You’ve Landed Your Dream Job. Now What?

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You’ve found your passion and followed your bliss.

Here you are.  You’ve done your homework, soul searched and peered into the caverns of your subconscious to find the Thing You Must Do.  You know what you want to be and have made great strides toward getting there.  Maybe you’ve even found your dream job.

So when does the nagging question as to whether this bliss will last begin knocking around inside your thought stream?  And should you bother ensuring that it does last?  What if that long journey to finding your dream job is just the beginning rather than the end of the path to a lifetime of meaningful work?  Is it possible that there’s no reason to quit looking for the next injection of happiness?

It’s inevitable that even our most longed-for career path becomes tinged with the tarnish of reality.  Not only do we contend with our nature as humans who tend to become bored without stimulation, we are powerless to avoid life’s only constant- Yep.  Change.

So what should we do when we start squirming because we can see boredom on the horizon and our cubicle starts to feel like it fits just a little too tightly?

 

Keep going.

There is no reason to believe that any path leads to a permanent utopia, and no reason to settle for just one passion.  Should a sense of restlessness make an appearance in the daily waves of your emotions, pay attention.  Rather than trying to ignore or bury this feeling, feel absolutely unbound and free to follow it to find out just where it may lead.  Run headlong into the uncertainty of it because nothing enhances the feeling of dissatisfaction faster than feeling trapped and without options.

Explore the possibility of braving new paths. All of them.  Allow yourself to seem unsettled and flighty.  Indulge in your curiosity and follow the flow of interests.  At the worst, you may find that the place you thought you’d permanently park your talents no longer suits you.  Give yourself permission, at that point, to recreate yourself and your interests.  You are not a fixed entity and humans don’t actually grow roots.  Move with what comes. You’ll either find a new gig, or discover that because you don’t feel stuck in the path you’ve chosen, you’re free enough to actually enjoy it.

 

When Self Help, Doesn’t

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I get itchy in the self help section of the bookstore and generally avoid it even as I give the titles a sidelong glance.   The problem isn’t that I need to follow The Secret, and I don’t want to think about any Laws concerning Attraction.

What I’m looking for is a fresh take on this life.  But where does the dissatisfaction and desire from change come from?  If I’m honest, it seems to always have been on a slow simmer, the contents evaporating into a gray fog of discontent if I’ve remain stagnant for too long.  It’s an internal alarm system that the pot’s been on the stove too long.

I’ve come to see that alarm as a friend, but also signal that I’m at a crossroads.

That dissatisfaction is a negative state is a lie.  There’s nothing in life that stagnates and if there’s any truth to be relied upon, it’s that it moves.  Call it a move forward if you like, but direction is hard to tell.  Dissatisfaction is a word, a label we place on a stirring just before being propelled into the desire for something different.

The risk is that the interpretation short circuits into an undesirable one and that the desire becomes destructive.  If self help helps with anything at all, it’s to focus the desire on a non harmful outcome, and maybe even one that helps us flourish.  In truth, Self help ideas keep us from harm by holding a candle to ideals society holds as noble, worthy, and important.

But what happens when we don’t seek out the those “worthy” changes and instead head into a downward spiral?  Is it the luck of the draw?

Partly.

It seems that this spiral is a continuum and we are always teetering at the choice of moving in either direction.  We look for solutions of which we are offered two:

Escape
Facing our fears

While we often choose escape, even when it’s a reprieve into a glass of Chardonnay, we then fall prey to the need to repeat the cycle.  Facing our fears is the alternative, but there’s no plural tense of that world.  It’s really just a one time deal.  The trick is not to face all or even each of our fears.

The trick is to face Fear Itself.

When looking at the thing itself, the one that wraps itself around all challenging circumstances, we can dare to tear it apart and find out whether it’s got any substance.  With one good look, we can stop standing at a crossroads and expose the path we need to walk down, the one that doesn’t spiral into choices of constant escape.

One fear is all we need to face.  It’s the only self help ever needed.