SAS #008: Knowing the Exact Job You’ll Have for the Rest of Your Life
If you know exactly what your job will be for the rest of your life, that is your punishment. If you have multiple careers in you, that is your gift.
^This is a paraphrased quote from Oscar Wilde. The full quote is:
“If you want to be a grocer, or a general, or a politician, or a judge, you will invariably become it; that is your punishment. If you never know what you want to be, if you live what some might call the dynamic life but what I will call the artistic life, if each day you are unsure of who you are and what you know you will never become anything, and that is your reward.” — Oscar Wilde
There is freedom in not knowing. There is potential for growth. For change. This is the excitement you are looking for. Not the certainty of a suit and tie career for 40 years. That is the opposite of exciting.
Unless that is your dream!
But for most of us, there are multiple streams of work we want to fulfill.
That is a very good thing.
Add to your “meaning bank”
You can uncover meaning in your work by making small changes. Over time you can accumulate more and more meaning.
You don’t have to quit your job to find it.
Changing how you communicate, changing the hours you’re at work, contributing to a different project, joining a new team, or finding a new mentor, all add to your “meaning bank.”
These small changes add up.
Or, think about working on a side project, which can add a huge amount.
Passion projects allow you to have your career and tap into your creativity.
Over time your “meaning bank” will fill with experiences that enliven you and make you happy.
A lot of work can be soul crushing.
What small step can you take to add to your “meaning bank?”
Why learning to sail can help your career
“Tacking” is a sailing technique where you steer your boat to the left, and then the right in order to move forward. You cannot sail directly into the wind. You must tack back and forth to make progress.
If every few weeks, months, or years you slightly pivot your focus, you will continue to find meaning in new experiences. You will tack your way towards purpose.
You don’t need the perfect job to discover more meaning and purpose. You don’t even need to leave your current job. You can tack your way closer to your purpose by making changes in your life that you can control now.
Full expression of you
Life gives the chance to express ourselves through relationships, fun, and work.
Even if there are aspects of life that are not great, you need to find areas that are fulfilling and spend more time there.
Your job does not define your whole being, and nothing says you can’t express yourself outside of work in new ways, or make small changes at work to get closer to fulfillment.
You don’t need to know what you will be for the rest of your life.
There’s a case to be made that in fact, you should not!
Enjoy the exploration. There will be enough for you to do. And you will get to enjoy life more.
It’s scary to not know, but that’s where the exploration and adventure is.
And, we’re in it together. Here’s to you exploring more.
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Then, send this article to someone who will resonate with it.