There comes a time in life, where just out of school, dropping out of school or finishing college, when you ask the big question “what should I do for a living“?
For some this questions never goes away. And for others, it is a process of constant refinement. Are you just playing a guessing game of which shaped peg fits into the correct hole?
Whether you are looking to start a business, looking for a job, or are already working on your projects, wanting to know whether what you are doing is still worth it is a very valid question.
What if there was a way to provide more clarity? A process of defining purpose, if you will.
Passion Isn’t Everything
Often when seeking the solution to “what am I doing with my life?” you ask yourself – what am I passionate about? And then often you proceed to seek to do something in that line.
The passion trap is when you put your passion above all else when it comes to what you want to do with your career and life.
Not to say passion isn’t important and often passion is a key variable in progressing in some careers. However, if this is your only focus you’ll end up doing something you love to do but might not be good at.
Most successful people are passionate about what they do. This does not mean that it always works the other way around. Passion doesn’t lead to success but often success creates passion.
You need to be good at what you do and passion is a small part of that.
Additionally, you fall into the trap of chasing passion so hard that you get absolutely no satisfaction with any position you’re given unless you are overflowing with passion for it.
If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset and instead adopt the craftsman mindset.– Cal Newport
So, what other elements could house the life of passion?
Introducing the career quadrant…
The Career Quadrant
Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley, created a guidance system when it comes to careers and answered “what should I do for a living?”.
This system is called The Career Quadrean, which was created through the process of going through thousands of interviews for potential employees for Mindvalley.
Vishen says that most people follow the wrong ideas when they are looking for a job or career they are searching for. For instance, most people look for security, money, or prestige and not for the real reasons that matter.
The Career Quadrean follows, as the name suggests, four quadrants.
Do you see yourself waking up every day with a smile on your face as you head off to work? Sometimes even at the cost of money or the prospect of improving yourself.
Although, always a relevant factor as we need to provide for our basic needs this can be a key component for some. These same people are willing to give up their personal time, attention to relationships, and general enjoyment of their work for the money factor.
This refers to the legacy of your life and what impact you have on the world. Often those with this as their primary motivator join charities or nonprofits in search of what they can do for others.
4. Learning and growth
At the cost of money and time, some will be satisfied to learn from those who have a sense of mastery. Engagement and the ability to learn the most from their work is their primary focus.
Experience and teaching are the two major factors when it comes to working. Like a resident doctor being at a busy hospital where they can be more hands-on or a quiet hospital where they can get more guidance, this choice is a split factor.
Where Does Your Main Focus Lie?
The dynamics of our personal focuses are not as extreme as a four-quadrant graph, where we fit perfectly into one of these sections.
The way Vishen gets more of a 3D view of our career orientation is by giving us 12 chips to spend across the quadrants.
The way you spread these chips will show you what you value the most and least when it comes to “what should I do for a living?”
Make what you do for a living full of life. This entails a deep search of your life and what your life can offer this world.