Okay, I bet you have been just eagerly waiting since yesterday to find out what grabbed me in this new book I’m reading called Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job [affiliate link]
Here it is: People tend to assume that finding their dream job is an act of discovery. A wild revelation they happen upon some day that feels a bit like an orgasm. Sorry for the crude language, but it’s true! We believe that once we find that ONE THING it is going to be absolutely amazing – something like we have never experienced in our lives before.
Jon actually describes coming in touch with our dreams as an act of recovery. We are reunited with something that we have experienced in our past and it finally clicks, and we know, we know this is one thing we are meant to do.
We think finding out what we want to do is going to be a revelation. In our twenties or thirties or forties, we will serendipitously stumble upon some activity we’ve never done and like a kid tasting ice cream for the first time, we’ll be hooked. Lightbulb! … that’s what we believe about our dreams. But dreams rarely work that way.
In his book Start with Why, author Simon Sinek discusses this reality. He calls our dreams, or calling, our “WHY.” He says, “The WHY for every individual or organization comes from the past. It is born out of the upbringing and life experience of an individual.” He further explains that finding WHY is not a process of “invention.”
I think finding your dream job or what Sinek calls your WHY is more than a revelation or an act of discovery. I believe it’s a process of recovery.
More often than not, finding out what you love doing most is about recovering an old love or an inescapable truth that has been silenced for years, even decades. When you come to your dream job, your thing, it is rarely a first encounter. It’s usually a reunion. So instead of setting out to discover this thing you love doing, you’ve got to change your thinking and set out to recover it, maybe even rescue it.
Because somehow you lost it along the way.
But if finding your dream is an act of recovery, that changes everything.
You don’t ask the bottomless, “What do I want to do with my life?” but instead, “What have I done in my life that I loved doing?” Instead of a million different options from out there, you’re suddenly left with a manageable handful of options from within your own experience.
Once you make this mental switch, you can immediately start combing through your history for hints that will reveal your “something.”
Why not start now?
Grab a sheet of paper (or your idea journal if you keep one) and write this question:
What have I done in my life that I loved doing?
Jot down everything that comes to mind – regardless of how ridiculous it sounds. One thing that I’m still slightly embarrassed of, but am beginning to embrace, is that I love to make ridiculous videos and post them to YouTube for my friends and family to enjoy. Honestly, I’m still not sure how this will play into my “dream job” but I really enjoy doing it, so I’m finally acknowledging it.
Question: What is one thing from your past that you loved to do? I’d love to hear it! Share your ONE THING in the comment section.