There have been A LOT of times in my life when my happiness was pretty mercurial – pretty awesome when I got something I wanted which eventually faded into something I just had to endure numbly then turning into something that I could barely shoulder, causing me to ultimately pursue something else to try out.
This experimentation was great because I got to experience a bunch of jobs in a number of disparate areas (psychiatric wards, a juvenile detention center, a domestic airline, an entertainment firm, and several financial institutions). It also made me tired because it seemed that I was always seeking somewhere I could be happy.
After many decades of trial and error, I realized that I needed to get real clear about what it was that I wanted. And what I found is that it went far beyond any type of external circumstance, like a particular industry or “job.”
It came down to this, wherever you go, you take your shit with you.
It may be obvious to you (and if so, I wish I’d met you sooner!) but for me, it was something that made me stop in my tracks. I see many people in similar situations of just wanting to find another job (boyfriend, car, purse) so they’ll be happy but unable to answer the question, “What really is it that you want?”
For me, answering that question came down to looking inside, rather than outside, for the answer. What “shit” would I carry everywhere that would keep me stable?
Unpeeling the layers (Not Mine, Legacy), filling in the frame, claiming my identity were all parts of clarifying what it was that I really wanted. It was a worthwhile exercise because now, knowing who I am and where my North Star is, I am pretty sure that I will be directed to places that will always hold joy and abundance.
Chances are, I'll continue to evolve and want to do different things, but the huge difference is that I will always be happy where I am now, rather than miserably escaping to somewhere else. I have a clearer understanding about what I want while appreciating all that I have now.
Dreaming is fun to do but even more engaging is getting clarity about what it was that I really wanted. I need to know the meaning behind my life, so getting clear about what I wanted and the meaning behind it, is helpful.
I got clear by doing this:
- Thought big – about what I wanted to feel and the kinds of people I wanted to be around, like enthusiastic, free to experiment, supportive people as I would imagine a start-up to be.
- Found the essence - What was it about that “thing” that was appealing? Using the above example, the idea of creating a new, easy, or inspirational tool to help many people.
- Kept drilling down – I was found that being creative, inspired and free was important as well as helping many people find ease in their lives, something to make them happy to be alive.
- Sat back and enjoyed the options - Focusing on that last bullet point has opened up more options because no matter where I decide to go, I’ll be golden as long as I am freely creating and helping people achieve ease.