How to Escape your 9-5 and Make a Career from your Calling!
People all around the world, are waking up with an internal sense of urgency that they are meant to be doing something bigger with their life. That there must be something more than this daily treadmill of busi-ness. If you’ve ever asked ‘What Is My Life Purpose?’ then you too are feeling the call.
I felt this calling as a niggling disquiet many years ago, but like many of us conditioned to the fear of security, I ignored it. It took me years of asking that question: ‘WHAT is my life purpose?’ ‘What IS my life purpose!?’ ‘What is MY life purpose!!? ‘What is my LIFE PURPOSE!!!? ‘WHAT IS MY LIFE PURPOSE!!!???’, before I began to ask myself the RIGHT QUESTIONS.
Today, I am honoured to be amongst the likes of luminaries like Marianne Williamson, Dan Millman & Ekhardt Tolle who guide others to their personal freedom and privileged to have been instrumental in empowering hundreds of women to find fulfilment following their calling.
Below is an excerpt from an inspiring book I was honoured to be asked to be a contributor for aptly named ‘Escape Your 9-5 and Do Something Amazing – how to get off the corporate hamster-wheel and live a better life.’ I hope it serves as inspiration for you to take control of your life today..
‘A guide to stepping off the corporate hamster-wheel and living a fuller, more rewarding life. Written by people that have successfully made a break for freedom, How To Escape Your 9-5 And Do Something Amazing is your freedom manifesto. With thought-provoking, insightful features written by people from all over the world, this book will change your life. If you have ever wondered how you can shake off the shackles of your 9-5 but still make a living, then this is the most important book you will ever read..’
Making a Career from your Calling – Michele Peppler
“Many of us live our lives by accident – stumbling into relationships, wandering into careers, searching for meaning, hoping and praying that we’ll get lucky in love, find our fortune and stay healthy. I spent years like this, living at random, until I learned to live on purpose. Purposeful living embraces both reason and faith. Reason provides clear goals, while faith and intuition teach us to trust the process of our lives.” –
Dan Millman, The Life You Were Born To Live
The changing world
The world is changing to a new era of consciousness where people are able to distinguish between what you feel you ‘should be doing with your life’ because society dictates that is how it should be, to how to actually turn the thing that fulfils you the most into a career. As a life coach, I often help guide people to find what it is that truly fulfils them and to create a career from their calling. This is how it usually goes…
Rebecca came to see me because she felt like something was missing in her life, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on what. She was making great money as a corporate account manager, managed a team of people, was highly respected and known for being good at her job in an industry she’d been working in for over fifteen years. She had a nice apartment, a designer wardrobe, and went on an overseas holiday at least once a year. Thing is, this nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away.
On the surface she felt like she ‘should’ be happy – she had money, security and ‘success’ but inside she was empty. This is a common thing for more and more people waking up to wanting more for their lives and realising that climbing the corporate ladder is no longer fulfilling them. They know that they are being called to make a difference in the world, and have fulfilling careers that are in alignment with who they are and what they hold as important in the world. I call this feeling of internal dissonance your ‘Soul Calling’.
It’s a feeling that you are destined for something more. That you have a bigger contribution to make to the world that lies far beyond how much money you make or what you accumulate. Chances are, if you’re reading this book, this underlying feeling of discord and lack of meaning in your corporate career is something you are no stranger to either.
The problem is until you find a way to fulfil that purpose, you will feel a sense of incompletion, as your unexpressed potentiality goes unacknowledged and this will continue no matter how much how much buying potential you have, what you accumulate, your stature, success or achievements, if they are not aligned with what it is that makes your heart sing.
Why do we end up here to start with?
In today’s modern world, most of us have chosen our careers based on ideas that don’t have anything to do with our real purpose. Self-worth; cultural environment; socio-economic background; level of education; type of schooling; potential income; parenting, societal shaping, mass media and the influence of others; personal values and beliefs about ourselves and the world, all contribute to our career choices. Sometimes we compromise ourselves – sacrificing something we love, for work that has a higher salary or gains us esteem or approval in the eyes of others. Ultimately though, what we chose to do for a living is most fulfilling when left to our deepest intuition and core values.
What is a life purpose and how is it different to my career?
Simply put, your purpose is the bigger picture reason you are here. It’s the thing that lights us up and ignites our soul. Our higher knowing is continually trying to draw us to the path that will take us there, but sometimes we get side-tracked along the way, or we may need to learn something else first to have in our tool belt, before the real reason we are here in this lifetime becomes clear to us.
When we are little and there is no pressure to be or do something that our parents or society expects of us, you had a calling to let your natural abilities and talents shine forth. Unfortunately the time and place we were born, the culture or family we grew up in, and the things that influence us as we grow up don’t always recognise or reward the thing we are good at or are passionate about.
Often we are criticised or judged for being or wanting to be or do something other than what is deemed acceptable within the context we are in so we learn to supress and condition our genius to something more acceptable.
In today’s society monetary reward is highly valued and sometimes the things we love to do don’t seem to be the things that are recognised financially, so we can often get confused with what is our purpose and what is ‘the sensible thing to do with my career.’ We need to understand our entire schooling system is based on setting us up for the jobs that exist in mass society…’the system.’
We then adapt who we are and what we chose to do based on an idea of what we think we need to be in order to fit in to the system and forget who we really are – a soul with infinite choices and possibilities. The problem is this a fear based model and thwarts our potential.
If we stray too far off our path we end up feeling dissonance because we are not in alignment with our core truth. This can manifest as feeling restless, being tired or lacklustre, getting ill, feeling like something is missing or we are not realising our potential, feeling disillusioned with life, depression, anxiety and a general feeling of unease/disharmony with life.
Being ‘On Purpose’ on the other hand is easy to recognise – if you are living it you will feel exhilarated, inspired, passionate, excited, awake, happy to be alive!!!
What happens if we don’t answer the call of the soul?
Often our biggest challenges are just signs from the universe that we are not on path…if we won’t recognise it the universe gives us a helping hand – like being made redundant, having a major accident, a significant loss or death, relationship breakdown or some other sort of forced ending that makes us change the course we are currently on.
It’s often these big life events that force us to sit up and take notice, ask the bigger questions and challenge our status quo.
So, what then is the secret to making your calling your career?
In a now famous lecture British philosopher, Alan Watts is asked what advice would you give to students when deciding on a career. His simple but sage advice ‘What would you do, if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?” This may sound clichéd, but it really is as simple, (and as complicated) as this.
See, the secret to creating a fulfilling successful career that makes you wake up feeling inspired and on purpose every day, is bridging the gap between your vacation and your vocation. This however goes against a lot of what we have been taught about how to approach our career, which is that what we get paid for is ‘work’ that is something we don’t necessarily need to enjoy and what we enjoy or are passionate about is what we get to do in our ‘free time’ and shouldn’t necessarily get paid for.
But here’s the thing, wouldn’t it make more sense that if you truly love what you are doing, chances are you are going to be passionate about it, be motivated to excel at it and are probably naturally good at it? And if you are enthusiastic, passionate and inspired about what you do, wouldn’t it make sense that people would naturally gravitate to whatever it is you are offering and want to pay you for it? Wouldn’t it make sense too that if you enjoy what you do, that you would do it often and do it well, so much so that even if you haven’t yet completely cultivated the level of skill required to attain mastery, if you focussed your energy & time on becoming great at this thing eventually you would be able to make a fantastic living from it?
Whether you are good at creating music, planting trees, selling insurance, designing bridges, leading seminars, cooking healthy meals for your neighbour, organising social gatherings, having philosophical conversations or reading stories to children, wouldn’t it make sense that by harnessing your greatest natural talents, you are giving back to the world the best way that you possibly can and in turn making a difference for the people you service?
Starting here is a re-education process for most people. It may mean you need to throw your conditioning about what you should be doing, and what other’s think is the sensible option for you out the window. It may mean you have to initially take a cut in salary, forgo a certain level of achievement you have attained in your current work and fearlessly embrace letting go of a sense of identity, but ultimately there is only one thing more frightening than not following your dreams, and that is NOT following them.
How do I do something amazing with my life and NOT be a slave to the system?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when forging a new career is getting bogged down with ‘How’ or the ‘What Next?’ based on what they’ve done career wise to date. Here’s where I recommend people go right back to the ‘What.’ What is it I really want for my life? ‘What does my ideal day look like?’ ‘What do I want to be spending my days doing?’ ‘What type of people do I want to be connecting with? ‘Why do I want that and why is it important to me?’ Then you can worry about the how. If you’re wanting to escape the 9-5, to do something amazing, that you love below are some activities and questions which will help.
The first and most important thing you need to do is get clarity around what is important to you and your driving forces in life. Make a list of your top 10 values – things you hold as important to you like family, the environment, creativity, freedom, etc. When deciding what you want to do it is imperative that you ensure you are holding true to your values, otherwise you will feel compromised, unfulfilled and have less motivation.
Work out what do you love to do. What do you find yourself drawn to when reading, watching programs or on the internet? What lights you up when you speak about it? What do you spend time doing when all the bills are paid, and no one is asking you to do or be anything? What do you ‘lose time’ doing because you are so absorbed in it.
Work out what you are good at. If you’re not sure, ask friends or colleagues to tell you what they see as your qualities, or natural abilities. What do people ask your advice on? Sometimes we even forget what we are good at, because we have stopped ourselves doing it, whilst focussing a lot of our energy on something else. I see this a lot with creative who shut down their right brain to do a left brain job.
If you can perceive it, you can create it. Who’s lifestyle do you admire, that is doing something similar to what you would love to do? What is it that they are doing or have done that is different to how you are doing things currently? By looking through the eyes of someone who has achieved what you aspire to and modelling their values, behaviours and attitude you begin to see how you too can create whatever you desire for your life.
Understand your personal why. For example if you want to make a lot of money, what is it the money will enable you to do? Perhaps it is travel the world. Perhaps it is to have more time to spend with your family. Whatever the reason you want to make the money to start with, maybe you need to look at how your career can actually incorporate what you actually want as part of what you chose to do.
Once you’ve done these exercises you will begin to see some common themes start to come up. It is only now that the ‘How’ becomes the most important question. This is where every time you come up with an obstacle or excused of why you are not doing something, or why something is not possible, ‘How’ becomes a much more powerful word to lead your question. How enables us to becomes curious and resourceful and empowers us to come up with creative solutions to create amazing things for our life.
Don’t listen to Naysayers
When you start to pursue amazing things, one of the first things you will come up against is people projecting their own personal fears, judgements, jealousies, rights, wrongs, should and should nots onto you. It’s a little like crabs in a bucket syndrome. When you stand out from the crowd and start to forge your own way the instead of attempting the climb themselves, other crabs will try to pull you back down.
Remember, doing something amazing, means doing something extra- ordinary. It means you zig when they zag. It also means that you will come up against personal challenges and external obstacles – and when you rise above them you will feel liberated beyond belief.
Remember also, most successful people have a few things in common – they went against the grain of everyone else; they created a career around what they were most passionate about, good at and enjoyed doing; they believed in and trusted themselves even when others told them it could not be done; they didn’t let their setbacks and failings get in the way of what they were trying to achieve; they had clarity around their vision and were persistent in their pursuit of their dreams.
“When you’re following your inner voice, doors tend to eventually open for you, even if they mostly slam at first.”
Kelly Cutrone, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside
Richard Branson dropped out of school at age 16 and was bankrupted more than once; J.K. Rowling, was rejected by twelve publishing houses before her manuscript was accepted for Harry Potter; Michael Jordan was kicked off the school basketball team before he become one of the most successful pro basketballers in the world and Eckhart Tolle was a depressed 29 year old on the brink of suicide before he had an epiphany to write a book about his spiritual awakening, which he did whilst bordering on homelessness, resulting in ‘The Power of Now,’ one of the most well known mainstream books written on spiritual enlightenment, selling over 3 million copies, translated into 33 languages and being a major player in the contribution to the transformation of human consciousness. Not bad for a guy who’s dad keeps asking him, when he’s going to get a real job.
The power of your inner voice
Last but not least, the final ingredient to making your calling your career is to trust yourself. When you are on purpose, have a clear intention, clarity around your vision and personal why and are committed to bringing that vision to light, sooner or later it is inevitable that you will.
The question then becomes no longer if you will do something amazing, but simply ‘How?’ and ‘When?’
Want to discover your life purpose NOW? Attend my weekend intensive:
Answering the Call of the Soul – Awaken to your life’s purpose Book your ticket today
Don’t waste your life on the promise that one day you’ll have the money to buy the freedom to do what you really want. The right self enquiry, guided by the right mentors & teachings helped me realise not only that I was destined for something greater, but what that greatness was. These realisations were the gateway to my personal freedom, doing what I love, am best at and that gives back to the best way I possibly can to the world I live in. And the answers that eluded me for so long were really so simple in the end. This CAN be true for you too!
*According to 2010 by education provider Martin College.