Children see the world as a playground. They would tell anyone to do what you love for a living, and believe in having a career that involves all of their dreams. This felt so tangible and fated to be our reality. But, as we transition to adulthood, things change. We get bombarded with the to dos and demands of paying bills, raising a family, and all the other things that define being an adult. Surviving becomes mandatory, and our dreams get pushed aside.
When I was a child I wanted to be an artist and writer. While all the other children were chasing each other on the playground, I would escape into my sketchpad and poetry book. I was absolutely certain this was my calling and would imagine myself sitting on a back porch, sunlight drenching my workspace, splotches of paint all over my clothing with a paintbrush tucked behind my ear as I made loving progress on my next masterpiece eagerly awaited by the adoring public.
Like so many others, I fell victim to societal demands. When it was time to go to college I “had” to pick a major. Society had taught me that artists “starve,” and the chances of me being Picasso or Shakespeare was an impossible feat. I threw in the towel on my childhood dreams and pursued a career in advertising/marketing. After all, commercial artists make money.
I dove into my career, giving it everything I had. By the age of 27, I was making almost six figures. All of my so-called success felt anything but successful. Our culture trains us to go to school, get good grades, get a job, make boatloads of money, buy a McMansion with a pool, and if we do, we’ll find happiness … guaranteed!
How many of us suffer through jobs we hate? We show up to work, shuffle through the tasks giving only as much effort as is required, and retire to our homes exhausted in the evening. We spend almost a third of our life working. So, why do so many of us choose a career that’s unsatisfying? Fear is typically the culprit. We are trained to believe money and success are synonymous. So we give in, afraid if we don’t, we’ll never have enough.
So many of us stay in this numb static state. We live our entire lives only to wake up, believing we’re now too old to make a change and live the remainder of our days in regret, staying on auto-pilot. We all have the choice to reclaim our happiness. Life is far too short to stay in a career that we don’t enjoy.
As a result of this realization, I left the corporate world on a mission to find my happy. I tapped into what I wanted to do as a child, and the more I let my inner child have a voice, the more my true artistic self came shining through. Today, I write and design every day, and as a result of doing what I love, I’m making more money than I ever did in the corporate world. When we do what we love, we’re living from our heart. And when you live your life, your purpose and clear intentions, money becomes abundant because the universe thanks you for honoring your true self.
You can instinctually tell when someone is doing what they love to do. When you watch a famous actor or musician perform, it often takes you straight into their inner world. You feel moved and inspired by their performance. Wherever I go, I always ask people why they chose their career.
After all, isn’t that what we all strive for, confidence and the ability to smile because we are living our dreams daily? When you tap into what you loved as a child, the possibilities of living a fulfilled, abundant life are endless.
–Photo by nhi.dang
She is best-selling author of three books about happiness, including Find Your Happy and Adventures for Your Soul. She appears regularly as a happiness expert on AM Northwest and Huff Post Live, and was named among the “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” by the Mind Body Green. Shannon's the founder of Playwiththeworld.com, an award-winning self-help and personal development website. She's an author, international life coach, teacher, travel writer and inspirational speaker who left her job in advertising several years ago to follow her heart and become a writer.
Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe such as HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health and Entrepreneur magazine. Everything Shannon does is to help you connect to your true self and unapologetically live your authentic purpose.
Connect on Facebook @ShannonKaiserWrites
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