Less Pain for You

One of the books I’ve been reading this week is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I can recommend it. There are many great ideas and stories there.

The purpose of this post is to share one idea that made me laugh out loud.

The Truth About Talent is the title for chapter 18. In it, James outlines a series of questions to help you hone in on the area you should focus on, based on your personality and genetics, to have the best chance of success. He mentions that you can find your niche by noticing that thing that you do that causes you less pain then it causes others!

The mark of whether you are made for a task is not whether you love it but whether you can handle the pain of the task easier than other people.

~James Clear, Atomic Habits

I found that hilarious but real. It’s another way of finding your strengths. Usually, the idea is to list what people often ask you to do. Or you list things others often appreciate that you do. It’s a way of recognizing something that is so obvious to other people but which you find so easy as to render it invisible to you.

The work that hurts you less than it hurts others is the work you are made to do.

~James Clear, Atomic Habits

Based on our natural inclination to compare ourselves to others, it becomes straightforward to remember and to recognize such tasks. I found James Clear’s questions in this section helped me realize several qualities I hadn’t entirely clarified for myself. Although his wording made me giggle, the question can help with identifying essential distinctions to consider in career choice.

Try it and see if the idea helps you become more aware of your own unique combination of personal qualities that should be a part of your professional brand and daily focus in your work.

The WHY Behind My Work

I study self-development because I love the idea of maximizing human potential. To me, the best ideas are ideas for people, not just ideas for idea’s sake. That doesn’t turn me on nearly as much though it is fun to brainstorm on any given topic from time to time.

I read the book The Miracle of a Definite Chief Aim a couple of weeks ago and formulated mine like this…to further personal growth knowledge.

I am very, very interested in all things personal growth. I also want to record what I learn and share it.

Sometimes I feel like I am actually journaling things for myself, to remind myself, but somehow sharing what I learn is an integral part of my motivation. It’s almost like I want to leave a record for others to discover or even as a legacy for my family.

One thing I’m certain of, all this studying is for nothing if I don’t document it somehow and I dearly love the process. So I move forward with no other clear aim but that and I take one small step after the other following the inspiration.

Life Improved: Career

Want to feel good about your career? Many people desire a satisfying career, and with good reason. A career that fits well is a luxury that enhances life overall. In addition to monetary resources gained through work, a good-fitting career fuels self-development and self-confidence. It is a main avenue for continued learning and development. Through the work you do every day, you demonstrate where you are willing to focus. Finding work to focus on that meshes superbly with your inner nature and what you want to experience maximizes your personal power, creativity, and freedom.

Sometimes people are surprised to realize what an inside game career development is. Magic happens once you plan ahead to feel good about your career and begin to include your work seamlessly into the fabric of your life experience. Building a satisfying career begins with knowing it is possible and believing you can tap into that kind of abundance.

People who have found their perfect work are passionate and proud of the work they do. They exude a special type of joy and zest for life. I wish that for you. Dive into your career development one optimistic step at a time. Follow what appeals to you now as an indication of your intuition at work.

A career is more than one job, a progression of jobs, or even a certain task or title. It’s your life’s work and may include many areas of focus, some paid, and some not (such as schooling, volunteer work, or being a stay-at-home parent). Finding a larger perspective like that can make the significance of the immediate day-to-day more palatable, especially if you are currently in a job you hate. The job doesn’t feel so bad when you take the bird’s eye view. What you are doing now is just one step on the path.

If you can find a big perspective and lean positive with your outlook for the future, you suddenly find yourself with more patience and room to maneuver. It starts to feel like it is possible to make small changes that get you closer and closer to discovering the sweet spot where work feels like play. That’s what happens when you find the flow. You realize you are working on something or for something that feels significant to you personally that uses your best skills and provides the right amount of challenge for development. Add to that the feeling that your work fuels you with purpose and your career begins to feel very sweet indeed. Below are a few ideas for you to consider as a basis for creating a career that you love.

Be selfish. Embrace and pursue your own path.

Sometimes people feel pressure to choose a career based on what someone important to them expects. Often it is easy to turn away from our interests because of what those around us would think. But remember, you are the one putting in time and attention to whatever you choose for your career. You are the one noticing every day how you feel about your work. So be selfish in your career development planning. Intend for your work to enhance your life. Those you care about will be glad that you are happy in the end.

Building a career is an ever-evolving process, not a one-time choice. Each day you learn and gather new skills, meet new people, and gain important insights and info about yourself and what interests you. Through self-analysis and experience, you become more knowledgeable about yourself, what it is you do best, and how to present that to others. You learn more about what is a good fit for you and you become better able to match up with opportunities.

Follow your interests without concern about what other people think. It doesn’t matter if others notice what you are doing or what you are interested in, but when you fully engage with your work without the need for their attention, everyone will notice. You can feel confident knowing that people recognize you for what you do best as soon as you own it and keep working on it.

Begin by focusing on how you want to feel about your work. How does it feel when your work is easy and enjoyable for you? What feeling are you mainly wanting from your work at this time? Feel it now. Feel what it is like to do what you want. Make it a daily practice to visualize and feel that money comes to you without struggle and that your work is a joy.

A fulfilling career is built upon natural strengths that enable you to work with ease and to gain expertise faster. Strengths are activities that you enjoy doing, that you do well, and that you don’t mind doing repeatedly, as defined by Marcus Buckingham*, one of the first strengths researchers. Once you find your top 2-3 strengths, I suggest you build your career around them ruthlessly. Work with a career counselor or coach to help make them the hub of your life’s work. Use them to communicate what distinguishes you from others in your cover letters and resumes and in important conversations with hiring managers, bosses, colleagues, and mentors.

Build on your career keyword and your strengths.

Your career keyword can provide clarity in understanding what you want recognition for and likely what will be easily recognized in you by others. Once you have it, you can integrate it with your strengths to use as a guiding light in your career decision making.

Identifying a career keyword is an exercise in big-picture thinking. It is kind of like choosing a theme song, but in this case, it is one word that describes what your career is about at its core. What is your career keyword? Get quiet for a few seconds then ask yourself, “what is my career about?” See if your intuition supplies an answer. If not, choose one for now and change anytime you find a word that fits even better. Your career keyword will resonate with you. You might feel proud, excited, or confident when you hit on a good word for you. Here are some example keywords.

administrating • art • beauty • bravery • building • challenge • communicating • compassion • competing • cooperating • creating• dancing • defense • diplomacy • efficiency • empathizing • enforcement • exploring • fashion • foreign travel • harmony • hedonism • healing • honesty • images • imagination • independence •
innovation • leading • movement • music • negotiating • nurturing • perfecting • performing • persistence • philanthropy • philosophy • physical stamina • power • problem-solving • protecting • relating • religion • research • sales • science • self-expression • service • social reform • spirituality • storytelling • teaching • team building • technology • transforming • writing

Plan ahead to enjoy and focus your mind as you go.

Have you decided that work is a “grind?” Do you leave your workplace already dreading returning tomorrow? If so, it is no wonder work is difficult. When you notice and talk about what you don’t like, it is so easy to continue focusing in that way. If you want different results, then you need to establish a new thought pattern about your career. You simply must find a positive perspective about your work to ensure that your career enhances your life.

Even if you already think your job is good and you enjoy your work, you can give it more juice. Try this strategy. Go to work looking for something to like during your day. Maybe it’s a certain feeling in the air or special people you involved. Maybe it’s that you have a lot of time to think while you do a repetitive task. Maybe it’s that moment when you help a customer and they genuinely appreciate it. Maybe it’s noticing how someone else seems happy or is a pleasure to be around. Maybe it’s the precision with which things are getting done. There is always something positive to notice, find it. Then talk about it, and notice it again tomorrow.

Plan in advance to enjoy your work in the immediate future (as in today), short-term (as in this year), and long-term (ten years from now). What does it feel like to know satisfaction about a job well done, a position you are proud of, and a well-developed career? Feel it all now. Let your body feel the visualization as if it were the real thing. Use your imagination to your advantage to raise your vibe by intentionally feeling like you already have all that you want in your career. Do it daily and notice the differences. The positive differences you notice are your “wins.” Focus on them and make a big deal of it. Things are changing for the better!