What Should You Be Doing with Your Life?

In this excerpt from her book The Prosperity Plan: Ten Steps to Beating the Odds and Creating Extraordinary Wealth (and Happiness), life coach and sought-after speaker Laura Berman Fortgang offers her interpretation of right livelihood, along with suggestions for discovering what it is you’re meant to do.

I don’t believe there is only one form that your right livelihood, passion, or purpose must take. There are many ways that it can be expressed. What has become clear to me after years of working with people so that they may recognize their purpose and right work is that it is not a matter of one project, passion, or job; rather, it is a way of being, a talent, a unique attribute you have that cannot be repeated by anyone, because no one else can be you. And that quality or strength expressed through you can fit into a myriad of job descriptions.

Ultimately, it is not what you do that will make you happy but how you feel when you are doing it. Who it allows you to be is the secret to the joy.

Chances are, there is a theme that has followed you throughout your life and through different jobs. Until it is discovered, named, and brought into your awareness, it will never register with you as being important. When you identify it, name it, and see how it has always been a part of you, you will have confirmation that you are supposed to amplify that part of yourself and allow it to be the criterion for your choice of work.

To Align with Your Right Livelihood

  • What do you know in your heart you are supposed to be doing with your life? However large or small of a stretch it might be, just write it down. (It’s okay, you don’t have to show anyone just yet.)
  • Alternatively, write down the dream you once had but did not pursue. Explore in writing if it is still applicable to who you are today, and if so, why.
  • If that dream no longer works for you, explore the possibility that it might just be a metaphor for something that could be expressed through your work now. Also, explore if the real reason behind wanting to pursue that dream reflects who you want to be in the world. If so, that is the piece to fold into your life moving forward.
  • Start immediately being more of who you are, despite the pressure your job description causes to the contrary.
  • Practice the discipline of “right livelihood” in your attitude and choices daily.
  • Sketch out an action plan showing how you could move further into your right livelihood over the next year.

Reprinted with permission from the Penguin Group.

Laura Berman Fortgang is a pioneer in the personal coaching field, with more than 25 years of experience supporting people to find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in their lives.

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