Why You Don't Have to Get Paid to Live Your Purpose

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In today’s world, we’re blessed by the abundance of opportunities to “start over” by launching our own businesses, changing careers, etc.

But, not everyone wants, or can, make these drastic career changes!

As we approach 40 and cross into, what I call the midlife transition period, we start craving more from our lives and the desire to find our purpose takes root.

 
Related Topic: Why we Crave "More" from Life After 40

For many, there’s a misconception that finding and living one’s purpose means starting over and completely changing their life.

But, here’s the thing:  To find and live our purpose does NOT require all of that!

If leaving a stable job with amazing benefits, or starting over at this point in life holds no interest, that doesn’t mean we have to stay stuck in a rut, hate our job, and hold out for weekends and retirement (that makes for a long 20+ years of patience!!).

There are other options to find and live our purpose making drastic changes in our lives.

Our purpose isn’t downgraded, or less important if we can’t, or don’t want to make money from it.


THE PURPOSE OF OUR PURPOSE

Our society is fueled by money and external markers of “success.”  We are also bombarded with messages to find work that is meaningful and fulfilling, and while I wholeheartedly agree with that, what is meaningful and fulfilling may not pay the bills.

The purpose of our purpose isn’t to put food on the table or to keep on the lights.

If our purpose can provide the necessities and niceties of life, awesome, but that’s the cherry on top!

So, to release the expectation that our purpose is the key to our career, let’s explore the true meaning of one’s life purpose.

A life purpose should:

  • Light us up and provide more meaning to our lives

  • Make us want to get up in the mornings

  • Help us push through the hard times and the crap that life inevitably throws our way

  • Provide the means for us to share our gifts and talents with the world while honoring our deepest core values

Nowhere in that description does it say we need to get paid for our purpose.  What’s also not in that list is the requirement that our purpose benefits anyone else by ourselves (“sharing it with the world” doesn’t mean it has to help anyone, by the way!).  

Living our purpose is what allows us to be our best, and most authentic selves, so that is inherently for ourselves.


HAVING A PURPOSE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF FULFILLMENT

Look, there may be many reasons why one can’t, or doesn’t want to leave a day job.  

Maybe you like what you do, even if it doesn’t provide a deep sense of fulfillment and personal meaning.  Or, perhaps, you need the salary and benefits to provide for your children and take care of your needs.

Maybe you just don’t want to make money from your passions and purpose because you don’t want it to become, well, a job.

It is 100% okay to find your purpose and live it out loud and in full color, on the side of your day job.  

Your purpose can be expressed as a passion project, or simply a hobby.  As long as it lights you up, fuels you, and allows you to share your unique gifts, then how you engage in those activities is irrelevant.

In fact, if you are feeling less than inspired from your day job, or even bored out of your skull, finding and living your purpose on the side can elevate your experience of your day job and make it more tolerable.  

That’s the beauty of finding and living out your purpose!


FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re caught on the idea that finding your purpose means you have to start over, sell your home, and go back to eating Ramen noodles for dinner every night, it’s perfectly okay to let go of all of those notions!

Finding your purpose doesn’t have to be related to your salary, so embrace where you are now, get curious about what you are craving more of in your life, and enjoy chasing it!