Monday, October 17, 2011

Find Your Way to What Fulfills You

By night I am a career coach and blog writer, but by day I work at a renowned medical institution. It's a massive place-spanning several city blocks-and, as you are wont to see at a place of this size, there are patients everywhere. And not a day goes by that I don't see the all-to-familiar look of confusion/nervousness/uncertainty on the faces of patients as timidly step up to one of many campus maps we have posted on the walls of our buildings.

Then I swoop in. "Can I help you find your way?"

Relief washes over them as they tell me the building where their appointment is located, and we engage in small talk as I escort them there. Once we arrive, the thank you I receive is so heartfelt and genuine...true appreciation for aiding someone in need.

I don't do it for the thank you. I do it because I like helping people; specifically, helping people find their way. Pondering this feeling and the professional life that I aspire to create, it's not hard to see the connection between the two. Yet, for months, I didn't...and dwelling on this feeling brought me to a question: what if you were living your ideal career without even knowing it?

This week I have a challenge for you: listen for the "thank yous," the "you shouldn't haves," and other instances of sincere appreciation shown by those you interact with. Pay attention to the times when you feel a part of a bigger purpose than your day-to-day activities but are truly serving others. Finally, note where the source of this comes from: inside or outside a professional setting, with a specific population of people, in your daily work responsibilities or outside them.

This week, don't spend your time simply doing but also noticing. Comment on what you have learned about yourself below.

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