According to the latest Gallup polls, only 32% of Americans actually love what they do for a living. That leaves a whopping 68% of people feeling unfulfilled with the work they do on a daily basis. In my mind, this is unacceptable. And if you’re reading this article, then it’s likely you think so, too. So, if you’re interested in changing that once and for all, then scroll down to read (or listen to) my top 10 tips to help you on your path to success and long-term fulfillment… both personally and professionally.
#1. PUT THE RIGHT ADDRESS INTO YOUR GPS (Greatness + Passions + Service).
When I first started trying to figure out how to find and do what I love for a living, I was confused just like everyone else. So, I decided to take conscious control of my destiny and do something about it… I ended up coming up with something I like to call The GPS Formula. I’ll continue to explain the meaning of this nifty little acronym (GPS) in the next few tips. But for now, here’s a broad overview:
- G = What am I Great at?
- P = What am I Passionate about?
- S = How can I provide people with a Service ($) by combining both G+P?
The overlapping of these three domains is how you’ll figure out the best possible road to go down when you start trying to make a living doing what you love.
Now let’s dive into the nitty gritty…
#2. WHAT ARE YOU GREAT AT?
Seems like a pretty simple question, right? If you’re not sure how to answer this question, then you need to grab a notebook and take a few minutes to create a list of your greatest strengths + skills. Write it all down.
When you’re done with your list, you’ll feel good about the fact that you’ve actually got something positive to look at on paper.
Next, organize that list based on what you believe you’re best at from the list of skills and qualities you’ve written down about yourself. Don’t rush through this. Once you’re done, you’ll be ready for the second part of this three-pronged approach to taking control and doing work that matters.
#3. WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
People get way too caught up in trying to “find their passion”. Let me be crystal clear here — we do not find passion. Passion is a result. We bring it about by taking action.
We need to bring passion with us everywhere we go, and inject passion into everything we do.
The best way to do that, is to try doing more of the things that you actually love to do. And while you’re doing those things, keep a journal within reach so you can write down whether you love a certain thing enough to try and make a living out of it.
#4. DETERMINE YOUR HIGHEST POINT OF SERVICE.
Your highest point of service is where your greatest gifts (G) intersect with your passions (P) in a way that allows you to serve (S) other people.
This is where you focus on the “S” part of The GPS Formula — the part that requires you to produce value for others (employer, customers, readers, etc.) so that you can actually make a living doing what you love.
The best way to figure out your highest point of service is to go back to your lists…
- Start by referring to the list of things you made about everything you’re great at (G), and then cross reference this list with the list of things you’re passionate about (P). Once you’ve done this, you’re ready for the final step, which is to determine and decide upon the best combination of G + P with the highest probability of successfully serving (S) the other people.
For a thorough understanding of what it takes to tap into your highest point of service, I’d recommend picking up Greg McKeown’s book, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”
#5. ALWAYS BE READING.
If you want to do what you love for a living, you need to be on the constant look-out for ways to gain more knowledge about what you aspire to do by reading the best books about this particular area of interest.
Here’s something you can do as soon as you’ve figured out what you want to do for a living:
- Find 5 of the best books about your industry and read them cover to cover. Take notes on what you read and apply the material in real life. It’s the best way to learn. By the time you’re finished reading these books, you’ll have placed yourself in the top 5% of subject matter experts in your field — positioning yourself to totally dominate and crush it — but only if you …
#6. TAKE ACTION.
When I decided to start my own self-improvement podcast, I knew I needed to acquire some tech-related knowledge to do this properly + professionally, so I took a course on how to start a podcast.
The course was 12 WEEKS long.
Do you think I waited 3 excruciating months, until I was finally finished with the course, to start taking action?
Heck no! Every single lesson was followed up with immediate action.
Taking immediate action allowed me the opportunity to apply what I’d learned, and more importantly, to see if it actually worked.
If I waited until the course was all over to begin taking action, I’d have been so overwhelmed I would have procrastinated on taking any action at all.
If you want to do what you love for a living, you need to always be taking deliberate action immediately after you learn something so that you can decipher the difference between what works and what doesn’t.
#7. FIND A MENTOR.
It doesn’t matter if you’re learning from someone in real life, or if you’re learning from them through their books and videos — find the best of the best in your industry and use them as guides and role models to help you become more successful and avoid painful pitfalls so that you can successfully arrive to that sweet spot where you’ll be making a living doing what you love.
Wondering where — or how — to go about finding a mentor? Start by making a list of potential mentors. Next, learn more about them. Read their work. Follow them on twitter. Listen to their interviews. And if you’ve got the courage to do so, go ahead and reach out to them. They (probably) won’t bite.
#8. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Several years ago, I used to be in terrible physical condition — fat, unhealthy, and totally out of shape. I knew that if I wanted to make a change, I’d have to get myself out of my comfort zone and dedicate myself to eating healthy and working out 5+ times per week. But I had my fair share of challenges.
- For example: It was scary to go to the gym because it felt like everyone was watching me and thinking “what’s this worthless slob doing here…” But even though it was uncomfortable to go to the gym, I forced myself to do it anyway. Why? Because the temporary pain of feeling like people were watching and making fun of me, wasn’t as heavy as the long-term pain I knew I’d feel if I didn’t get a handle on my health.
But I’m not telling you this to impress you, but rather to impress upon you, that it’s crucial to get out of your comfort zone if you want to find and do something you love for a living, because the benefits of doing so will pour into every area of your life.
#9. DON’T BURN YOURSELF OUT.
Too many people blindly believe that they need to do back-breaking work in order to earn their keep and be successful. This is non-sense.
On the flip-side though, doing work you love isn’t supposed to be totally easy… But that still doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be excruciatingly painful either. People who do what they love for a living maintain their charge by cultivating a symbiotic relationship between labor and love.
Key take-away: if you’re burning yourself out, then you’re doing it wrong.
#10. MAKE FRIENDS WITH FAILURE.
Regardless of who you are or what you do — there’s one thing you need to get comfortable with whether you’re ready for it or not — FAILURE. Throughout my own personal journey to doing meaningful work, I failed so many darn times I decided to create a public list of all my failures. This way, I can have something to look back on and learn from, and more importantly, something you and countless others can learn from as you embark on your own journey to doing work that matters.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that failure is inevitable on your path to success. But the beautiful thing about failure, is that the more it happens, the closer you get to that sweet spot… That place you’ve defined as your own unique intersection of where your greatest gifts collide with your skills — coming together in a way that allows you to finally fulfill the dream you desire and deserve, which is to…
Combine what you LOVE with how you LIVE.
If I can do it, so can you.