8 In Purpose

18 Valuable Lessons from Pursuing the Wrong Career Path

There is a saying which goes, “That which is in front of you is your teacher.”

You can learn a lesson from anything and everything life throws your way. And if you view life this way, you’ve always won. You’re always receiving gifts.

Here are 18 valuable lessons from pursuing the wrong career path:

1. Your livelihood takes up too many hours in your life to do something that makes you miserable

If you are weighed down by negative energy and disatisfaction in your work, that energy will inevitably seep into other areas of your life.

2. Go with the flow

If you are not yet living your dream life, make peace with this fact while you work towards your goals. If you struggle against each day, resenting each task you need to complete, it will drain all of you energy. Do things with a happy heart and a light-touch, and you will feel freer.

3. Listen to your intuition

Your heart knows what you really want. Your head will play tricks on you, trying to convince you to stay put, blanketed by the security of the status quo.

4. There is life outside of work

There are so many other areas in life to find beauty, joy and fulfilment. You may find your flow in nature, cooking, travel, creativity and friendships.

5. Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not a life others expect of you

Not doing so is the top regret of the dying. If you have a burning ambition to experience the role of your dreams, take steps to make it happen. If work is not high on your list of things that bring you meaning and purpose, don’t feel pressured to say or act otherwise.

6. Open up about your desires

You never know what doors may open once people hear about your goals.

7. You don’t need to know precisely what you want to do or have a detailed A-to-Z plan

You just need to take baby steps in the general direction of your desires. You don’t need to see the whole path – just 10 feet ahead.

8. There are more possibilities and opportunities in this world than you will ever know

Steve Jobs once advised us to look around and realise that everything in our surrounds has been created by people no smarter than us. Question the way the world works, and know that you can change it.

9. You will adapt to new situations much easier than you think

Don’t wait until you are ready. Chances are you will never feel ready. There is an old Zen proverb which goes, leap and the net will appear. You will figure it out as you go – you always do.

10. The only person who has never failed is the person who has never tried anything

Don’t be so terrified of it.

11. You are not your job title, your profession or your resume

Your worth is not dependent on the “success” of your career. You are inherently worthwhile. You achieve your purpose on this earth by simply being you.

12. Be gentle with yourself

Set goals and take steps, but don’t beat yourself up in the process. You will accomplish so much more through self-love than through whipping yourself into line.

13. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take

So if you want to apply for a role, enter a competition, pitch an article or float an idea, go for it. Because you have automatically lost if you don’t even try.

14. Making big changes in your life takes courage, discipline and persistence

There will be soul searching, late nights, hard yards, doubts and fluctuating emotions. Buckle up, because it will be worth it.

15. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way

Make a decision to feel happy, successful and abundant NOW, and the world will respond in kind. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for external events before you claim your happiness.

16. You are a one-of-a-kind blend of magic

There has never been nor will there ever be anyone like you in the history of humankind with your unique set of skills and passions. Contribute your gifts to the world.

17. Emotions are temporary

That gripping fear, those crushing doubts, may seem so intense and real. But they will slowly fade and vanish. So don’t get give them too much attention. Try and let them be.

18. There is a huge sense of satisfaction which comes from following your dreams, even if you haven’t reached them yet

It feels so much better to be at the bottom of the right ladder than it does to be at the very top of the wrong ladder for you.

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  • Reply
    November 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Great post. Remembering to look for that magic silver lining and having the faith to know you are where you are supposed to be and not all things on the to-do list need to be accomplished. Sometimes they never will be and it’s okay to scratch them off the list as never to be done and you’re fine with that. Peace.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Great post, as someone who has been down the wrong path, I always find solace in the fact that if I hadn’t done that first, I probably wouldn’t be who or where I am today. And it makes me love the little detour I took to get here (and the amazing people I met along the way!)

  • Reply
    Sarah Kate
    October 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    LOVE THIS! Your post comes at such a pertinent time in my life. I’m working towards my dream job in a different job that just doesn’t light me up like I long for. Thank you for this beautiful, wise post!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

    This is great! I recently sold everything and moved to Europe to start afresh and it was scary but the best thing I ever did!

  • Reply
    [email protected] Urban Mum
    October 28, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Numbers 2, 7, 10 & 13 are the ones that speak the loudest to me… actually they all are so very relevant – I suspect I am on the older age end of your readers – however these apply no matter the stage of your journey (great messages for my young boys too). Just one step, then another and so on – life is so exciting…x

  • Reply
    Madeleine | The Daily Mark
    October 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    YES YES YES! When I swapped from Psych to Design it was the scariest and most rewarding thing I ever did. Such great points! x
    Madeleine, The Daily Mark

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie
    October 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Great post! I came over from the SBB facebook group, and I’m very glad I did. This is exactly what I needed to read right now as I’m starting to really consider a career shift but I know it’s not going to be a short process. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Cheryl from BusinessChic
    October 28, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Oh Elyse, great post!

    I’m coming up to one year of going full time on my creative blogging/styling/photography practice and found myself nodding through your list. Point 17 really resonates with me – not only emotionally but also in terms of energy levels to help process the emotions and the physicality of the work that I do now. I’ve found that looking after myself in terms of food, hydration and sleep are SO important so that I can keep up with this life I’m building… and not to mention, loving!

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