Tag: life


How to Find Joy in Your Work

You may be one of those lucky people who has a job that brings tremendous joy in your life. Most likely you’re one of many struggling to find joy in your work. While you may be temporarily stuck in what feels like a dead-end situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your own uniqueness to add some joy to the daily grind. By finding ways to put your own thumbprint on your work with your unique quirks and skills, you can not only make your work joyful for yourself, but also for others.

How Others Find Joy

My favorite example of this is the story I recently heard of a school janitor in New Hampshire. One of his duties is to vacuum the carpet in the classrooms. Everyone is familiar with how a vacuum leaves lines and tracks in carpet. Well, this janitor uses his artistic abilities to create various designs in the carpet with his vacuum cleaner. It gives him joy in his job to have this kind of creative outlet. In turn, the school children experience joy when they come in to their classroom each morning to find a new carpet mural.

vacuum

Photo by Angie Wyand

Another example is my favorite salesman of The Contributor. Shawn sells at the corner of Music Row and the round-about. Every holiday he dresses up in costume while he sells newspapers to fund his housing and his own T-shirt company.

the-grinch

One way I do this in my own company is by occasionally taking my clients out for a stand up paddleboard lesson. It brings me joy both to be out on the water and to teach someone something new. It brings my clients joy because it gets them out of their normal routine, clears their mind, and exposes them to a potential new hobby. They always comment on how relaxing and fun it is.

emily

paNASH client Emily U.

The Possible Results

Using your uniqueness to bring joy to your work and to others can open doors to an even better opportunity for several reasons. It can:

  1. Increase your positivity.
  2. Get you noticed in a good way.
  3. Make a difference in the lives of the people you serve in your work.
  4. Indirectly impact the bottom line of the company in a positive way.

All of these things make you a valued asset for both your current company and any other company you may be interested in working for, therefore likely resulting in a promotion, a pay raise, or a new job. Or, it could just simply brighten someone’s day.

How Can You Find Joy?

What’s a way you can (or already do) add your own thumbprint to make your work joyful? I REALLY LOVE stories like this and want to hear more so please, please, please share in the comment box below your own example or others’ examples you’ve witnessed.

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11 Benefits Of Pursuing Your Passions

Last week, I talked about what it means to be “passion poor” (feelings of hunger and emptiness when we are living without passion). This week, I want to talk about what “passion rich” looks like. It includes all the benefits that come from living a life with passion and making our passions our plan, not just our dream.

Passion Rich

When it comes to life in general, there are many benefits to pursuing our passions, whether they’re a hobby or a form of service to our fellow man, or both. These benefits include:

1. A simplified life and personal freedom. With all the chaos and information overload in today’s world, there’s something very freeing about going back to the basics of our interests and joys. Over time we tend to complicate what was once something simple. This introduces confusion, and eventually our passions and reasons for doing something get misplaced. Rediscovering our passions (or discovering new ones!) can bring some simplicity back into our lives. This can lead to new freedom in our day-to-day routines.

2. Greater self-awareness and self-confidence. Many times we feel pressure from family or society to be something we’re not, which causes our confidence to plummet because we aren’t operating in our own strengths and interests. Taking time alone to listen to what our soul is telling us and to recognize our strengths and interests leads to authenticity, which in turn leads to greater self-confidence.

3. Expansion of our comfort zones. As our self-confidence increases, we begin to push the boundaries of our comfort zones. It’s in this expanded territory where we can discover new passions we never knew we had!

4. Empowerment. With increased self-confidence and new strengths and interests, we become empowered to combine our passions and take them to a new level that can benefit a greater whole.

Making A Living With Our Passions

Oftentimes, when we’re pursuing our passions authentically, our passions become our career or vocation. We’re actually able to get paid to do the things we love to do! For some of us, we kind of just “fall” into such a situation. For the rest of us, we have to make a conscious, intentional decision to make a career change, and then figure out how to do that. This frequently involves changing our vision, overcoming our fears, and maneuvering through a variety of obstacles. The benefits of taking our passions to the next level and turning them into our vocations include:

5. Work we love. There’s nothing more life-draining than being stuck in a job that doesn’t bring us some form of joy and doesn’t utilize our strengths and interests. Now, I must say what I’ve always told my clients when coaching them on their careers:  none of us are ever going to love 100% of our job 100% of the time. But if we can find something we love at least 60% of the time, then we can be enriched and fulfilled in our work. And yes, there are ways to find such work!

6. Professional growth and career success. When we’re doing what we love, we can’t help but excel and grow in our area of expertise. This can lead to rapid promotion and career success.

7. Professional freedom. In pursuing our passions as a living, we can have the opportunity to be our own boss which gives us professional freedom such as choosing who we want to work with, making our own schedule, and even obliterating salary caps!

8. Fulfillment of our vocational purposes. There’s nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than knowing we’re doing the work we were called to do. This happens when we’re using our skillset to do what we love and what benefits others which results in a return. It’s what I call “finding your sweet spot.”

Life And Career In Harmony

When we’re able to incorporate our passions into both our careers and our lives, we get to experience the ultimate benefits:

9. Cohesiveness and harmony in work and life. When we experience this benefit, the lines between work and life are blurred because our work often doesn’t feel like work. The joy we experience in our work spills over into our lives, and vice versa.

10. Increased satisfaction overall. The cohesiveness mentioned above leads to an overall satisfaction with every area of our lives.

11. Being part of something bigger than ourselves. As humans we are all born with a desire to fulfill a purpose that fits into the bigger picture and grand scheme of our world. We want to leave the legacy of having made an improvement and impact on our surroundings in our time here on earth. We accomplish this through the unique passions and abilities with which we’ve been equipped.

Our passions are meant to be discovered, pursued and used. They were never meant to lie dormant or be hidden under a rock!

Do you need help unearthing some old (or new) passions? Or do you need help figuring out how to incorporate your passions into your life or career? Let me know! I’m happy to help you figure it out so you too can enjoy all the benefits listed above.

Or feel free to check out the complimentary on-demand program 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work.

From Fashionista to Passionista

Life In Limbo

I recently learned about the meaning of the word “trigger.” And no, I don’t mean the part of a gun you pull when ready to fire. Instead, in terms of life circumstances, the word “trigger” means, “a life event that forces you into limbo.” When I first saw this definition of the word “trigger,” I realized that’s exactly what I had been in for the past year and a half:  LIMBO.

What was the life event forcing me into limbo? Nothing I would describe as an “event” occurred. I just know that during the summer of 2014, whenever I wasn’t busy with my work as an image consultant, I was packing in as many fun activities into my schedule as I could:  parasailing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing and more. Heck, I even got to ride in a race car during one of the video shoots I was doing wardrobe for, which was absolutely exhilarating!

F to P

Looking back, I now realize that getting out and experiencing life to the fullest was probably my “trigger,” because it opened up in me a whole new yearning for a fully-lived life, not just for me, but also for others. But at the time, I couldn’t see exactly what that looked like. I started feeling restless and burned out with my image consulting work I once was very passionate about, and was lacking a vision and purpose for the future of my business. Despite having so much fun in my free time, I was definitely in limbo, which is not always a fun place to be.

Fear As An Obstacle

During my year and a half limbo phase, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do or what God was wanting me to do career-wise. It was frustrating and discouraging. All I know is, during the summer of 2014, people were coming to me with the same struggles. They were saying to me how they feel they need some kind of change in their life and work, and how they wish they could have the time and the means to enjoy life discovering and pursuing their passions like I was.

Every time I heard this my heart would go out to them. I would say, “You CAN!” But, my encouragement was always met with some kind of obstacle, either real or perceived. Their responses included reasons (or are they excuses?) such as, “I don’t have the money, or the time, or the skill/education, etc., etc., etc.” I think a lot of those examples could easily be translated to “I don’t have the courage,” which is understandable because fear (whether it’s fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or fear of change) can be extremely paralyzing.

The Vision Becomes Clear

As the summer turned into fall and winter and then summer again, I continued trying and doing new things to help me make sense of the uncertainty I was experiencing. I went ice skating for the first time in my life, took a fly fishing class, and learned archery. In that time I also continued my favorite activity I had picked up the previous summer, stand up paddle boarding. I have two boards now and paddle every month of the year, even in the dead of winter, because I am so very passionate about it.

I also did something this past September I never imagined doing:  I paddled 16.4 miles from downtown Nashville in front of Nissan Stadium on the winding Cumberland River to Rock Harbor Marina. I thought it would take me about five or six hours to complete, but I finished in 4 hours and 15 minutes (while going against a headwind with little to no current!).

Photo by Joey Martin

Photo by Joey Martin

This experience taught me that although I couldn’t see the finish line because of all the twists and turns in the river, it eventually (even if it took what seemed like forever) would become clear as I neared it. All I had to do was be patient and keep moving one paddle stroke at a time. That’s exactly what I did in my time of limbo. I kept doing the little bit I knew to do at a time and waited for the answer to come.

All of this, along with a lot of prayer, led up to the moment on December 17th, 2015 when suddenly my limbo ended, the clouds parted, and the sun shined brilliantly on what my purpose is at this stage in my life. I was in the shower (where I do my best thinking!) and suddenly I could see in my head the word PASSION, as if written in flashing neon lights.

The message I was getting is I am to help other people discover and pursue their passions in life and work, and help them find ways over, through, or around the obstacles and fears keeping them from their passions. As soon as this came to my mind, I could clearly see and visualize ways of helping people do this, using my own unique strengths and passions. The rest of that day and for the eight weeks since, I have been receiving confirmation after confirmation this is truly my new path, and I have been taking steps toward making it a reality.

From Fashionista To Passionista

From Fashionista to PassionistaWith this new vision for my future, I was also able to look back on the past and see how God is using my past experience to prepare me for this. Straight out of grad school I became a college career adviser because I was passionate about helping college students discover what it was they loved and wanted to do in their life (instead of just doing what their mom or dad told them to do). That experience has prepared me to coach people on how to incorporate their passions into their work and how to make money doing what they love while helping others.

My own sense of adventure and love for developing new interests outside of work has also prepared me to help others pursue passions outside of their work. I was even able to see how the name of my image consulting business, paNASH, can still work with my new mission and purpose (God doesn’t waste anything!).

So, now, I am no longer an image consultant. While I enjoyed styling people’s wardrobes and helping them look and feel their best, I’m ready to instead help them LIVE THEIR BEST! I just received my certification in transformational coaching, solution-focused coaching, and life coaching to become a Passion & Career Specialist (my own little niche and twist on life and career coaching). I guess you could say I’ve gone from somewhat of a fashionista to a passionista!

I’m excited to be embarking on this new journey. I don’t look at it as something I do for a living. It’s something I live. If you want to start living this way, then pursue your passions with paNASH! Email me to find out more on the ways I can help you put your passion into action. Or, join our newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan.

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