So you’ve got to the point that you just can’t take the mediocre anymore, you’ve come to believe that even you might have something that you could get excited about doing every day, and you’ve got in front of you a list of good questions. You are ready to start discovering your passions.
Now I need to warn you about something - just because you are ready doesn’t mean it will instantly appear. It takes time to figure this stuff out. And this is where the next step comes in… (if you're just tuning in now, be sure to start back at the beginning for 5 key steps to finding your IDEALS, and a break down of steps 1-3)
4. Time and Commitment
Think about how many years you’ve spent burying your passions, denying yourself child-like excitement in the name of "growing up" and "achieving success".
With some conscious effort it will not likely take years to reverse this soul numbing process, but it may take hours, weeks, or even months. For me it took about a month before I caught a glimpse of some things I was excited about, and another few weeks before I had enough clarity to do anything about it.
Maybe your passions are not buried as deep as mine were, maybe they are deeper. I can’t say how long it will take for you. All I can say is it is worth every minute of time that it takes to find them. Don’t give up.
5. Listening without Judgment
One of the reasons it takes a while to discover what we are passionate about is because we are really good at dismissing those things that get us excited as crazy or impossible. We are so good at it that often we don`t even allow ourselves to hear that voice inside that is trying to tell us what it is that would really make us happy. So last, but not least, we need to listen to ourselves. And I mean truly listen.
We grow up accumulating all kinds of ideas from all different sources about what it means to be happy and successful. We are taught that there are different career paths available, and that some are better than others. Even within the profession of law there are likely practice areas that you have sworn off trying because you don`t want to define yourself as a __________ lawyer (i.e. family, corporate, tax, litigation, criminal, employment etc.).
If you find you are getting stuck, and that the questions are not eliciting any aha! moments, I would suggest trying another exercise that can help to make the voice a little louder and your hearing a little sharper.
Try writing down everything you think is true about each and every type of lawyer you can think of (i.e. Tax lawyers are ______________ ). Write as many things you can think of – don`t try to be nice and don`t restrict yourself in any way. Do this for anything outside the law as well that you have ever been interested in. (i.e. Bird migration researchers are ______________. Circus performers are _____________. Youth counselors are ______________ etc.) And finally, do this exercise for entrepreneurs generally. (Entrepreneurs are ________________.)
Read over each of these lists and identify for each the things that are facts. For example, if you said tax lawyers are weird and socially awkward (and I don`t mean to be picking on tax lawyers – I know some tax lawyers who are amazing people, and neither weird nor socially awkward) those things are not facts. Same applies for circus performers being crazy and poor. Again these things are judgments, not facts. And they may be judgments that stand between you and the career (and life) of your dreams.
This exercise is one that my life coach had me do for a number of different things, and I have also found it has been helpful in discovery of my own IDEALS as it has enabled me see where my judgments and my definitions of success were holding me back from creating a life I LOVE. I hope it will do the same for you.
So I suggest you start at the beginning and see if you have hit your breaking point. And if you have, and if you are truly ready to discover the things that will make you come alive, then don`t forget to check back here for some questions to help you get started on your way!
Best of luck!
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