What's something crazy that you found out
Find your niche as a do-gooder
"How amazing! That should be heard by everyone out there with their "It-couldn't-have-been-I-wanted-to-do-something-useful-now-I-sit-all-day- quarrel with any e-mails “job and look for a job that really makes you happy!” - That was the thought that passed through me in October 2016 after my first interviews with successful and happy social changers, entrepreneurs and Visionaries. And not just once, but over and over again: For almost half a year I have invested a lot of time interviewing people for my new podcast who are really happy with what they are doing and who make the world a little better with it do. From the beginning I hoped that these people would have exciting things to say, but the interviews have always exceeded my expectations: This wealth of experience really makes it possible to find your own dream job, and not only to find it, but also to realize it to create and be happy with it.
So what helps to find out where your place is in this world, your very personal niche, your dream job that will make you happy and at the same time make the world a better place? Let's get started…
Get to know yourself and try it out
“Do what I've never done: Take a trip around the world, drive around somewhere, do what interests you! And if you are totally burned down at the end and have to spend the night on the couch with your friend, then that is also a valuable experience; that's just part of it! ”(Robert Heine, at the age of 30 successful founder of his own company that sells a sophisticated monitoring system to business customers).
Pretty much all of the interviewees agree: You can At first you don't even know where your life's work and your dream job are! Yes it would be nice right? School, then university, and then become famous and successful and change the world! That's how I once imagined it, and suffered for a long time from the fact that it wasn't that easy after all. But if you think about it carefully: isn't it the case that you first found out through your experiences what you are really passionate about and what is important to you? Your studies abroad, the crazy guys you met on your first backpacking tour, the lessons learned from your first job and, last but not least, your crises?
Actually, it is logical: you have to try a lot (a lot!) In order to notice where your passions and strengths lie and which topics and problems in our world affect you, until you know where your place is. Only then do you know yourself and your inner longing so well that you can recognize your life's task when it crosses your path! This phase is simply part of it. And: it can even be fun! But only if you allow yourself this time and are not afraid of changing course.
Frey Faust from one of the interviews, movement expert and dance teacher (he has tried pretty much everything that has to do with movement and the body): “Trying out and searching is part of it! Many seem to want to cut that short and are frustrated that they don't know what to do. But this phase is simply part of it! There was this scientist who was experimenting with moths and trying to help them get out of their cocoons, which is really tedious work for these insects. He made a hole in their cocoons to relieve them of the trouble, and the moths died! Your immune system wasn't ready for the world! It's the same with us: You need this phase of trying things out. Yes, it's an effort; and it is your focus and your commitment to yourself that ultimately allow you to achieve your goal. "
Or Miguel Lozano: He's one of the world's best freedivers today, and when I asked him how he got there, he replied: “You know, I just let myself be guided by what I enjoyed: I did I've always loved the sea, I've loved traveling, and I've had a money-making job for years and just traveled as much as I could. And at some point I came across freediving and just got into it more and more. First for myself, then with friends, and at some point I opened a school with my colleagues, and then later another and another. I never planned that. I think it is important to let yourself be guided by what you enjoy. "
Or Felix Weth, founder of Fairmondo, the sustainable alternative to Amazon: He worked for a while with child soldiers in the Congo and saw the people there who pay the price for our consumption in Germany. And he noticed there: “I don't want to support that! It has to be done differently! "
Even if you look through the résumés of these people, you will notice how much these people tried before they landed on their niche - and then they were ready to stick with it and go into depth. So: give yourself enough time to try things out, and let yourself be guided by what makes you happy and what touches you. This phase is the basis for everything else - think of the moth!
Change the context
Have you ever been to a seminar or on a trip where you were suddenly among completely new people? Who had completely different life experiences and views of the world? And did you notice how you yourself had completely different perspectives, thoughts and even emotions in a very short time? That's what one of the interviewees called "changing context," and that's another thing pretty much all the experts agreed on: To find out what you enjoy and where your place is, don't look there where you are already. But: You have to change the context and have completely new experiences, talk to people who think differently, live under different circumstances. This is also part of finding your task, it helps you to recognize yourself differently and better.
Raphael Fellmer from Foodsharing, for example, who himself lived for eight years without money and during that time, among other things, sailed across the Atlantic and then traveled through South America: “It is very important to admit to yourself when something is not your thing. Then it's better to break off, do a sabbatical, detach yourself from your context and worldview environment and gain new experiences. I believe that we are all so diverse that we should give ourselves the time to experience different perspectives again and again. "
Or the following tip: “I think it is extremely helpful to go where people have nothing. To spend a month where the people are really poor. That puts you in a new perspective and you realize that it is an incredible privilege to be able to look for your job in such a way that you are happy. ”- Who said that? No development worker or the NGO founder, but Frey Faust as a dance teacher and movement expert (!).
Or Jörg Wilhelm, who has been a successful management consultant, trainer and coach for many years: “I would register for any seminar. I once signed up for a sales seminar and made a mistake and that was a self-awareness seminar. And that was great and exactly what I needed back then. I got lost, so to speak, unconsciously, but systematically. It can also be a good book, it can also be an encounter with someone who is doing something totally crazy. To be attentive to what I see in my environment, what is different and what somehow attracts me. For me, this often went through seminars, because this is an environment that is specific and completely different and that totally engages you immediately. "
Or Felix again: “It is also important to talk to people, especially people who think differently than those around you. You can talk to anyone on the street about the essential things in life: 'What is important? What do you want to do with your work and with your life? ‘And that will take you further."
So: Changing the context is essential to find out what you really want in life. Traveling, being together with unconventional people in unconventional settings, doing seminars, doing things differently in your life: All of this helps you to get to know yourself anew, to break away from your previous behavioral patterns and to give your life your own personal direction.
Be open instead of setting goals
In the summer of 2013 I was very frustrated: I had taken part in a goal attainment program for a month, and when the day came for my big goal - a kind of flash mob for me - nobody came and I was alone. I had set my goal and made my steps there every day !? - Yes, setting goals and then pursuing them consistently, that is important. We learned that. Or? I asked my interviewees that too - and: Surprise surprise!
“First I would give myself to the flow of life. And whenever I come to a crossroads, ask myself: How much am I excited about that? Is that something for me? And if I don't know yet, maybe wait a little longer, give myself time in this hectic world until the decision comes by itself. - My basic philosophy: Life is always right. ”(Jörg Wilhelm).
Or Christiane Schmidt, coach and trainer as well as project manager for international development aid projects: “I didn't plan that at all; I don't think you can plan that with your professional development either. I've done so many things myself that it feels like I've lived several lives: travel agent, peace worker, banker. But one thing always emerged from the other and came together unexpectedly. I don't think you can plan life. But keeping your eyes and ears open definitely helps. "
And otherwise in my interviews with these happy do-gooders: Nobody talked about goal setting and goal achievement, but about inspiration, about being open, about trying out new things. Sure, sometimes you have to set goals and pull things off in professional life, but most of us do that anyway. And once these people have found their niche, they are very, very good at sticking with it and going deeper. But on the way there, on the way to your personal task that will make you really happy, above all you need open eyes and ears to notice where you are going to continue and where your next good step is to be taken.
Create your dream job
Have you ever opened Monster.de, Greenjobs.de or tbd * and hoped you would find your dream job and your life's work here today? Where are you happy from day one and achieve the impact you want to make in the world? Would be nice or ;-)? This is one more thing that my interviewees did not tell me directly, but which screams out directly from their résumés: your niche, your ultimate life task is always part of the story handmadeyou don't get served on a silver platter. Sure, it helps to take a job that suits you and to work with people who are good for you. But in order to really live your calling and really flourish in what you do, you yourself are asked: you have to set up your job in such a way that it suits you, that you can use your strengths to the full and that it inspires you anew every day . And it works, it really works, regardless of whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or employee.
An example? Isabella Klien from Salzburg has worked in marketing for years, and just at the moment when she was a single young mother and actually had 1,000 other worries, she realized “It is no longer possible; I finally want to work with companies in my own way, and I don't want to hide my worldview either. ”And she did. At first with challenges, but ultimately as a successful business consultant who is at the same time an avowed Buddhist and shaman.
And now? Yeah I know all of these things take time. Not an abbreviation, rather the long way home. Is it really worth it to stay tuned? Yep it's worth it. Because the fulfillment that you can find in your very personal life task really only exists there. And: if you are happy and full of enthusiasm with what you are doing, then you will also pull other people along with you and thus achieve the impact that can really change our world. Be worth it to you, make the world worth it to you.
About the author
Tobias März is an engineer for solar energy and is convinced that it is possible to experience joy and deep meaning in one's own job at the same time. Since January 2017 he has been interviewing people who are successful with it for his podcast. He also gives workshops and individual support. More at: www.tobiasmaerz.de
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