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Posted: December 27, 2012

Walking a path with heart

If you dread going to work, you've got the wrong job

John Heckers

It's 6:00 a.m. The alarm goes off. What is your reaction? Well, if you're a night owl, like me, the reaction is "Who the heck set that alarm wrong?" But, if you're someone who gets up early for work, your reaction will either be one of anticipation or groaning because it is just another boring and depressing day at work. If you have the latter reaction, you're in the wrong job. Life is too short for that. Now is the time to begin walking a Path With Heart. Here's how.

1). Figure out what you want to do. This is often the hardest step. I'm not a fan of standardized testing to determine this, either. A good counselor can figure out more in two hours of actually talking with you than can be gleaned from a whole day of testing.

2). Follow your heart. What would you do with your time if you had all the money in the world, and worked just for self-fulfillment? For example, I love writing, teaching and counseling. I'd still do those things even if I didn't need to work. So, I have the perfect job for me. What's your heart telling you about your perfect job?

3). Listen to your values. One of the major reasons that people get unhappy at work is that what is going on at work is in conflict with their deepest values. I once had a friend who worked for Lockheed-Martin, but was basicallya pacifist. But this was where she could get work. She was consistently miserable. She took a major salary cut to go to work for a non-profit. She doesn't have as much cash in the bank, but she is much happier. And that means she is rich in the most important way. No matter how good you are at something, don't do it if it conflicts with core values.

4). Determine if you want to "play the game" or be yourself. If you're in corporate America, especially the mega-corporations, you have to "play the game." If you want to be mostly yourself, work for a much smaller company, but realize that even small companies have politics. If you want to be totally yourself, contribute to the American economy in the best way and start a successful business. It requires a bit of a mind-set change, and some very good advice, to do so. But it is worth it.

5). Understand that your spirit already knows what is perfect for you. The trick, of course, is to let your spirit speak, especially after years of telling your spirit to shut up so you could work at a company your spirit didn't much like. Talk to your spiritual leader or a spiritual coach/counselor. There are many ways of reconnecting with the deep, inner "you." When you do, you'll feel like you're coming home again.

6). Don't discount the out-of-the-box solutions. Maybe it's time to seek a spiritual counselor or an "employment intuitive." Just because something isn't "scientifically proven," doesn't mean that it doesn't work. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5 Think out of the box and beyond the narrow "scientific" philosophies.

7). Let go of your lifestyle. I see way too many people held hostage by their bills and lifestyles. They are unable to move ahead in their lives because they need to make a certain salary - or think they do. If your lifestyle or possessions are keeping you from being happy, you are enslaved to that lifestyle or that stuff. Money and possessions make great servants, but terrible masters.

8). Is your family holding you back? If you've told your family, especially your significant other, that you're unhappy in your job and he or she still insists you work at it forever (it makes sense not to quit until you've made some preparations), that person plain does not love you. No one who truly loves you wants you to be miserable! If it can't be worked out, it might be time to walk, as difficult and sad as that is. Ditto with friends who don't support you.

Change is never easy. But finding your Path With Heart is essential to a fulfilled life. You spend more time at work than in any other one activity. So far as possible, it should be a demonstration of who you are and what you find important, not just a drudgery to pay the bills.

John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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