According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 18 to 35 year olds are the most stressed out generation ever—earning ourselves the nickname “Generation Stress.”
Let’s face it, figuring out what you want to do with your life can be quite stressful. For many millennials, the single most important factor in the workplace is finding work that is purposeful.
Though the search for purpose is front and center, it can also be the thing that is most elusive. In a culture that is perpetually focused on the “next” big thing—like the press feature or promotion we dream of—it’s nearly impossible to experience fulfillment today.
How are you supposed to know if you’re on the right path if what you want is always a few steps ahead of you?
One millennial thought-leader says the key is a simple shift in focus: it’s not about getting something or somewhere but rather about giving something.
Meet Peta Kelly, a speaker, self-made millionaire by age 25, and founder of a global movement empowering Gen Y to live radically fulfilling lives through contribution.
This week on Unconventional Life, Kelly shares how to align yourself with the career path that’s best for you.
Growing up as one of four kids with a single mom in Perth, Australia, Kelly says she developed a strong work ethic from an early age.
Work for Kelly initially looked very traditional, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s en route to a Ph.D. But midway through her Ph.D. program, she experienced a “big whack” from her intuition that sent her spinning in an entirely new direction: entrepreneurship.
“I began to feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction and misalignment. I had no choice but to listen,” says Kelly.
Since making that transition, Kelly has gone on to lead others who find themselves at a similar crossroads. Her event, The New Way Live, serves as an awakening ground for thousands to reroute themselves on their own creative career paths.
The access point to discovering the path that is right for you is what Kelly calls your “zone of genius.”
“We all have a zone of genius,” Kelly says. “Unique talents and abilities. We have this zone of bliss, creativity, productivity, effectiveness and efficiency that we can live in… But we can’t live there if we are only moving based on what’s practical and logical. Excitement is the compass.”
If you’re feeling uncertain about whether you’re on the right career path, tapping into your zone of genius could be the solution for you.
Below, Kelly shares 7 ways to know if you’re living from your zone of genius and are on the career path that’s right for you.
1. You’ve quieted the noise. You’ve quieted the external noise in your life that prevents you from doing you. The voices of other people—the expectations, the “shoulds,” the “what will they they thinks”—are no longer a factor for you. You are deeply connected to your innermost desires and often take quiet time to deliberately discern what your next move is.
2. You’re doing what excites you the most. You wake up in the morning and the first thought on your mind is how excited you are to do what you’re most passionate about. You can hardly call it “work” because it feels like play for you—you’d do it even if you weren’t being paid and weren’t on the clock.
3. You’re a master at what you do. The work you do is inspired from the gifts and abilities you were born with. You do what you do better than anyone you know, and it’s effortless for you. Forget the grind, the stress, the 10,000 hours—you’re simply playing your muse.
4. You don’t settle for mediocrity. You don’t have time for a thousand and one “side” projects. You are focused on what you do best and you aren’t watering the things you’re just mediocre at. “Was Steve Jobs a fashion icon? Was Albert Einstein a great cook? Was Nikola Tesla the world’s best tree lopper? No,” Kelly jokes.
5. You don’t work for your schedule, it works for you. Your work schedule is centered around the time your creativity is most active. If you thrive at 2:00 in the morning, you’re working then. You save the times you’re prone to feeling brain dead for things like responding to emails, and you’ve got at least a few hours each day reserved for play.
6. Everything in your life is “working.” You experience a deep sense of alignment in everything from the thoughts you think about yourself, to the opportunities that show up in your life at the right time, to the ample resources you have to do the things you love. You’re not crunched for time or money, and you no longer have limiting beliefs that put a cap on how good your life can become.
7. You’re committed to service. Your primary focus is on the impact of your work. You thrive on contribution and are aligned with a business that serves the needs of the planet. You don’t support businesses that are centered around one person, but rather that are centered around a collective. You are constantly looking for new ways to create solutions for humanity and positive change in the world.
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