Make work meaningful by aligning what you do with who you are

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Think back to a time when you felt in the groove, a time when whatever you were doing opened the door to a state of flow where you naturally immerse yourself and feel energized.

Now put that in the context of the definition of meaningful work we’re using in this series on how to make work more meaningful:

Meaningful work = Work that matters (and you decide what matters!)

Do you think work that lets you flow in that groove might feel like it matters? (Hint: I’m thinkin’ yes.) In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at how do that.

How to align what you do with who you are

As I described in the post on finding your energizers, my definition of passion is “the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do.” It’s the definition I have used for the last thirteen years in my Passion Catalyst work as a foundation for helping people create careers that light them up.

In a nutshell, you experience passion when the work you do aligns with who you are – when your work becomes an authentic expression of self.

How do you align what you do with who you are? A great place to start is the exercise I discuss in that post about finding your energizers, taking a look at what you love and digging into why you love it, identifying the underlying themes (reasons why) that tend to be there when you’re energized.

When you understand the underlying reasons why you love what you love, you can consciously look for opportunities to experience them. That might be through something big and life-altering, like a career change, or it might be through something small, like recognizing an opportunity to experience them in a project, or even simply in how you approach your work.

Ultimately, it’s about having a solid self-awareness of “who you are” so you can recognize opportunities to align what you do with that.

Start with self-exploration questions

There is no end of ways to gain a deeper understanding of what makes you tick. Here are ten more questions to get you started. You can unpack more insight from most of them by following the answer up with asking, “Why?”

  • What am I doing when I’m in that groove? (Why am I in my groove then? What is it about that that lets that flow happen?)
  • What am I doing when I”m at my best? (Why am I at my best then?)
  • What are my innate gifts? What do I naturally do well? (Why? What allows me to do that so well?)
  • What do I feel called to do? (Why? What is it about that that is compelling?)
  • What would I do even if I didn’t get paid for it? (Why? What would I get out of it?)
  • How do I work best? (Why? What is it about that way of working that allows my best to come out?)
  • What do I dislike at work? If I could change that, what would the ideal be? (Why? What is it about that that would make it ideal?)

The more you understand about what makes you tick and how you naturally thrive, the more potential you have to make choices and take actions that align what you do with who you are.

Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

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