Archives for December 2007

What Everybody Ought to Know About Finding Work You Love

There are nine ingredients to finding work you love and these ingredients are influencing your search whether you’re aware of them or not.

Puzzle
Nine Ingredients of Right Livelihood

The surest way to clearly hear your true work calling is to deliberately work through all nine essential ingredients by journaling your realizations and conclusions as you go.

  1. Honor your Core Self (inner voice) to bring forth the glory of your soul so that others can feel it and support it.
  2. Identify, clarify, verify, fortify and gloriously express your natural Strengths.
  3. Energize your Heart’s Desires.
  4. Flaunt your natural personality Traits (‘bad ass’ self) and feel good about it.
  5. Orient your life around your Values.
  6. Connect to a deliberate Vision that works for you.
  7. Commit to your nonnegotiable Requirements.
  8. Move through Fears and blocks that are holding you back.
  9. Discover and create Environments to thrive within.

In this post I’ll share some methods to go deep within to honor your Core Self (inner voice) to bring forth the glory of your soul so that others can feel it and support it.

The masters tell us to be who we are or to be all of who we are.

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.” – Dostoevsky

But how does one go about discovering and honoring his or her core self? What’s the process? Let’s begin by understanding what our core self is. I’m referring to your essence, the heart of you or vital core, what some call your soul. According to Dictionary.com, soul is defined as follows.

Soul is the emotional part of human nature, the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

Soul is the animating principle, the essential element or part of something.

Soul is the inspirer or moving spirit of some action or movement.

I’ve found that the process of honoring my soul (core self) begins by setting the intention to carry on a lifelong dialogue. Our soul provides us with an inner compass that we can align with to become more in harmony with the life we were meant to live. Like wild geese somehow knowing when and where to fly south, our compass is just as accurate and fitting for us.

So we begin this dialogue by simply stating the sacred intention to be true to ourselves. One excellent way is to simply take a deep breath and say out loud. “I choose to be true to my core self.” Then thank your soul for getting your attention in this important matter and invite it to show you ways in which you can. You can jumpstart the process by journaling the following questions.

  1. What parts of myself have I been thus far reluctant to express?
  2. How can I honor myself and bring them out?
  3. What environments do I enjoy so much that just by being in contact with them I embody grace?
  4. What are the ways I like to work that bring me most alive?
  5. Like migrating geese, what wonderful, unseen urge is calling me?

These questions are powerful. But that sad thing is you’ll never know how powerful unless you invest the time to ask them and carry on the dialogue. This is a somewhat tricky process that can only show its gold to you in the doing of it.

“We understand why children are afraid of darkness, but why are men afraid of light? The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Plato

You can do one simple thing better than anyone else in the world: be yourself. When you do that, without holding back, the results are indeed magnificent. Yet that process only begins with rigorous self-examination.

In summary there are nine essential ingredients to get your search for work life happiness and freedom really cooking. Will you begin a dialogue with your soul today so this most important ingredient is present? In my next post I’ll share how to identify, clarify, verify, fortify and gloriously express your natural strengths.

The Seven Enemies of Flow

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. It is characterized by a feeling of energized focus and full involvement. When reaching a state of absorption in our work, we experience the freedom and deep delight that we seek.

Work that we love, that also provides ample financial abundance, can be an illusive animal. When searching for work that we love, that also pays the bills, it’s sometime better to approach things from the side – rather than head on. An indirect approach begins with noticing where we are in each of the enemies of flow (listed below). As you consider the enemies of flow, ask yourself where they show up in your life. Just realizing that you enter these grounds can allow you to begin to release them.

1. Perfectionism. Perfectionism is actually the opposite of seeing life as perfect. Flow doesn’t always show up as a blissful experience. In other words, opportunities sometimes come disguised as crises. Yet there is always something exactly right (perfect) about our discontent. It is a perfect gift for us to ‘get’ something. But when we strive for perfection, we miss the gift and block the flow. We miss the message within the discord because we are so busy trying to change it. Since what we resist persists, as perfectionists we become stuck in the muck of perpetually trying to create the perfect. The flawed perfect was already ours for the letting. Letting life be most easily allows us to enter flow.

2. Beliefs. Beliefs would aid flow if all we had were unrestricted ones. But we have plenty of the limited variety as well. Consider this: what might your life be like in the absence of all beliefs? You would have to just live life, in the present moment, noticing and adjusting on the fly. But would that really be so bad? All beliefs are conditioned by past experiences and reinforced by emotions. So they limit us to the extent of those experiences and emotions. Limiting beliefs actually stop us from living a large life. As a kid, you mostly just showed up and went with the flow. Life was lighter then because we didn’t know so much. Experiment! Live a couple hours in the absence of belief. See how free you feel.

3. Envy. Flow is an experience of inclusion. It is not possible to be in the flow while wishing to exclude another. . Envy is exclusionary and creates a mindset that says ‘there isn’t enough.’ In a state of flow there is always enough. There’s enough time, money, love, laughter and all good things for everybody. When we are envious of another’s good, we are saying that the Universal Pie is limited. If we believe it’s limited then we are excluding others, and from that place we cannot enter flow. Is your life stream barely a trickle? Release your envy.

4. Struggle. Flow is found on the path of least resistance. Struggle, complaining, needless drama and suffering are all forms of resistance. Each of these states doesn’t lead to the experience of flow. They lead to the experience of resistance. Some of us still enjoy life’s battles. Just understand that both flow and struggle are choices. You decide which option best nourishes your soul. You decide if you can live with taking the easy way out just for the joy of it. Why not be in the right place at the right time? You may be ready for the easy way out. Limber up and allow life.

5. Pretense. When life repeatedly appears out of alignment, some part of us is not being authentic. The physical universe never lies. Looking for the place where we are out of integrity can usually align us. Where are you faking it? Where are you barely holding your life together in avoidance and denial? Take off the mask. Speak the complete truth about how lousy things are and you’ll open the door to heal. The energy of momentum can carry you once your pretense is no more.

6. Doubt. Being drawn along by flow is an experience of trust. The natural well-being of flow is life before we color it with our fears and doubts. Flow is a joyous and delightful experience of living. But to get there we must trust. Doubt runs in the face of trust. If you can’t get there by trusting then come through gratitude. If you just can’t be grateful then come through acceptance. If you can’t accept, then you must enter through the doorway of forgiveness. If you are unwilling to forgive, then know that you are choosing to remain resentful and stuck with doing things the hard way.

7. Invulnerability. When we are unwilling to risk being wounded we are also blocking our entry to flow. Receptivity and eagerness to engage all of life is a prerequisite to flow. Flow can feel effortless, but it is far from mindless or unchallenging. Vigor is a characteristic of flow. Watching television is effortless, but it requires no stretching beyond our comfort zone. Experiences of flow require us to show up ready to extend the limits of our capacities. Flow requires us to enter life’s stream awake to the wonders of the unknown. To really live we’ve got to risk a few bumps but it’s a small price to pay for our waiting glory.

Your choices have placed you within the enemies of flow. As flow is the natural state of well-being, you need only to choose again to enter it. You can release the obstructions to flow by stopping the beliefs and behaviors that keep you in these states. Your flow will come rushing back to you by raising your consciousness in the times that you engage the enemies above.