My friend called today and said she was stressed out at the job she at one point enjoyed and loved. She said, “I became a monster if I was getting late to my work.” She felt bad for the loss of energy that happened because of tight schedules and the pressure.
She ended up quitting, then she went on a vacation to clear her head and now she is again back and the reality of not having that job that she loved has hit her. She is not sure what to do. She is able to go back if she wants to. She can find a new career if she wants to. She can stay at home if she wants to.
She loves working and she loves her family and the pull on wanting to be there on both sides has become hard to bear. What she is looking for is her dreams to come true and at the same time keep her family life in balance.
Sounds familiar? It does to me. My quest did not exactly begin in the same way and my story is entirely different as well as the circumstances but I have been in this tug of war before.
Maybe you who are reading this is facing a tug of war as well. Many times we face this tug of war when our value systems that we have not yet fully recognized are challenged to the core
The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions.
Severe stress happens when what we want and what we are getting and doing and what we value are all at crossroads. Regular incidents like these can lead to burn out.
We all have good intentions at heart when we are working as well as when we are caring for our family. But if we do not examine these intentions, over time they create a road to hell. We have to examine our intentions and look at the root of these intentions to see where they are coming from.
Are our intentions based on how we look and appear in the society or they are coming from something we truly inherently believe in?
Actions that are stimulated by jealousy, comparison, lack mindset, delusion take us towards bad results.
When we are aware of our right intentions and our core values, we can improve the world for ourselves and others and start mindfully working towards positive results.
Identifying Your Purpose
Our values guide us. When we know and honor these values, we truly experience fulfilment. When we do not accept our values, we possibly meet stress on the way more often than not.
Values are mostly imposed upon us by the media, by politicians, by our religious groups, by our workplaces. Most people live their life not knowing what really mattered to them the most.
Here are few steps to identify your values in a mindful way. A guided classroom experience is best suited for this example which is part of my mindfulness course but I will give you steps to try this exercise at home and see what comes up.
Step 1: Sit in a relaxed posture with back straight. Meditate quietly focusing on the breath. Do not alter your breath. Do not focus on the thoughts. Just focus on the incoming breath entering the nostril and outgoing breath leaving the nostril. Allow yourself a few minutes in this state that will help you prepare for further contemplation.
Step 2: Now imagine you are nearing the end of your life and have just finished writing your autobiography and are considering a moral of the story or a message for the end of the story. There is no need to get threatened or afraid. Consider your values and successes. Now forgive your humanity and consider how you could have better lived those values. What could you have done better for yourself and your family and for others from this future place.
Step 3: Imagine this future self talking to the present you. What would he/she say? What is your meaning in life? What is your true purpose? How can you better fulfill your purpose?
Step 4: Now come out of this meditation space and take a sheet of paper and write down the life’s purpose. Write down what core values reflect this. For example if your purpose is to improve the lives of others, you might write compassion, generosity, etc. If your purpose is to travel the world then you might write freedom, prosperity, connections, etc. Refrain from judging your purpose. Also write down intentions that come from the knowledge of your purpose and values
Step 5: Now affirm these core values in a mirror. Tell yourself what your purpose is, what your values are, how you will be those values in action.
Step 6: Now really look at your purpose and your intentions and bring into mind one intention. Examine it. See what may stand in the way. Become aware of your strengths and the needs for the intentions to be met. Does the intention truly increase the good of it all? Make sure your intention is sound. Now take the first step towards fulfilling your intentions and purpose.
Identifying our purpose and staying on the path to fulfill it minimizes our stress in a lot of ways.
I hope you get more clarity on your path as you embark on this journey of moving from careers that cause stress to living a more purpose filled life and career.