Born To Do It

While I was sitting staring at a blank screen with a blank mind trying to figure out what to blog about, I jumped on It’s just a habit I have, like opening Google Chrome and clicking on the “Facebook” favourite icon even though I went online to look up a recipe. Anyway, I went to the news site, and after scoffing about everything they consider “news” (It’s 4 years since Tiger Woods was caught cheating – who gives a fuck?! Move on!) I found an article I thought might help me.

Three-step guide to figure out what you were born to do.” I thought this could solve all my problems give me some direction. I know the job I do now, the real one that helps pays the bills, is something I can do, it’s something I am ok at, but I also know that it is not what I was born to do.

Ironically, one of the older gentlemen I work with said to me yesterday, “I never did anything I really wanted to.” There was so much regret in his voice. He talked about how he would love to be a travel photographer, traveling the world doing landscape photography and shooting wildlife (with the camera, not a rifle). It got me thinking about me, 25 years from now. Would I still be in this same job? Would I be saying I never did anything I really wanted to do?

This three-step guide seems pretty basic. Step 1, figure out what you love doing. Not just what you’re GOOD at doing, but what you LOVE doing. Then, step 2, write a list of things you HATE doing. I guess we’re going through a process of elimination here. Step 3 is to ask yourself a series of questions.

1. Even if you didn’t get paid a cent for it, would you still do this?

2. Would doing this inspire you ever day?

3. Does this come as naturally to you as breathing?

4. Do you feel you’ve been given a special gift to do this?

5. Does time seem to fly by when you’re engaged in this activity?

6. Can you possibly make money doing this?

If you can find an activity in which you answer yes to all of these questions…then baby you were born to do it!

Realistically speaking, I’m not sure how people in their 30s or 40s are going to be able to walk away from what they are doing, that pays the bills and puts food on the table, to pursue these dreams. But the lesson I learned yesterday is that you have to try and find a way to.

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There are two things that came to mind for me, going through this process. The first is photography. The second was a subject I took a class in while doing my graduate certificate in business. Again, ironically, I’ve recently looked into applying for my masters degree in this subject. I feel like next year could be a transitional  year for me. Hopefully into something bigger and better that means I don’t have to wake up every day and ask, “Is this REALLY what I’m doing with my life?”

What are you doing with your life? Do you feel like it’s what you were born to do? 

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!

37 thoughts on “Born To Do It

  1. To be honest, my current “proper job” is not something that I love to do and definitely not something I was born to do. There’s a few factors holding me back but I hope to move on in about 2 years time when Lil Pumpkin heads to Primary School. I’m curious to know what subject in grad school you are talking about though 🙂

    Anyway next year is creeping up reeeeeal soon and I hope it will be a great one for you doing more of what you love, and want to do.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  2. Oh, I did a job I was “good at” but didn’t love for YEARS! It definitely taught me what I HATE doing. There’s a lot that I love doing, though. And you know, for me it’s a journey in finding other things, stuff I never thought I’d be good at or love. One day it’ll all blend together 🙂

  3. I love that! And how inspirational! I sort of am doing what I love doing, but just not quite the subject I like writing about, so I suppose I’ll have to make sure I work on that. Remind me of this once a year will you? I’d hate to be like that lovely old gent at your work 😦 xx

  4. This is exactly the reason I opened The Body and Feet Retreat – that is what I really love doing but I couldn’t do it full time as the bills wouldn’t get paid and it is too draining for me to do it full time.
    I hope that your photography takes off and am curious about what subject you are thinking of doing your masters in !!!
    Have the best day !

  5. GREAT topic and one I give much thought to as my kids slowly become more independent. I have a couple of things in mind but right now trying to decide whether they are serious hobby or possible part-time work for me. Either way I’m looking at short courses for next year as a step forward. Thanks for sharing this and best wishes on chasing your dreams x #teamIBOT

  6. This is so great and exactly what I took away from Problogger, I absolutely love my job, it doesn’t pay well but I wake up and think, this is what I am born to do. So I am making it work and if I need to pack shelves a few nights a week to fund working my dream job then so be it! I love this post!

  7. Aroha – great that you are going after what you love. I think when we are in our 30’s and 40’s with responsibilities that we have to let ourselves transition, flowing through from hobbies, a new part-time course, a combination of ‘love’ wok and ‘bills’ work. And hopefully you may have expanded responsibilities in the parenting department too next year – sounds like 2014 is going to be a year of growth for you.

  8. I really don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m an ot, and it’s ok, but the area I have the most experience is a soulless job. So I did an MBA with a view to going into management, which I have just finished, but then I am not really willing to out in the hours at the sacrifice of time with my son. So this week, I am applying for another post grad – this time in paediatric ot – will have to see if this is where my passion lies 😉 good luck with your journey xxx

    • that’s the hardest part as a mum I think. The course I’d like to do is in marketing, but I know a couple of people in marketing and the hours they put in, and I’m not willing to sacrifice this time with my son yet, either! Hope you find your passion x

  9. Hm, I have to say, I’m not sure I agree that we should all just be doing our “dream job”. I think that it’s important to have stuff like that in your life, and to be doing THINGS that you are born to do, but I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect everyone to be able to do that job and support themselves. My take on it is that it’s 100% important to have something like this in your life, but you must find the right personal balance. Some people definitely can work their “dream job”, BUT there will still be times when you’re doing that dream job and think, “Oh wait, this is a crappy part of the job!” – usually people like creative jobs, and so things like the accounts or marketing are the things that make them cringe but are necessary for their business to be successful.

    Anyway, just some thoughts. 🙂 I’m only young, but I’ve tried quite a few things as full time jobs that makes me super happy, and my experience so far is that I have been happiest when I have other work or responsibilities and have an acceptable amount of time to spend on my “dream job” as a hobby. 🙂

    • Good point – would doing your dream job every day get monotonous and not make it your dream job anymore? I think the main thing I take away from this is if there is something you want to do, go for it and find out if it IS what you want to do, so that when you’re in your 70s you don’t say “I never did anything I really wanted to.”

  10. That’s a fantastic little excercise for anyone to do, no matter how old they are or what stage of their career they’re at. I love writing and do it enthusiastic even though I don’t get paid a cetn for it and am not likely to any time in the near future! Good lucky with your endeavours next year. I’m looking forward to checking out your photos!

  11. That is really exciting, Aroha! I will stay tuned to see if you make the leap into your Masters. I think alot about what I’m doing with my life. If I didn’t have kids I think I would have kept powering up the corporate ladder, possibly doing something that I don’t overly enjoy. Since having kids I’ve had a chance to slow down and realise that my passion is writing (not boring government media releases ahem), but writing that speaks to people. Unfortunately… my real job is what pays the bills (and I am so grateful to be have a job in government considering the environment of late), so I just have to keep plugging away at that for now.

    • Having kids changes EVERYTHING doesn’t it? I’m happy to do what I am doing now because it means I get 3 mornings and 4 afternoons before/after school with my son. If I was in a corporate job, he’d be in before and after school care, and we don’t want that. But he will grow up, and I don’t want to be stuck here forever. I want to feel like what I do matters I guess. You’re a great writer, I have no doubt you’ll be writing what you want to at some point in the future x

  12. Your post ignited a lot of conflicting emotions in me. Excitement to pursue my dreams fighting against contentment for this stage of life. I believe that there are seasons of life and what is perfect for us to do in that season might change for the next one. At the moment I’m a SAHM and I want to give that my attention but I still want to work towards what is next. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • You’re definitely right about the stages of our lives. I was a SAHM for the first 18 months of my son’s life, and I’ve been working part time ever since. Now that he’s in school I can taste the next phase – the phase where he’s grown up and I’m back to working full time. I think we should always be working towards something. I think mums have the hardest jobs of all and then when our kids are grown, what do we do?

  13. it has taken me years to figure out what i want to do… and I am working towards it now (and on a deadline from hubby). I hope you get to grow your photography as I know that makes you happy and I love your photos xxx deb

  14. I used to think I was but not anymore. When I was a simple sales assistant in the bookstore it was the best, my dream job, spending all day organising bookshelves, looking at books, talking about books. Books are one of my passions. But alas, if you want to make any money in books you need to move up from simply being a sales assistant and there goes the best bits of the job and in comes responsibility for stuff you really don’t want to be responsible for.

    I’m now taking this time on maternity leave to assess what it is I really want to do. I’m not sure if I want to go back to what I was doing. I’m seriously considering pursuing something in photography or graphic design, it all just depends on whether or not we can afford to have me studying and not working, or if I can work the study around working part-time and have it be affordable. At the moment I have been managing to make a very small amount of money blogging so if I can keep that going then there is still a chance I can work some study in there and make some cash doing one of my other loves, blogging.

    • Work, study and still run a household (and a blog) is going to be hectic! But if you love what you’re studying and doing for work – whether it’s some photography or the blog – it will all be worth it in the end, and loving what you’re doing will make it that much easier (I hope – that’s what I tell myself!)

  15. Really great question. It is true some people go their whole lives not doing what they were meant to but maybe life is bigger that that maybe they were satisfied with family and friends. I don’t think I am doing what I was born to do but what I do for a living definitely makes me happy and keeps me on my toes. Ohh why is it so hard for us to find our true way is it just that we are always looking for more? Best of luck with you’re photography I look forward to seeing some of you’re pics!

    • I think as long as what you do makes you happy, you won’t regret it at the end. What I do doesn’t make me happy, it’s just a means to an end. I think it’s ok to always be looking for more, if it means you’re exploring, being true to yourself and letting down those guards/expectations. But you have to be content with the journey, I think.

  16. 34 years old and I finally figured out what I want to do: Writing. Although maybe i always knew but buried it in the back of my head. I answered yes to all these questions with having writing in my mind. Hopefully i will be able to take it to the next step one day.

  17. Oh! This is the perfect post I needed to read. I’m in the midst of plunging into something new and big myself. I question myself at times, so it’s helpful to have this check to remind myself why I’m doing what I decided to do. I too am moving away from the corporate ladder to get closer to the things and people I love

  18. I sometimes feel like I’m just wasting my life not doing anything very meaningful at all, and that’s frustrating. Right now though, I just feel so tired I don’t even have the energy to work out what it is I would do if I wasn’t so tired 🙂

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