This is part 1 of the special series “Discover the Work You Were Born to Do”, by author Nick Williams.
By the end of this article, you will discover:
- An entirely new vision for work, and its place in your life.
- How your beliefs about work may be holding you back.
- Why the work you were born to do is as unique as your fingerprint.
- The nature of ‘resistance’.
The first step in discovering the work you were born to do is to understand the true purpose of work. Work lies at the centre of our adult lives…
… One prevailing belief is that work is, on the whole, an activity that must entail a degree of pain, boredom or suffering. It is something we have no real choice over – we just “have to do it”…
It can seem as though hard work and sweat are what justify our existence on this planet; indeed, many of us believe that the only route to success is through working hard and working long. All too often, it appears as though we are hard wired for suffering – and our work can be yet another area in which this idea is played out.
Similarly, work is often regarded as being a purely economic activity – it is what we have to do, and perhaps suffer for, in return for money. However, work was never supposed to be a form of economic slavery, nor an activity with which to punish ourselves.
If you have grown up with this set of beliefs, you may need to become inspired to a new vision for work and its place in your life.
In the twenty-first century, many of us have divorced our soul and ‘deeper self’ from our livelihood. So it’s high time that we reconnected our spirit with our work. A deeper part of us is calling us to let our work become a more complete expression of who we are, and a more joyful activity in itself.
Through our work we can express the spirit within us and allow our energies to flow out into the world. This is the true meaning and purpose of work – and it lies a full 180 degrees in opposition to the traditional economic and suffering based view.
The true purpose of work has always been to use our unique talents and gifts in order to make a difference and serve others, and in doing so, to inject a little more love into the world, spread more joy, and then get paid for it.
… and as well as the means to earn our living, our work can be about our own creative expression, our soul’s growth, rediscovering our potential and making our unique contribution to life.
We all need to feel there is a reason for our being here – something for us to do that is worthwhile and meaningful – that uses our talents and abilities, and contributes to the lives of others.
We deserve to feel fulfilled through our work, know that people are grateful for what we do and who we are, and at the same time, we deserve to be fairly compensated for our efforts. All of us want this – and even though it may not yet be clear to you – the Universe is set up to support each one of us in achieving it. The noblest view of work is that it can be the way we make our love visible in the world, a means of sharing generously with others.
As such, it has the potential to fulfil and enrich you.
Whether you feel it is your true calling or not, you can nevertheless perform your current work (whatever it may be) with love, thereby making it a more meaningful and fulfilling experience for you. However, I would like you to know that there is other work out there that you are uniquely qualified for and suited to, which will be a perfect match for who you are, your special talents and your enjoyment in life.
This is the work you were born to do, and you will find it at the intersection where your joy meets the needs of the world.
… It is borne in your imagination and YOU bring into the world. This work is not something you can simply sit down, dream up and then decide to undertake; it is something whose seeds have already been sown in your heart, and the memory of this lies safe within your soul.
For fifteen years, I have been helping people discover and live the work they were born to do. Later on in this course I will share with you the nine ways through which people discover what they are really here to be and do.
Who you are BEFORE what you do
Before asking the question, ‘what is the work I was born to do?’ each one of us needs to address the question, ‘who am I?’
Less important than what we actually do for a living is our willingness to access who we really are and bring that to our work.
As well as possessing a personality, we are spiritual beings – each blessed with talents, gifts and resources.
We are made in and from love.
… our existence is a blessing. There is core in each one of us that is whole and intact, untouched by our life experiences. Our mind and heart are the most amazing things in the Universe, and we are souls who are powerful beyond measure.
I agree with the poet William Wordsworth on the nature of our true selves:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home [...]
Ode. Intimations of Immortality
… So your own credentials are pretty sound!
There is nothing wrong with you and yet there is so much right with you.
You have the capacity to inspire and be inspired! You were not born as some kind of blank page waiting for the world to stamp its imprint on you. You showed up in this life as a highly individuated soul, with a specific destiny to fulfil.
You too have unique talents, a calling to enact, challenges to face, rewards to treasure, obstacles to overcome and a Self to become. Your job in this life is not to try to shape yourself into some idealised version of yourself, but to find out who you already are ‘in embryo’ and then become that individual in full.
There is a potential-Self in you that you are here to realise, which holds the answer to why you are here on this planet. Realising this inner Self defines the work you were born to do -and it is your calling and vocation to discover and unlock its latent brilliance.
However, none of us has unlimited choices and it is a fact of life that we can’t all be absolutely everything we want to be. But, your personal calling is as unique as your fingerprint, and the best way to succeed is to discover what you love doing and then to find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, allowing your heart and the energy of the Universe to lead YOU in the process.
Now that you have a sense of what it means to discover the work you were born to do, it’s time to turn our attention to the parts of your psychology and personality that hold you back. In the next section we’ll be tackling the subject of ‘resistance’.
The parts of you holding yourself back
Now, as well as a spiritual nature, you have a personality, and even as you are reading this you will readily acknowledge that there are parts of your personality that may sometimes act as major blocks to your success.
You may have had a lifetime of conditioning that goes counter to the ideas I’m proposing. This conditioning contributes to what I term your ‘resistance’ – the tendency we all have to self-sabotage, undermine ourselves, procrastinate, make excuses, divert ourselves, rationalise away the need for change and hold ourselves back.
In short, resistance is an expression of your fear in its many forms.
A considerable stage in the journey you are embarking on now may be taken up with breaking your old habits and patterns, transforming yourself and liberating yourself from the conditioning you’ve had in fearful thinking, so that you can become a clearer instrument for the work you were born to do.
You may be able to unravel some unhelpful patterns in the twinkling of an eye, whilst other strands of your fearful thinking may run very deep and require hard work to enable you to become free of them.
The freer you become, the more new opportunities will wash up on your shores and the greater the success and rewards you’ll reap. Believe it or not, life is set up for your self-realisation, and you already have a power in you that is greater than your resistance.
You can learn to access and harness that power!
About the Author:
Through his books, and live talks, workshops, personal coaching and on-line learning programmes, Nick has inspired tens of thousands of people to discover the work they were born to do. Nick then helps them to live that either through employment or by being entrepreneurial through their own business. He also helps them develop the wisdom and courage to harness their inspiration, talent and their fears as forces for growth and creativity.