What is your great work?
I don’t mean your job. I don’t even necessarily mean your career. I want to know what work you’re doing that is an Act of God?
You can tell when you’re doing it. You light up. You shock and awe those around you with your talents and skills. You’ve got no problem diving in and tackling whatever comes up. It comes naturally and easily to you — so much so that you almost feel guilty taking credit for doing it. You find yourself shrugging it off and saying it’s no big deal.
But trust me on this one…it IS a big deal. Epic, really. Because when you’re in the Zone, you’re fully aligned with your purpose. And that makes God happy. (I say God…but insert whatever term is most warm-and-fuzzy for you.) And when God is happy, and your soul is happy, that’s when the magic happens. The stars line up, things fall into place…you find yourself in a manifesting frenzy!
No matter how that looks for you, if you’ve found that Great Work (and maybe there’s more than one thing!) then — and this is important — YOU MUST KEEP DOING IT! Do it until it shifts into some other work. Do it for as long as you feel that zing! every time you do it.
Maybe it’s your business. Whatever it is that you’re doing to serve your clients, maybe that’s what really lights you up. Or maybe it’s your job, your chosen career. Awesome! But what if it’s not? It might be volunteer work you’ve stumbled upon. It could be activist work for a cause you champion. Maybe it’s a hobby — music, writing, unicycling, balloon animals. How can you create sacred space in your life to keep it present? Or maybe it’s your calling to be a mama (or dad!).
Once you’ve found the things that trigger your happy dance, it’s important that you keep feeling into it. Pay attention to what you’re doing with it, and how it’s making you feel. Many creatives decide to take the plunge into self-employment in order to devote their lives to their craft…but not everyone is cut out for that path. And that’s okay. If you try to force it, or if you don’t do it the way that works best for YOU, you’ll face burnout faster than you can imagine.
Quick personal storytime…for me, this was photography. When I first started, I was on a constant high. I loved being behind my camera. When I wasn’t, I was still framing shots and telling stories visually in my own mind. I giggled and clapped and gushed the entire time I was shooting. As time went on, I felt the weight of the pressure I’d put on myself. I went into business following a very traditional this-is-how-it’s-done photography business model. And it slowly sucked the life out of me. I fell into exhaustion and overwhelm. I took on clients that were a terrible fit for me. I worked for free — a LOT. And I noticed that the shoots became a chore. I didn’t light up as much, I didn’t have nearly as many gush-worthy shots. I started looking for the escape hatch. I had lost all the joy. Once I distanced myself from shooting — only on referral, only when it was a good fit, only when it paid — and reclaimed my own boundaries, I started to see all the things I was doing wrong. I started to see how it could be different. Because I wasn’t gripping it so tightly, I could imagine my work differently.
As someone who’s been on this journey for quite some time (I started my first business at 18!), here are some tips for you if you’re looking for your great work:
Pay attention to where you feel the love.
What are people complimenting you on? Where do you blow them away? What makes you seriously GLOW? These are all giant neon signs trying to guide you to your great work. Start following the bread crumbs and see what comes up!
Keep an open mind.
You may be surprised at how you can fit your great work into your life. Again, it may become a profession…or maybe just a sacred hobby, or a volunteer effort. There’s probably a club or organization you could join, or a Facebook group. Surely there’s an app for that! More than anything, LIVE it. Embrace it as a part of who you are, at your soul level, and you’ll be amazed at what doors may open for you!
Let it evolve.
We are ever-evolving creatures. As we continue to pursue personal growth, as we move in and out of relationships and jobs and other earthly experiences, we pick up (and drop off) bits and pieces from each one. Allow yourself the flexibility to grow, and acknowledge that your great work will evolve with you. Just because photography was your thang a few years ago doesn’t mean it’s the end-all-be-all. Maybe it leads into deeper sight, gives you a new perspective, and you take that with you on the next leg of this adventure.
Your great work is your key to a happy life.
We are made to serve. We are put here for a purpose. When we give ourselves permission to live in that space, we find fulfillment and peace and all those happy feelings we chase. I can’t emphasize this enough — you cannot wait. It’s not a case of “when I get that promotion, I can finally _____” or “if I win the lottery, I could ______.” NO. You seriously, absolutely, positively must find ways to bring it into your life right here, right now. The paradox here is that when you DO start embracing your great work, you’ll find that the promotions come faster at work, the clients come easier, the rest of your life starts turning up roses. It’s a beautiful thing.
So, do you know what your great work is? Are you already letting it play in your life today? How can you bring more of it in?
P.S. Want to dive into this concept a little deeper? Let’s have a chat!