01/26/2016 10:33 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Turn Your Purpose Into Your Paycheck


"I hate my job. And I hate the fact that I'm not living my dream."

It's usually one of the first things that comes up when I do an initial coaching consultation. When you look at these stats, it's no surprise.

  • According to a 2015 Gallup survey, less than 32 percent of American workers say they are engaged with their job. While that number is the highest it's been since 2000, it still means roughly two-thirds of employees are going through the motions to collect a paycheck.
  • Perhaps not coincidentally, a separate study shows over half of Americans describe their work as "frustrating."
  • On average, American workers report that they are putting in an estimated 47 hours a week, almost an entire additional workday more than what was once the standard. We have come to a place in our culture where we feel guilty for not giving more of ourselves to the job that is depleting us.
  • The 47 hours worked represent nearly 36 percent of the 168 total hours available to us in the week.

Taking these figures into account, is it any surprise that recent studies show only 33 percent of Americans consider themselves to be "very happy"?

Self-improvement leader Brendon Burchard, says there are seven key areas in our life that will contribute to our level of satisfaction. They are, in no particular order: friends and family, love, our mission/purpose, finances, spirituality, hobbies, and health.

Notice that there is no specific mention of "job" on this list. Yet, if we created a pie chart of how much time we devote to each of these seven areas, we'd find that over one-third of the space is consumed by a category that isn't thought to be a leading factor in our emotional and physical well-being.

This isn't to discount the importance of our career, as it can often be the primary contributor to our finances. As such, it affects our ability to take care of ourselves and loved ones. But perhaps where it truly belongs is as a subsection of our mission and purpose. Quite simply, are we doing what we love?

Happy and empowered people can spend 35 percent of their life focused on their mission and feel energized by it. Stagnant people typically spend that amount of energy focused on being "safe" and just cashing the paychecks, leaving them feeling stressed and powerless over their circumstances.

In my coaching, clients generally present me with the idea that their lives would drastically improve if their boss "just stopped overlooking them for that promotion," or they "could just make $20,000 more." However, it's my follow up question about what changes those results would bring to their life that provide the most telling answers.

Clients often say a promotion would provide them a sense of "validation" to friends and colleagues. They also claim that the pay raise would increase their own self-worth, giving them the feeling that they've finally "made it."

Could it be the real problem is that we have the formula backwards? We are waiting for our job to provide us a sense of purpose when, in fact, we should identify our purpose, then find a career that aligns with it.

We know, from a rational perspective, that our sense of self-worth comes from within, hence the phrase self-worth. We also have come to understand, from a spiritual perspective, that our "reality" we see in the outside world is usually just a reflection of what we see within ourselves.

So if the story you are telling yourself is "this company doesn't value me," it may very well be an indication that you aren't valuing you. Are you taking the time to focus on your physical and emotional health? Are you surrounding yourself with high energy friends that elevate and support you? Most importantly, are you living your purpose? If not, are you taking time to do the personal work and become clear on what your purpose is?

Spoiler alert! If you purpose does not somehow include the idea of being in service to others, it's not really a purpose. So here's how to connect the dots between your purpose and your paycheck in 2016.

Rather than asking how you can earn more money, ask how you can create value in the lives of others? What is the one thing that you love to do, that lights you up, that also provides a tangible benefit in people's lives? Once you identify that skill, find someone to pay you to do it! When we operate from a mindset of service rather than simply becoming rich, we operate from a place of love, placing us in the energetic flow of the universe, where we will always be compensated abundantly.

For me, I feel most in alignment when I am serving others and helping people connect to their purpose. That is why, as a special gift to the first 10 HuffPost readers who email me, I will provide a FREE, 25 minute "Discover Your Strengths" breakthrough coaching session. Let's get clear on your hopes and dreams and put you on a path to making 2016 the best year of your life.

Email me today while space is available.