I am a listener of podcasts. In the past year, I have picked up on listening to over 15-20 podcasts, mostly in the Professional Development realm. “Don’t Keep Your Day Job,” by Cathy Heller, is by far one of my favorites and since new episodes come out each Monday morning, it has become a sort of ritual to listen to the podcast first thing in the morning while drinking my tea and checking emails. Last week Cathy interviewed Jeff Goins, who broke into a writing career after realizing the other path he was pursuing was not fulfilling. One of the notable quotes I wrote down from the show was, “What do I really want? Have I achieved it yet? What do I need to do to get there?”
This simple reflection set me off on some soul-searching this week. What do I really want? I can say that I want a career that is fulfilling; one in which I can enjoy my work but also have time to enjoy my family and recreational life. As cliche as it sounds at the age of 32, I still would love to make a difference in the work that I pursue. Whether that means directly impacting others, or indirectly via creative outlets such as writing or producing content, that part of me will never be stifled. I’ve spent the better part of 12 years trying to figure out what I want. I went to school for my Master’s degree, completed it and thought it a great accomplishment. However there is still a part missing that I know will come if I only continue to explore my creative avenues.
The second question, “Have I achieved it yet?” I would say I have achieved many things in my life, but my creative passions are still something I’m working on. I’ve explored crunching numbers and working on spreadsheets, and feel those are useful skills but they are not things I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about positive causes, about people achieving great things, and in putting my work out in the creative arena even though I may get overlooked time and again.
This week I also listened to a podcast from the Ellevate Network, another one of my favorites, in which the spotlight was on Elizabeth Zeigler, CEO and President of Graham-Pelton Consulting, which is a fundraising consulting firm. Her true passion for her work spoke to me, and made me think there has to be something more out there for me than simply crunching numbers and spreadsheets. I enjoy working and would never want to give that up, but perhaps I should be exploring other avenues like fundraising and philanthropy.
Regardless of what happens I know that my heart is happy when I am writing and reading and working on causes that can truly make a difference. I think I may have just answered the third question Jeff Goins posed, “What do I need to get there?”