Building a Meaningful Career
It's a mistake to think being miserable is the price of making a living.
I know many people who suffer from the "Sunday scaries." Once Sunday night comes around, they begin feeling anxious at the thought of going back to work on Monday. The worst part of this dynamic is people are resigned to what they believe is their fate. I see this happening all the time.
I believe that hard work and a positive mindset bring to success and meaning in life. I moved to the US with my parents when I was 12 years old. They didn't have much money, but they worked hard to provide. In my twenties, I created a business that's grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise. How did I accomplish my goals? Here are some tips discovered from my experience that can help you move from misery into a job you love and creating the life and career that you truly desire.
I meditate daily to stay focused. Meditation reminds me that the journey is more important than the destination. I credit meditation to my ability to learn from failures. In my career, I had to manage critics, and meditating allowed me to focus on what made me happy, instead of dwelling on the critiques of others.
When you are in a meditative state or outside of one begin to talk to yourself about what you dislike of your current role, and consider what you were born to do. Pretend you're an artist who's painting the canvas of your life. What shape would it take? What would it look like? Think about the reasons for your dissatisfaction.
Choose struggle over comfort.
Resist the urge to become too comfortable. If you realize you are becoming complacent, challenge yourself with bolder goals. This doesn't mean quitting your job, especially if you have a family to support. It means steering away from comfort and developing the skills to make a shift. You don't have to start over. Just change the method.
Surround yourself with the right people.
Making a drastic shift is exactly what you need, but it can threaten other people. Friends might see you as unrealistic. Ignore the negativity and surround yourself with non-judgmental people. It's vital to have friends who can offer constructive guidance. But don't forget that it's fundamentally up to you. You are the one in charge.
To overcome my challenges, I persisted and pushed through negativity to accomplish my goals. As my bodybuilding took off I surrounded myself with other high-achieving workout partners. And when I began dancing, I sought out the counsel of business owners and other successful people.
Set ambitious yet fluid goals.
You need concrete, attainable goals. Sounds simple, but many people don't get goal setting. They might set themselves up for failure by creating unrealistic goals. My goals increased in scope and ambition as I reached adulthood. I focused on bodybuilding and moving up the ranks through different contests.
When I started dancing I simply desired enough money for a nice car and to have a good time. But there were flaws in the club's operation. I saw opportunity and a better way to run the business. Through each of these steps my faith in my own drive didn't waver. I encountered challenges and naysayers, but kept focused on my goals.
When you've reached a certain level of success in your career it's time to give back. Consider mentorship as an opportunity to offer your career advice to others. Encourage other people to explore their own passions. Show them the benefits of taking risks and trying new avenues. You'll find pride and fulfillment in giving back to others.
I fully embrace giving back to the community around me. A few years ago I spoke with a fellow bodybuilder who was experiencing financial difficulties. I encouraged him to find something he loved to do that he also knew very well. It was truly rewarding to hear from him that my words had a transformative effect on his life from that point forward. He then explained his journey of creating a massively successful nutritional supplements company and that he was finally successful.
Building a career with meaning doesn't happen overnight. You will find yourself discouraged, frustrated, tired and helpless at times. Life is not a sprint, it's a marathon. And those who have the persistence and attitude to run, will reach their goal and enjoy the rewards. Believe in yourself -- no one else will do that for you.
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