Why Your Purpose Should Align With Your Paycheck
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Have you ever heard or read that saying and wondered how loving what you do can produce a paycheck? Well, in order to really apply that saying into your life, I would have to say it’s not just what you love that will allow you to wake up exhilarated and excited to go to work, but it’s finding your fierce that will make you the most refreshed and ready.
First, let me explain why I use the word “fierce.” Fierce is my word for purpose on fire. I believe it’s that inner flame that drives your motivation and, in order to find the work that will make your heart soar and find your fierce, you must start with identifying two things:
- What do you love?
- What are you great at?
Once you identify these answers and understand where they intersect, you have found what I call your fierce. But, why is this so important?
A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management concluded that over half of employees are not satisfied with their jobs. Even further, an article in The New York Times called, “Why You Hate Work” focused on a survey from the Energy Project, an engagement and performance firm that focuses on workplace fulfillment that found half of the respondents lacked a level of meaning and significance at work. In summary, research has found that over 50% of people are not doing work they love.
Imagine what that means: doing work that you’re good at, but still hating it. As a matter of fact, you hate it so much, you don’t even want to get up in the morning. Even when you get to work, that same disdain for your work affects your attitude and how you interact with others in your workplace. And, if you work five out of seven days each week, basically, you’re living more than 70% of your life unhappy in dread and regret. Is that any way to live?
You should be doing what you love and are absolutely phenomenal at. This allows you to add value not just to your life but to the role you play at work. And, what we know is that when you are happy you excel at work, which will have a ripple effect on your career. It also allows others who are around you, at work and at home, to experience a happy more fulfilled you.
What is really preventing us from living in this bliss? It’s living in the land of perception: doing what other people think we should do and being who other people think we should be. When you stop looking for an outside indication to an inside answer, you find that your strengths, skills and expertise — that is, the things you are naturally great at — add up to your purpose. Once you align your purpose with your paycheck, it can and will add meaning to your life.
How do I know this? Of course, I can give you countless examples of clients I have worked over the last 20-plus years to align meaning and fulfillment with their paycheck, but the first work I did around this was with myself. I came to the realization that I lacked fulfillment in my work back in 1993 at a time in my life when, from what everyone else could see, I was very successful. As a matter of fact, some two years out of college, I had successfully matriculated into the entertainment industry and landed the job I had always dreamed of since I was a little girl. Plus, I was going to all the hot Hollywood parties, I was bumping elbows with people that you’ve looked at on TV and seen in films. I had the dream life. But I felt like something was missing.
Now don’t get me wrong, working in Hollywood was great. But, I realized I had carved out a career path based on what other people told me I should be or do. Realizing this was confusing. What should I do? Should I stay in a job that was not giving me the meaning I desired and live with a career others would deem successful, or should I go after the fulfillment my heart desired?
In the middle of me answering these questions for myself, one of my good girlfriends asked me to volunteer at a program at our church. That night, as a volunteer working with young women, something in my belly jumped and I knew in that moment this was exactly what I was meant to do. That night, I found what my heart was yearning for and I began to shift my career toward doing this full-time and really living in what I call my fierce. Your fierce is when you live in the complete power of your gifts and talents and no longer live in public perception or opinion.
I realized that the highest and best use of my gifts made me feel alive and fulfilled, and I actually could not believe I could actually get a paycheck for doing what I love. I can tell you from first-hand experience that I get paid every day to do what sets my soul on fire, and that is why I am committed to the idea that everyone should focus on aligning their purpose with their paycheck.
Deciding to align what you love with your greatest gifts and talents allows you to focus on what matters most to you. When you do what sets your soul on fire, opportunities for advancements will find you, as opposed to you looking for them. By shifting your focus and aligning your purpose with your paycheck, you can profoundly shift the trajectory of your life both personally and professionally. No matter what you do, you draw greater meaning and fulfillment when you focus on aligning your purpose with your paycheck.
As Howard Thurnab once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Source: forbes.com, by Nicole Roberts Jones