Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let the Beauty of What you Love be What you Do:

Friday night Steve and I went to a great little venue in Pawling, NY, called The Towne Crier Cafe.  It’s an intimate little place with tables up front where you can get a superb dinner and a separate small section in the back if you’re just coming for the show.  They’ve got musical acts there – mostly ones that are on the upward or downward trajectory as the place seats only about 100 people.

We saw Joe Louis Walker - serious rocking blues guy who’s played with Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Muddy Waters, etc – and Murali Coryell (son of fusion guitarist Larry Coryell), and the rest of the band that travel with Joe Louis Walker.
Which brings me to my point.  Friday night, they’d just returned from 6 weeks in Europe.  Saturday morning they were leaving NY to head to Florida for 6 shows on successive nights. Then back north for 1 show in PA, then 4 shows in New York City, then back again to Florida for another 8 shows.    By January 20, 2012.

Artists are driven by what they do.  Musicians, writers, painters – creators.  They can’t not do it.   So what’s the deal with so many other people?  Many of whom don’t see themselves as creators and thus are creating by default?
BusinessWeek ran an article a few months ago that said according to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey, 80% of people hate their jobs.  The article’s question was “Passion or Paycheck?”   I want to know – why do you have to choose?  Because I don’t believe you do.  My clients who do the work aren’t – they’re finding both.

Part of it is the questions you – and I say “you” because I do love what I do, and firmly believe it’s my life’s purpose – part of it is the questions you ask yourself and the beliefs you hold: 

  1. “How can I make money?” ….rather than “What do I love? And how can I make that work for me?”

  2. Flinging yourself at any job ads that look remotely viable and collecting possibilities like marbles, clutching on to them…rather than “What would be my perfect job?  What would it look like?”

  3. “That won’t work.  I can’t do that.  This is the real world.”….rather than “How can I make that happen?”

  4. Limited thinking……..rather than expansive thinking.

  5. Fear.  Job seekers are full of fear.  The way conventional wisdom is advising job seekers these days hugely perpetuates that……rather than self empowerment, being yourself, letting the process taking care of itself, not jumping through hiring companies’ hoops, and realizing you don’t have to sit at the table like a 12 year old who’s been told to eat all your vegetables! or you can’t get up from the table.

When you love what you do and you have your heart and passion in it, the stress isn’t so stressful.  You find ways to create solutions and feel in control of your life and decisions, rather than feeling as if you’re at the mercy of a job that robs you of something….your time, your health, your soul.
It’s no accident that my company and URL is Find the Perfect Job.  I know it’s possible.  I see people who are doing it – like Joe Louis Walker and his group.  I’ve guided job seekers to achieve it.  I’m doing it… and guess again if you think the road has been easy from the moment I chose it.  More like….it chose me and I said “YES!”

There’s more that factors in to being happy, identifying what you love and moving into it.  There’s mindfulness as well.   No matter what you are doing and whether or not you love it, be mindful of the time spent doing it.  Whether you’re looking for another job or just looking, your attitude, attention, and focus contribute to your results.
Whatever you’re doing at that moment, whether you like it or not, choose to do it with love, care, and attentiveness.   This leaves the door open for new ideas and possibilities you might otherwise miss.  It fosters blooming, if you will.  Grumbling shuts things down.  Choose to be involved and connected with what you’re doing, even if you don’t – at that moment – like it.  Sure, when you love what you do it’s easier and more natural, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only time to practice it.

Back to Joe Louis Walker.  I was fascinated watching Murali Coryell play guitar.  After the show I told him it was amazing to watch how clearly he connected with his playing and how that contributed to the music.   He said a lot of people think he’s tuning out the audience. ” Totally not,” I said.  “You’re tuning in the music precisely so you don’t miss connecting with the audience.”   (He closes his eyes and practically goes into a trance)
Am I perfect? Do I do this mindfulness / gratefulness / choice / deliberate-creation-of-my-life thing all the time?  No.  But thankfully, I get a little bit better at it every day in all areas of my life.   When you love what you do, it facilitates that.  So don’t make the recession an excuse.  You’re creating your life.  Doing what you love is possible.  All you have to do is choose to make it happen.

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