Before you do what you love, do this.

We hear a lot of talk about 'doing what you love', but how do we know what we actually want to do? Happiness expert, Kia Cannons, suggests there are 5 essential pieces we need to explore.

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Before you ‘Do what you love’, do this.

Our minds are conditioned to create ideas about what we want for our lives based on external things. Society’s expectations, our friends’ life choices, and our upbringing tend to influence what we desire for our own lives. Unfortunately, as a result, we often find ourselves reaching for goals that belong to other people. It’s hard to see beyond the external noise, but if we look within all the answers are right there. 

5 ways to tune into your hearts’ true desires:

Listen to the pings

What are ‘pings’? They are the little nudges we experience throughout the day – the random ideas that pop into our heads, the whispers from our heart that says ‘I wish I could…’ or ‘one day I will…’ Begin to notice those thoughts or ‘pings’, write them down and see what keeps coming up again and again. There’s clue number one. 

Question everything

We often find ourselves desiring things other people have - be it weddings, bumps, and babies, an impressive career, or a brand new ‘____’ - I’ll let you fill in the blank. We can find ourselves trying to get to the top of a ladder we assumed leads to what we want. Yet oftentimes, we haven’t questioned if the things we are pursuing are what we really want. Write down 5 things you want, the first things that pop into your head. Do not filter what comes out. Are there any surprises, things you hadn’t allowed to surface before? Now go through them one by one and ask yourself ‘Is that true? Would this make me feel truly alive and at peace?’ Be inquisitive about your desires, ask why you want them, discern whether it’s simply your mind thinking its a good idea, and consult your heart to see if it’s something you truly desire.

Follow the compass, not the route planner

It is very rare to decide upon a career, set out on the journey to achieve it and end up exactly where you planned. It happens, but more commonly people set out with a general idea and end up somewhere rather different. When you are intentionally setting out on a path to do what you love, you need to figure out what your passion and purpose are. It’s very tempting to jump at a shiny idea and try and force it into reality with extreme effort and hustle. This often ends in burn out, and frustration that once again you didn’t pick the right idea. What works far better is to throw away your map with an ‘x’ marking where you want to go and instead, grab a compass. Finding your purpose is a journey of following what makes you curious and discovering where that takes you. You are actually not supposed to have the answers before you begin. Notice what excites you, figure out a way of exploring it, and see where the path leads. Ask yourself, ‘What am I curious about?’ and make a plan to explore!

Make personal growth your priority

Discomfort leads to growth, and overcoming your limiting beliefs, as uncomfortable as that can be, is integral to your career growth. Hesitation to do something is often a marker that it’s the very thing you need to do. When you focus on your personal growth, career growth comes with it as a by-product. Ask yourself, ‘What’s the one thing I fear most in my work?’ and make a plan to overcome it.

Be led by excitement, not sense

I’m not saying to totally abandon using your brain, but when it comes to doing what you love, tapping into what excites you and feels playful, is key in creating authentic work that has pure brilliance at its centre. The moment we take an idea and make it ‘sensible’ we water down its potential. One way I practice this in my business is to start my day by asking myself ‘what would feel like play right now?’ – even if I didn’t get paid for it, what would I want to do right now in my work? Again, be mindful to listen to your heart rather than your mind. Ask yourself, ‘What would truly feel like play today?’ Then, make a decision to explore that idea at a sensible time that day. See, you can use sense to plot and plan, as long as the course is set by your heart.

Fancy stepping into your true potential? Read more.. Untold Happiness.

Kia Cannons

Creative Coach, Happiness Expert and Happy Hacks Columnist for Psychologies Magazine

Kia teaches creative women how to do what they love via talks, and her online group coaching membership, Untold Happiness. Deeply interested in mindset mastery, habits, inner-soul work, and purpose, Kia coaches women how to step into their potential, do what they love and live truly happy and fulfilled lives.