My friend Hilary recently sent me a link to this diagram, and it has been on my mind a lot since then:
Source: Bud Caddell
I have spent most of my life, especially my career, in the area between ‘what I do well’ and ‘what I can be paid to do’. As you can see, that is the area which clearly instructs me to learn to say no. At first, that bold statement startled me. Say no? But I do it well and I get paid for doing it!
However, existing in that junction means that I completely disregard what I want to do in favor of: what I’m expected to do, what others want me to do, what I’m good at doing, what I am paid well to do, and so on. It’s the area where I use the word ‘should’ way too much. I should keep this job because I’m good at it. I should continue to climb the corporate ladder because I can … because I have something to prove … because what else would I do?
Well, I took the first step and got off the should cycle a while ago. The problem is—I haven’t found the thing (the job, career, project, livelihood) that fits the spot marked ‘Hooray!’. I love to write, but I’m not sure I do it well and I’m definitely not sure I can be paid to do it. I am a financial consultant—I do it well and I get paid to do it—but I don’t enjoy it.
See the dilemma? What do you think? Have you found your ‘Hooray!’ spot? Any suggestions?