The Chi For Yourself guest this week is Jennifer Louden, author of The Life Organizer. Jennifer is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement. She’s written five books on well-being and whole living, a national magazine column, and she can say that she sat on Oprah’s couch.
You can hear the interview with Jennifer Louden this Thursday March 6th at 4pm Eastern time, 1pm Pacific at chiforyourself.com.
Making a (Genuine) Living: Putting Who You Are Into What You Do
I just returned from Central America. I’m considering moving to a home outside my native United States. I am grateful to be able to make surch a trip, and for the reasons I made it. Doing print and audio/video related work allows a person to live just about anywhere in the world while doing the things he or she feels inspired to do. One of the areas of my life where the small “inner voice” becomes my navigator is the type of work I do. I’ve felt this way since I was a small boy, but I’ve learned that what I do and who I am are two distinctly different things. I would advise anyone to make that important separation. And I’ve also felt the satisfaction of knowing that what I’m doing is what I must do- kind of taking a page from Maslow’s idea of Self Actualization.
So many of us feel that to present who we are to the world means to point to our occupation. But society puts different professions on different levels and it’s easy for a person to feel “less than”. Less than for holding what others see as a menial job. Less for being in a not very glamorous position. But history is full of the names of people who have been able to give us their skills and talents while holding down jobs seen as ordinary. Whether you’re in real estate or retail, a business person or a bus driver, your worth is folded into who you are an not what you do for a living.
Doing something that you enjoy and lets you meet your needs while allowing you to live in line with your values will always be more fulfilling that being in a high-status job you dislike. But it’s possible to find happiness in most any line of work. That’s because what you are doing is often not as important as how you you’re doing it. There’s much to be said for a good attitude. Couple that with good intentions and you can turn a so-so working situation into one that fulfills you because of your attitude.
If your efforts are benefiting others you’re adding value to the world. And if you’ve found happiness in your work and you feel that you’re living genuinely while also getting your emotional and physical needs met then you are are adding value to your life. If you’re sweeping streets then be the best street sweeper you can be. Know that you can bring your ability and skill to us no matter what work you do. Choose to be of service and your choice will be a wise one.
John K 3/3/2014