Authentic Living: Work

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This is the fourth post in a series on authentic living. If you haven't already done so, you can read the first, second and third posts to get a full picture of how authenticity can impact our lives.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

At some point, we stop asking this question - or at least it shifts.We start thinking:"In an ideal world, I would...""If money wasn't an issue, I would...""If only I didn't have this house/mortgage/kids/car/debt, I would..."The answer stops being the goal, and becomes wishful thinking.We spend so much of our time at work. Most of us spend more of our lives in the pursuit of earning money than we spend with our friends and loved ones, or doing activities that fulfil and satisfy our needs.Yet we rarely question the illogicality here, because it's 'just what people do'. You leave school, get a degree, get a job, settle down, etc. and that's life.But I wonder how many people actually want to do these things?As we grow up, we get a lot of messages, either directly or through background noise, about what we 'should' be doing with our lives.This includes whether we should get a degree (and what subjects we should study), what kind of job someone with our skills and abilities should have, and what a 'proper' job means.That's all well and good, but it rarely fits directly with what we'd ideally want to do with our lives.

But what if I don't know what I want?

I bet you have a few ideas about what you don't want.Knowing what we don't want is just as important as knowing what we do. Even if we can list off several careers or working situations that we definitely don't want to experience, we're still a step closer to finding out what makes us flow than we are if we just don't think about it.

The truth.

We all have a limited amount of time on this planet. Every day we spend doing something we don't feel passionate about is one day less we spend doing something that lights our fire.There's a whole world out there, and the idea of exploring it takes a lot of people to a very uncomfortable place.But that isn't a reason not go there.We feel uncomfortable when we're doing something that pushes us outside our comfort zone, that goes against what we believe we should do, but that doesn't mean it's wrong, or that we should stop doing it.Despite what we might hear along the way, there is nothing morally wrong with pursuing our dreams. It's not a waste of time, it's not throwing away a good education, it's not irresponsible, it's not reckless.When we bring authenticity to our work life, we realise that possibilities are endless. We don't have to sit in an office, we don't have to work for someone else - we can do these things if that's what our heart really desires, but there is no must or should.No one else is responsible for us not doing work we love and feel passionate about. No one else is making us stay in this situation. We have complete control over what we do with our lives, and the power to do meaningful, joyful and fulfilling work.We are only limited by the box we put around ourselves.

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