While you’re on this earth, you have the opportunity to express your distinctive passion and talents in a way that you find worthwhile.

Your career is one mode for expressing your passion. While the rest of you evolves, your career will, too. Your choices will naturally shift over time as you see ever more clearly who you are and what you want.

As you consider how you can create your most fulfilling life, clarify your values first. When you’re clear about your values, the next step is to focus your passion for what you value on an opportunity to express it in a way that’s meaningful to you.

It’s human nature to want to express your passion in a creative way, whether that means raising a family or leading a country. You won’t feel fulfilled until you consciously have a place in your life where you’re creative.

For some, the creative way they express their passion is by raising children who know who they are, go for what they want, and treat others with respect and love. Others feel compelled to raise awareness about health or social issues affecting our society.

Many people find inspiration in designing or inventing products. Some find fulfillment outdoors—planting vegetables, building roads, or walking dogs. Still others find deep satisfaction writing books, cooking, or balancing budgets.

All of these choices are equally valid. No type of work is “better” than another.

As you consider how to express your passion, the only criteria that matter are:

• You feel fulfilled when you’re doing it
• You feel in your gut that there’s something missing if you don’t do it.

Do You Gotta Work Like A Dog?

There’s a common saying: do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life. People who aren’t doing what they love are frustrated by this saying.

They’ll quote a litany of reasons they can’t go for what they want. Underneath each of these reasons is a negative, limited thought about what work is supposed to be like.

Do you have any beliefs about work that are negative or limit your freedom to express yourself? Let’s dissect some of the most common beliefs about work. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

• Work is supposed to be hard
• It’s dishonest to get paid for doing something that’s easy or fun
• You only deserve to be paid for sweating and struggling
• If you want a higher salary, you must work harder, longer hours.

In our culture, these beliefs date back to the Mayflower. But they don’t have to be true for you. There are fulfilled people in every walk of life who love what they do.

Here’s another common belief that can throw your life out of balance. Do you believe that your career has to take precedence over every other part of your life? Then try flipping the equation.

Start by picturing your ideal life, then look for a career that will support it. This fundamental shift in thinking will change the way you view your life.

You’ll have the power to own what you do with your life when you feel deeply sure of what you want. Once you are clear about the lifestyle you want, the possibilities for creating that lifestyle are infinite. There isn’t one way that’s better or more significant than another.

A lot of energy is wasted in thinking that “making a difference” and “contributing to the global society” are the only worthy aspirations one can have. Not true. The aspiration that’s worthy of you is the one that feels most relevant to you.

It’s Not About Job Titles Anymore

Let’s connect your passion and talents to the current state of the job market.

As you consider your career options and opportunities, it’s important to avoid the trap of thinking that there’s only one job that will fulfill you for the rest of your life, and you can’t make a move until you’re certain you’ve found it.

Remember, your career will evolve during your lifetime. And like every other part of your evolution, you can’t know today how you’re going to respond to each and every situation that will occur in the next 30 years. Work that seems exciting today might bore you to bits a few years down the road.

Instead of locking yourself into one career path, set yourself free to explore, discover, learn and grow.

Current estimates are that today’s college grads will have an average of four different careers with more than a dozen employers. In response, we are shifting our strategy of framing career by skills rather than job titles.

Your career path has becomes a process of choosing positions where you can learn or enhance a skill as part of a skill set that serves you over the long haul.

For example, in my previous career of broadcasting, I learned how to work with the media and how to be poised in front of a camera. From another career in speech pathology, I learned aspects of running my own business, how to convey complex information in layman’s terms (one of my genius talents), and how to feel comfortable speaking in front of a crowd.

I also used my prior book editing experience (another of my genius talents) when I wrote the book I recently published. And although I didn’t recognize the connection at the time, all of these skills serve me now as a life coach.

Shifting Out Of Neutral

Now let’s flesh out how you can begin to express more of your passion. Beginning today, think about one thing you can do each day that expresses your passion. If you’re unclear about your passion, use your best guess of what your passion might be.

But where—and how—to start?

The key to creating a more fulfilling life is to get the momentum going. But to do that, you’ll have to break out of your set patterns and do something different.

You see, we humans are creatures of habit. The upside of routines is that they help us get things done quickly. However, habitual routines have a serious downside. Your habits can cause you to get stuck in one way of thinking and acting.

So an easy way to pop out of neutral gear is to break a routine pattern.

You can very effectively break out of your habitual patterns by doing something, literally anything that’s different from your routine. It doesn’t even have to be related to work.

In fact, it’s easier to do something that’s as far from work as possible. Here are some easy, yet effective ways to break your routine:

• Eat something for dinner that you’ve never eaten before
• At breakfast, hold your spoon (or fork) in your non-dominant hand
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Read a book from a section of the library you haven’t previously visited
• Listen to a type of music you haven’t heard before
• Move your wallet or keys to a different pocket
• Move a photo from one side of your desk to the other.

The point is that any difference will stimulate your brain to look for more different things. You’ll immediately be more alert to your surroundings. This is critical. As you continually scan your internal and external environments, you’ll notice new ideas and opportunities for expressing your genius.

As you begin to express your genius, it’s wise to start small. Again, start anywhere—with yourself, your family or your community. When you’re ready to do more, find ways to incorporate it into your daily life, then investigate how to make money with it.

Keep moving in the general direction of expressing your unique genius in your own style. You’ll get there, in your own time.

Author's Bio: 

Judy Widener is a Certified Life Coach and author of Power For A Lifetime: Tools You Customize to Build Your Personal Power Every Day Of Your Life. You can download two chapters of her book at no cost at www.myinnerfrontiers.com. Her passion is assisting her clients to discover what is most important to them, then to create more balance and satisfaction in their lives. Empowerment Life Coaching is a comprehensive program that teaches clients simple ways to build their personal power and overcome obstacles to achieving their dreams. Judy has coached more than 600 people over the past 12 years. Her blog is www.myinnerfrontiers.com.