the walls are down.
- Talk is cheap. It’s easy to say we want to find our true calling, but when faced with the actuality of following through… another level of fear arises.
- We really do care what others think. But when faced with living in an environment like the enchanted isle, where people are not judgmental and the only requirement is that what you do brings you deep fulfilling happiness, yet another excuse is removed. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Theodore Geisel, (Dr. Seuss)
- We become intimidated by our own power to chose to be who we really are. It’s time to stop pretending. “If you do not pretend to be more than you are, you will dare to be all that you are.” – Susan Thesenga
So I decided to drink my own Kool-Aid and answer all the questions myself. Rather than bore you with the details, I summarized my responses and created a shingle for my cottage on the Enchanted Isle of Delightful Work. Here it is:
On the Enchanted Isle of Delightful Work, what would your shingle say? Exercise the courage to let your heart answer these questions, and then boil your answers down to the words you’d hang by your cottage for your fellow islanders to view.
What would your shingle say? I’d love to see it, if you’d like to share it with me (you don’t need a graphic – text is fine)!
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman