What Makes You Feel Alive

“I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!” is one of the best feelings.

I get it when I’m talking with a career coaching client on the phone and walking through the forest. And I used to get it all the time when I had a job leading canoe trips, being silly and working in the woods with teenage girls.

But there are other times in my life when I’ve been doing work that’s important to me and that I’m good at, but I end up feeling exhausted afterwards. So what’s the difference? And how can I (and you!) feel energized by our work more often?

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Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Make Your Escape Plan

When I was 24, I quit my day job. I worked for a non-profit with youth in custody. I was stressed, worried I wasn’t doing enough, burning out. And it was absolutely the right decision to quit. I moved to an ashram, learned more about my mind and my spirit and returned to the workforce stronger and more clear about my purpose.

Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do, but this article is about the other times. Maybe you’re a little bit older or wiser than I was. Maybe you have student debt or you don’t want to leave your community. Maybe’s there’s a mortgage or kids or both. This article is about when it’s not time to quit, but your job really isn’t working so it’s time to do something.

Here are the Six Steps to Make Your Escape Plan.
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Allowing for Ease

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When I was 22, I had fallen in love with a boy who lived in Newfoundland. I’ll call him K. We had met the year before on my school’s reading week when I’d driven half way across the country through snow storms for the sake of an adventure. Upon meeting him, K. had blown me away. He was interested in photography and art, had his own dark room in a closet at his house. He tasted like freedom.

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