In my last blog, Passion In Work Part I, I featured Nancy Anderson’s 5 Passion Clues, which can be used to find work of passion and meaning. Today, I am covering her 5 Off-Track Signals, to help you avoid situations that can lead you away from work that is ultimately fulfilling.
Nancy Anderson’s 5 Signals to When You Are Off the Passion Track
Off-Track Signal #1
Money Is Your Priority
Wanting to have money and the material comforts it affords is not greedy. The problem comes when money is the most important thing. As a goal and guiding force in an of itself, it can lead to empty success and dissatisfaction. It is not unusual for those who “make it” in the eyes of the world to look around at all they have accumulated and wonder what is missing.
Off-Track Signal #2
You Worry About What Others Think
Worrying about other people’s opinions is a common roadblock to making changes. There is popular saying that tries to counter this worry which goes as follows, “What you think about me is none of my business.” Unfortunately, all too often we make it our business and put too much emphasis on the reactions of others to our ideas and dreams.
Off-Track Signal #3
You Focus On The End Result And Not The Process
Being in a hurry to “get there” or “figure it out” is another clue to being off the passion track. Instead of valuing the process of change and what occurs on a personal level, the emphasis becomes directed to an end-point of certainty.
Off-Track Signal #4
You Take Shortcuts To Achieve Your Goals
Looking for an easier way to achieve your goals can be a sign of waning confidence in the process. This approach can lead to a less than desirable outcome and involve a loss of integrity. While appropriate efforts to make the process more efficient are fine, accepting that the path to excellence takes considerable time, patience and fortitude helps you stay the course.
Off-Track Signal #5
You Take On More Than You Can Handle
In our Type A, fast-paced culture, we are encouraged to extend beyond our limits, say “yes” to mulitple demands and race towards whatever the next thing is. Taking on more than you can handle can lead to illness, problems with relationships, money and boundaries. Plan for your goal to take twice as long as you expect, and don’t worry about how fast others are going.
Having followed “the passion track” for the past several years, I can vouch for all of Anderson’s clues and signals. For me, the presence of a passion to help others through coaching became the fuel, the propelling force, the life raft, that kept me going in spite of the various challenges.
One of Anderson’s tenets that I frequently remind myself of is the importance of focusing on the process, not the end result. I think back to my earlier days of trying to hurry life along, to finish medical school, survive internship, graduate from residency, build my practice, pay off debt, etc. This approach kept me leaning too much into the future, and I missed part of the richness of life as it was unfolding. Since the moments we spend “on our way” are many more than the moments when we “arrive”, it makes a lot of sense (now) to me, to really enjoy the way.