Write | Inspire | Dream
Recently, a great deal of the content on the blog has been spiritually based. I’ve been driving the focus towards manifesting and alignment to live more intentionally and step into our greatest potential. Well, today, I thought I’d step away from that content and lean back on some of the more concrete subjects of intentional living, like career development. For years, young people have struggled with the question of their future. What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? And I feel that those questions have only gotten more difficult to answer as the generations change. But what if we could start to answer those questions in the context of “intentionality” rather than security and need for the benefit of our career growth. What do I mean?
What if we could be more intentional with the opportunities we take rather than accepting a position for the sake of financial security? How do we do this? We find our passion, drive, and grit. The pessimist that often lives inside many people will tell us that it’s naive to think passion takes precedence over security. That we need to have a job for the sake of having a job. But, what if that weren’t true? What if you could find a job that didn’t feel like a job but more like a passion project? Whether your passion project is to become a teacher, doctor, business owner, or executive, all you need to ask yourself is: Does this job utilize and optimize my Grit?
What is ‘Grit?’
I recently listened to a fascinating TED Daily Podcast with Angela Duckworth on How to Turn Grit into a Lifelong Habit. In this podcast, Angela describes Grit as the passion and perseverance of pursuing something long-term. After listening to this TED, I was enamored with this idea that, once found, Grit is the key to success. But how do we find our Grit? As Millenials and Gen-Z-er’s, finding our place in the working world is proving to be even more difficult. We’re posed with a plethora of opportunities, pressure to conform, and the need to find our independence quickly. So, how do we do that while allowing ourselves the opportunity for intentionality and happiness? We need to remember that we don’t need to be set on our life path at twenty-two. Getting to that moment takes time, patience, and growth.
And whether you know exactly what you want to do or have no idea, the ideal place to always start is by building passion. Start by exploring ideas and opportunities that make you curious. Reach out to people who have jobs that interest you and ask to set up a coffee date. Get to know what they do and why they like it; perhaps how they’ve managed to build their Grit. At the very least, we can think back to school and the classes and subjects that didn’t interest us. From there, create a list of jobs, ideas, or opportunities that fit under the things that give you interest. Start building a passion and love for something that gives you excitement and motivation for your day. This is how you can begin to build and find your Grit.
Career Growth & Development
I understand that building on your passion project and not having to stress about a job is a luxury that is not afforded to everyone. We’ve all been dealt a different set of cards, some more fortunate than others. But I think as we grow, mature, and come into our own, the point of nature versus nurture and the line of what I have versus what I don’t have becomes thin and drawn by our own pencil. I think there comes a time when we can only credit so much to our upbringing, “good fortune”—or lack thereof. And we simply have to take into our own hands the opportunity that is our future and our passion. I know this point may draw some negative attention, so I’ll stress again. There are exceptions and exemptions to this rule; we are not all afforded this opportunity.
But when and if we are, it is up to us to build our passion and grit for that which we love. So, now the question becomes: how do we accelerate our career growth and development for success? Answered easily, focus on building passion rather than income. When we build a career with passion and intentionality, income and security are facets inherited with those values. One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in all of the self-help reading I’ve done is learning to let go of what we think we need and focusing on what we actually want. Now, let me be very clear: I fully understand the importance of financial security. But is the dependence on financial security more important than your values of passion, creativity, or self-expression?
The Long Term Payout
When we focus (in a moment where we are free to do so) on our passion in the long-term perspective, the financial security, independence, and lifestyle we seek will become our reality. Having Grit means dedicating your time and existence to what you truly value–to see the long-term payout come to fruition rather than seeking fulfillment of a lesser value in its minor fortune. When we power through the long-term, continue to fight for our passion project, and build on what we love, the value becomes much greater than a simple paycheck. To build and find your Grit, determine and define your values. Listen to the Do the Damn Thing Podcast (episode 10), where I share this fantastic exercise with you on defining your values and, more importantly, how to incorporate them into your life. This will assist you in accelerating your career growth and defining your Grit.