According to the latest Gallup polls, only 32% of Americans actually love what they do for a living. That leaves a whopping 68% of people feeling unfulfilled with the work they do on a daily basis. In my mind, this is unacceptable. And if you’re reading this article, then you likely think so, too.
If you're someone who's searching for meaningful work that you love, here are six tips to get you on the path to success and long-term fulfillment, both personally and professionally.
1. Find your personal GPS Formula.
When I first started trying to figure out how to find and do what I love for a living, I was confused just like everyone else. So, I decided to take conscious control of my destiny and do something about it. I ended up creating something I like to call "The GPS Formula."
- G = Greatness
- P = Passion
- S = Service
What are you great at?
Seems like a pretty simple question, right? If you're not sure how to answer it, then you need to grab a notebook and take a few minutes to create a list of your greatest strengths and skills. Write them all down.
When you’re done with your list, you’ll feel good about the fact that you’ve actually got something positive to look at on paper.
What are you passionate about?
People get way too caught up in trying to "find their passion” when, in reality, we do not find passion. Passion is a result. We bring it about by taking action.
Once you've determined what you're great at, start doing more of the things that you actually love to do. And while you’re doing those things, keep a journal within reach so you can write about whether you love a certain thing enough to try to make a living out of it.
What is your highest point of service?
Reference the list of things you made of everything you’re great at (G), and then cross-reference this list with the list of things you’re passionate about (P). Once you've done this, you're ready for the final step, which is to determine the best combination of G + P that will allow to you to successfully make a living and serve (S) other people.
Once you’ve determined your own personal GPS intersection, you’ve found what you’re meant to be doing. Now, time to chase after it.
2. Stay hungry for more information.
You need to be on a constant lookout for ways to gain more knowledge about what you aspire to do by researching this particular area of interest. Find five of the best books about your industry and read them cover to cover. Take notes on what you read and apply the material in real life.
3. Take action.
When I decided to start my own self-improvement podcast, I knew that in order to do it properly, I needed to acquire some tech-related knowledge. So I took a 12-week course on how to start a podcast. Do you think I waited three excruciating months, until I was finally finished with the course, to start taking action? Heck no!
Every single lesson was followed up with immediate action. If I'd waited until the course was all over to begin my work, I would have been overwhelmed and tempted to procrastinate.
If you want to do what you love for a living, you need to always be taking deliberate action immediately after you learn something so that you can distinguish between what works and what doesn’t.
4. Find a mentor.
Find the best of the best in your industry and use them as guides. Learn about these mentors. Read their work. Listen to their interviews. Follow them on Twitter. And if you’ve got the courage to do so, go ahead and reach out to them. They (probably) won’t bite.
5. Don’t burn yourself out.
Too many people blindly believe that they need to do backbreaking work in order to earn their keep and be successful. This is nonsense.
While doing work you love isn't supposed to be totally easy, it doesn’t need to be excruciatingly painful. People who do what they love for a living maintain their charge by cultivating a symbiotic relationship between labor and love. If you’re burning yourself out, you’re doing it wrong.
6. Make friends with failure.
Regardless of who you are or what you do, there’s one thing you need to get comfortable with whether you’re ready for it or not: failure.
Throughout my own journey toward meaningful work, I failed so many times I decided to create a public list of all my failures. This list gave me, and my readers, something to look back on and learn from.
Failure is inevitable, but the more it happens to you, the closer you get to that sweet spot — that place you’ve defined as the unique intersection of where your greatest gifts meet your skills.
Combine what you LOVE with how you LIVE.
It's possible. I promise.
If I can do it, so can you.
For more advice on how to do what you love for a living, check out my podcast channel here.
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