"People often fail in their careers because they have been trying to live out someone else’s idea of what a life’s work should be." ~ Marcia Menter
I resembled that! The battle within showed up through a lot of job-hopping in my 20's and 30's, toggling between "acceptable" job choices and those more aligned with my inner drive to do work that matters and helps others do the same.
I find these 10 words in the opening quote most significant: "they have been trying to live out someone else's ideal." What does it do to your body when you engage, for years at a time, in work that is not congruent with your values, ideals, gifts and talents? How much energy is consumed trying to stay above water when you are swimming in the wrong pond, or with the wrong people? It can't be good for your business, and for sure not your health.
Over the past few months I've been interviewing a variety of business owners who have been strongly effected by a life-changing health setback. Every person I have talked to reported that one of the most positive aspects of having become ill was their renewed commitment to their ideals and values, and their prioritization of self-care. If they had sublimated them before, their illness or injury took that option away. You can’t “bounce back” from an illness that consumes months or years of your life without making a few soul-level, life affirming changes. They report that the more congruent they are, the more energy they have and the better they feel.
There are several definitions of right livelihood. They all encompass the same ideals: using your innate gifts and talents doing meaningful work, making a good living at it, and making others' lives better. Notice the win-win-win equation.
I find nothing more rewarding than working with someone searching for their "sweet spot," sharing in the moments when they link their gifts, talents, ideals and values with their business efforts. It doesn't matter if they come to me for help with marketing, personal effectiveness, or a business growth issue, the best outcomes are achieved when they match their business goals and strategies with what they know to be the best in - and for - themselves.
- They feel better
- They have more energy
- Their anxiety decreases
- They take better care of themselves
- They are happier at the end of the day
- Their business results improve
Question: What thoughts or experiences have you seen about the intersection between 'right livelihood' and improved health, within your own life or people you know?