Five Ways To Find Your Heart’s Desire At Work

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The need to be useful is a universal human need. We are programmed with the need to leave our mark on the world, and ‘work’ is a big aspect of that. We endeavour to do tasks and achieve tasks, whether or not we’re actually paid to do this.

However, there’s an assumption about work that underpins the attitude of many in the west. It is this we are not paid to do things that we find enjoyable. After all, if we do find it rewarding, then it isn’t work. We get paid precisely because it isn’t fulfilling! Remember the Mars bar advert, ‘a Mars a day helps you work, rest and play’. Ah, so work can’t be play then.

given this assumption, we believe that work at best can be okay. We give up on the possibility that it could be an uplifting, enjoyable experience. So we enter the world of work, and lose sight of what it is we would really enjoy. Instead, we take the ‘realistic’ point of view, and work becomes how we make a living, pay bills, support our families, plan our retirement, and so on.

It is little surprise then that lots of people end up in some sort of career crisis, hating their job but not being clear on what to do instead, and not believing there is anything better out there.

I believe that sound career plans need to be made from the heart rather than the head. After all, did you decide to have kids with your head or your heart? Did you decide who your soulmate was with your head or your heart? Yes, the head should be involved, but your heart should make the decision! Your head is best employed in working out how your decision can be made to work.

Trouble is, we become so disengaged from our heart when it comes to our job. So how can we reconnect it with our work, and so move toward doing something we love, or at least find enjoyable, while getting paid for it? Here are five ways you can start to do this.

1. Revisit your child view

When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? A policeman? Doctor? Racing driver? Farmer? More importantly, why did you want to be that person? Children answer the question from their heart and emotions, not their head. So remembering your childhood answer will enable you to identify what your heart was attempting to tell you.

To give you an example, I wanted to be a fireman when I was a child. Now, some of my interest was the idea of doing something brave, and being seen as a hero. Nothing wrong with that! However, the other reasons were more illuminating. I wanted to help other folks to avoid danger, and to put their fires out. That, in a way, is what I do now I work with people to help them deal with the fires in their work and lives that prevent them from being productive and happy. If you work out what was behind your answer, you might discover some clues to the kind of work you would like to be doing now.

2. Where do you lose track of time?

Do you recall when you were last doing a task and lost all track of time? You suddenly realise five hours have elapsed since you last looked at your clock. Clearly, you were enjoying what you were doing, so what was it? What skills were you using? The activity might not have been actual work, but that’s not important.

Answering these questions will give you clues to the types of work you might love.

3. What are your hobbies?

What do you do in your recreation time that others might consider to be ‘work’ but which you would gladly do for nothing? Indeed, you do it for nothing! Some people do their ‘day jobs’ and then do things like organise celebration parties, or work on computers or in the back garden. You might enjoy car repairs, baby-sitting, or helping other people with their issues. What is it you do for nothing, and why? Again, this will give you a clearer idea of where your heart wants to be used.

4. What makes you feel good?

Identify what you’ve done with your life that you feel good about, either at the time or in hindsight. You are likely to want these things in work if you can find a job that includes them. Do you feel good when you are motivating people to reach a common objective? If so, working with people in a team, or even as team leader, might appeal to you. Do you enjoy helping others work through their financial issues? The things you enjoy, and that make you feel great, are ideal tasks to do at work. They are likely to be aligned with your personal values too.

5. Listen to what others tell you you’re good at

Finally, if you really are struggling to work this out for yourself, what do other people always say you’re good at? Remember comments like this? “He’s a great organiser, he always knows what he’s doing”. “She’s good with numbers”. “Sam is fantastic talking to groups of people”. Whatever this is for you, make note of it it’s a skill you have, and for most people a skill is where their heart is likely to be. You might have a reputation for being creative despite your job having little scope for this.

Also remember, these could be talents your family and friends tell you you’re great at it doesn’t have to be at work!

In conclusion, if you want to connect to your heart when it comes to work, start thinking about these five areas they will tell you a lot about the kind of work, workplaces and company cultures that would be right for you. Doing this is really important. Work is greater than half most people’s waking lives. If it’s as significant as that for you, then ignoring your heart is not a good idea!

Go reflect and connect…

I help people to connect with their own unique brilliance in work and life. For a free personal development newsletter, and a download of my ‘Discover your career path’ workbook, go to my website at

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