How To Create A Working Life That Does Not Suck

03/06/2015 11:48 am ET | Updated May 06, 2015


Do you ever sit at your desk in horror that you will never have an awesome working life?

I mean, think about it -- you're not getting any younger and the distractions of the world are only getting more demanding. These demands are suffocating your ability to pursue a passionate working life.

But don't panic, it's OK. It's really not your fault -- you're busy. You are very busy with lots of important things like watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Internet. Yep, very busy.

But think about this. On your deathbed, how will you remember your very busy life? Will you lie there thinking -- If I could live my life again...

  1. I would pursue my passions without abandon
  2. I would be a lean, mean learning machine
  3. I would be more courageous

Do I have your undivided attention? Good -- because it's not too late to live an awesome working life. In all honesty, it's never too late to do work that has purpose and in this post I will tell you how.

The Worst Advice Ever

At some point in your life, someone told you -- your passion!

I am certain that you have given the same advice to someone else. Who unwittingly, gave that very same advice to someone else. It's what we do because it sounds like great advice.

Unfortunately, the advice is awful.


The advice assumes that we have a pre-existing passion and many of us simply don't. We begin to question our purpose and act out of fear so we choose a career that is part passion, partly forced choice with a dash of financial security. This is a great recipe for anxiety and failure.

So it's not surprising that many of us spend our entire career working at a job that is less than satisfying. According to a research report by the Society for Human Resources Management -- only 43 percent of U.S. workers are "somewhat satisfied" with their current jobs.

A Very Basic Question

Cal Newport is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University. Newport explains that in order to build a career that you are satisfied with the right question is not "What job am I passionate about doing?" but instead "What way of working and living will nurture my passion?

So what we need to stop doing is looking for a job title. We need to focus on a very basic lifestyle question: "What do I want to get out of my life?"

That question will help guide you in creating your Awesome. Here are 3 of my lifestyle goals:

  • To be financially independent
  • To work from where I want to
  • To make a positive impact on the lives of others

These are huge goals but most importantly I now understand what I want to get out of my life.

The Work That Must Be Done

Now this is where the hard work begins. If you want that rare and valuable lifestyle, then you need to offer something rare and valuable in return. The fundamentals of economics makes this very clear -- your most prized assets are your skills.

So if your passion is writing, then you need to feed that passion with the rare and valuable skills that will make you awesome. This is done by creating a learning journey map.

The simplest method of creating a learning journey map is to use a mind map strategy. This will help you design and grow the skills you need to become an Awesome writer.

Once you have, your learning journey map fleshed out it's time to create goals. This is where many people struggle because goal setting is seen more like a chore than an instrumental tool.

Here is a brief summary of what Michael Hyatt covers in the Best Year Ever:

  • Believe in the possibility -- you must believe that you can accomplish your goals
  • Inventory your past -- helps you understand what you did right and what you did wrong
  • Design the future you want -- this goes back to the lifestyle question
  • Find your "why" -- why is this goal important to you
  • Make it happen -- begin executing your goals

"Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to."
-- Alan Keightley

When You Are On Your Deathbed

Creating a working life that is full of Awesome is very hard work. You will need to make sacrifices, you will lose friends, you will doubt yourself and people will tell you -- "you're crazy."

But think about this: on your deathbed how will you remember your very awesome working life? Will you lie there thinking -- "If I could live my life again... I would not change a thing."

Awesome Tips:
Systematically grow your skills by creating a Learning Journey Map -- make them rare and valuable

Develop a plan to set the goals and then accomplish them -- use Michael Hyatt's Best Year Ever

Once these skills have caught the attention of the marketplace you can leverage them to obtain your lifestyle traits

Featured Image: Author's Own