Joy and Meaningfulness in your life: A Malaysian Alien Column #13

Bengal 3

I have to apologise, I’ve recently had a bit of writing paralysis. I somehow forgot that this space was a place for me to feel free to write, without any pressure, or without any self judgement. But over the last four pages of posts the self doubt started to creep in. And I found myself clicking onto the wordpress dashboard, and leaving the tab open on my computer all day, doing nothing. Because I didn’t have enough time to set aside and think, and craft, a perfect little story.

So today I am going to do the opposite of that. Not think, nor craft. Just transpose thoughts to paper. Well screen. Keyboard?

The inspiration behind this post is from this talk from Eckhart Tolle, where an audience member had written to Tolle asking him how he could feel joy and meaningfulness in his job. Tolle goes on to say start with the present, and remain present. Make peace with every moment, from your journey to work, and be absolute presence. Taste each second, be aware of each sensation, decision and enjoy them. Use your work as the background to your ambition or journey to presence.

I would disagree – respectfully. Presence and mindfulness are very important, but I disagree with disassociating yourself with your job and desires so that you can practise presence. Perhaps this would be an effective solution if removing discontent was your only goal. But what if you want to achieve more? What if you want to create beauty in the world, or express an innate gift whether that might be something like being brilliant at organising information, or being brilliant at inspiring people. Don’t just strive to remove discontent, strive to create pure joy.

Easy to say – but how does one stumble upon a job that gives you joy? You read about the handful of folk who have turned their passions into careers, or just designed their lives around doing what they love, the Deliciously Ella‘s or Babyccino‘s of the world, but they’re just lucky right?

No they’re brave.

They’ve done something scary and stupid and that the first hurdle because:

 “Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving sex up for old age.”

(Scott Dinsmore in this talk.)

Watch the above, because it’s spot on. The first step is becoming self aware – if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you don’t know where to set sail for. Find your skill, find your true north, then take off.

If you’re lucky enough to be supported in finding out what you really want to do, then lucky you. But in a world where job titles and descriptions are getting more bespoke and interesting, you finding something unique you can offer is only an asset to your workplace.

I’m doing it myself. Not long ago, I spoke about applying for a writing competition. Turns out I got it, and I will be writing for Red magazine on a one month placement from April to May.

Wish me luck, I’m pulling in the anchor.

Image copywright: Bengal



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