Embrace Your Surprising Joy: Pursuing the Work You Love

We are living in inspired times. While the job market and economy are always changing, there is still a path of deep security. It’s your calling. You were born to excel in the work you love. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to find your calling or live it. You brain might never know. But your instincts know nothing else.

Having walked through my own extraordinary career transition from Harvard-trained corporate attorney to author and career catalyst, I’ve coached thousands to create the work they love, whether that means daring to uncover a new identity or rediscovering their passion in current circumstances. Your joy is your crystal-clear direction, not your detour.

I urge you to commit to expressing your real gifts in your lifetime. Ditch the imprisoning mentality that your work has to be validated or franchised or net a certain amount of money to be worth it. Truly, you can’t even imagine the opportunities and the serotonin boosts of clarity that will come with pursuing what you love.

Often our joy takes us by surprise and expands our definition of who we think we are and what we think is possible. At one point in my career, after I’d left my law firm and started writing, I gave a talk on finding your right work, and it felt like slipping into my skin at last. “I will do this,” I heard myself say in the inner sanctum of my being. “I will say yes.” I knew I was saying yes to leading, serving, honoring this small voice within me, wherever it led. It made no sense to my “practical” self. I imagined (and I was wrong, by the way!) that there was no money to be had by following this sweetness, no fame or recognition. But, whatever it meant, I knew I wanted aliveness more than I wanted a guarantee. The questions spread through my cells: Will you trust this goodness? Will you follow your guidance and ignore the fears and instructions of the world? I said yes then, and I still do.

There are so many gifts that come from doing what you love, from following something infinite, invincible, and alive within you. My students always want to hear the part where I became a best-selling author and did a TEDx talk. But I want to tell them about the increased energy, flow, and unflappable peace of mind. I want to tell them about the ridiculous synchronicities and opportunities that come along, the feeling of connectedness and the extra cherries in the cherry bowl. I want to reassure them that they’ll shine like never before—and everyone wants to hire someone who glows. Mostly, I want to tell them about the love, the love that makes the axis of the earth tilt in your direction, that makes all things possible.

I’m not saying you have to quit your job or move to New York City to dance on Broadway. Start small, because—believe me—there are no small steps. Every step you take to honor your dreams is huge. Take 10 minutes and sing, write, meditate, or brainstorm about your vision or ideal business. Start the inquiry this very second. Honor your gifts and you will honor your lifetime.

Tama Kieves is a sought-after speaker, visionary career coach, and best-selling author of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love, Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in your Life’s Work!, and A Year without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence.

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Tama Kieves, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, left a corporate law practice to write and embolden others to live their deepest desires.

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