Limitless

What are 3 things you love and enjoy most in life? Do any of them have something to do with art, nature, writing, singing, acting…? Think about it for a second – no really, take some time to think about this and write it down. What are 3 things that just make your heart sing, your spirit soar and your whole being just glow with the warmth of happiness?

Looking at your list, compare those things to your job/life right now – are those things involved? For those of you who already have that as a part of your job and every day life – bravo! For those of you who either just realized or already knew that your current situation doesn’t include the things you love most:

Why aren’t you doing them?

I’m not trying to take you down some depressing road as I’m sure there have been many days when you’ve just wanted to go out and do what you love but had 1948624876 reasons pop up in your head for why you can’t do them right now. Well, right now is a good time to write those down as well. On the same piece of paper, write down all of the things that are holding you back from doing those three things that you love – your reasons, other peoples’ reasons, money, location, knowledge… Write it all down here below the things you love to do.

There are few things I enjoy so much as photography, planning and love. Ever since I was little I would dream of the things I wanted to do with my life and how awesome it would be to have a job that let me do everything I enjoyed all at once. I don’t ever remember really having one thing that I wanted to be (except maybe an alien girl with blue skin that sparkled in the sunlight – Stephanie Meyer totally got the glittery-skin idea from my 8 year old imagination), but I do remember that certain parts of my life made me so happy that I just loved the idea of getting paid to do it some day.

And wouldn’t you know I still get the same thing? Hilary, you can’t really make a good living off of photography and wedding planning alone. You’re not in a good location. You haven’t lived there long enough to have a good network. Writing a book? Seriously? That’s awesome, but don’t expect that to make you any money… Don’t forget you’ve got your college loans to work out – you can’t pay those off by taking pictures, planning weddings or writing a book! You can’t afford to spend too much time doing those things right now!

About this time two years ago I started getting really down. There were all these things that I loved to do that I could only do every now and then… and in the meantime I was working 2+ jobs that I didn’t really love just to barely pay the bills. And I just felt so stuck – doomed to a life of hating every day I worked but dealing with it because I had to do it. Then I woke up and had this amazing thought.

Why are you alive? What does life mean?

Big questions, right? But it all pretty much comes down to two things in the end – happiness and love.

I’m not at all saying screw your financial commitments – I’m just saying that you shouldn’t let money convince you that you can’t do what makes you happy. Sort of like in Field of Dreams – if you do it, the money will come. : )

Now looking at your list of reasons why you aren’t doing what you love and seriously think about each of those reasons – is it something you can cross off by getting a certification or working a bit at it? When you are doing the things you love, you will find that with a plan you can do just about anything. And employers are looking for people who take the risks to do just about anything. Think about it – how many creative minds have set themselves behind an administrative desk pushing papers to pay their bills because they don’t think they can make a living doing what they love so they’re daydreaming while they’re filing paperwork? We’ve all been in jobs like that – we just do the bare minimum to get the job done because it doesn’t excite us – it doesn’t make us come alive.

When thinking of your purpose, why you are alive and what life means, have you ever stopped to think that maybe the things you love to do are a part of why you are here? Could it be possible that the things you love to do the most are the things you were meant to do? Well, here’s your wake-up call – you weren’t put on this earth to be a miserable human being just doing what you think you have to. You were put on this earth to really live life, not let life live you.

If you haven’t already completely crossed off all your reasons for not doing what you love, then make yourself a plan for how to conquer those remaining few items. Do you need to get more experience or training? Then go get it – what are you waiting for? We spend a majority of our lives working, so shouldn’t that part of our lives be just as happy if not happier than the rest? Once you’ve got your plan, don’t waste time – jump right in on something to get the ball rolling, even if it’s doing some more research. Make yourself a plan and stick to it – any time you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, just remember that you’re on your way to doing what you love for a living and don’t give up!

Now, we’ve made two lists already, but there’s a third list you should make. Look at the list of the three things you love to do and think of as many jobs as you can that involve those things. You like writing and sports? Jot down something like sports journalist. Do you like photography and children? Think of things like school portrait photography or inner-city after school art projects and programs. Write these job types down. If you need help thinking up things like this, ask some friends or family members – hey, you can even ask me (I love brainstorming!). Don’t stop thinking until you have at LEAST five different job types/titles (you should aim for around 10, but go nuts!).

Congrats! You now have a list of possible job titles that you want to aim for! Research them a bit to see if there are any areas of your talent that you should spend some more time on, polish up your resume, follow that plan you made to get rid of anything holding you back and start hunting for those jobs! Look on CareerBuilder, Indeed, TalentZoo, Craigslist, Monster, and even state job sites. Another helpful hint? If you know an area you want to work around, search for companies that would be looking for individuals in that type of a position and check their Career or Employment Opportunities sections.

You can do what you love for a living – it may be in a different format than you expected, but you can do it. Stop convincing yourself that you have to be where you are or that you simply cannot make a living off of doing the things you love. If you do your research and go after it with your whole heart, you can do what you love and be paying your bills at the same time. You don’t need to go the route everyone else goes – make your own roadmap to a job that lets you live and work and breathe in the things that make you come alive. When you start marking things off on your Reasons I Can’t Live My Dreams list , you’ll start realizing just how much you are capable of. You will start taking risks – and you’ll find that taking those risks will be worth it in the end. Your future can be whatever you want it to be, filled with the things that you love. You just need to stop looking at the path everyone else is walking down and start walking down your own path. With that knowledge in hand, the possibilities for you will be endless. You, my friend, and your career in what you love will be limitless.

**As an added little bonus for my creative girl friends out there, absolutely check out Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career by Katharine Sise. Phenomenal book that will help you figure out your creative niches and introduce you to all different types of ways to make money using your creativity and turning that into your job versus having a job that supports your creativity. Go get ’em!**

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