Have you ever witnessed a bear being taken from its home in the wild and forced into captivity? Neither have I. But I do know that the bear would not be pleased. It would be agitated, angry and quite frankly, pissed off. That’s because the bear lives wild and free, just the way it was intended to. Bears were put on this earth as wild animals, not to be stuffed in some cage or displayed for profit. Doing that robs them of the very reason they exist.
In this regard, humans are no different than the bear. A few years back, I found myself being crabby, frustrated and annoyed far more often than I felt comfortable with. I snapped at my loved ones for little or no reason. Some nights I went to bed with a sense of unease and heaviness. While I wasn’t like this all of the time, I became acutely aware of my tone and choice of words. As someone who is polite and kind by nature, I had to find out what was eating at me.
I’ll admit that sometimes, it takes me a moment to pick up on things. I scanned my life and found so much to be grateful for. I had everything in place except for work that was fulfilling and high paying. What I had was a job. It didn’t pay well but the hours were convenient, it was close to home and it provided above average health benefits for my family. I’d always known that I wanted to create for a living, so I looked for other jobs where I could exercise my writing and coaching and development skills. The endeavor was years long and only added to my frustration and aggravation.
One day, in the blue of dawn, I had a revelation. After a solid and productive early morning writing session in which I created an awesome blog post and outline for a book, I felt extremely satisfied. Calm. Fulfilled. Blissful even. I hadn’t ever felt this way in my work life except for times I was coaching the best out of people for a world renowned training organization. In this environment I had just created, doing this creative work, I was the bear in the wild. I was doing what is innate in me. I was free- doing what I was put on this earth to do. When I was working for my former employer, it was the equivalent of being stuffed into a tiny cage. There was no freedom or satisfaction in it.
It is no coincidence that the moment I started a relentless pursuit of my authentic calling, the crabby part of me made a quiet, defeated exit. Don’t get me wrong, I am human and I have my moments. But the pride and satisfaction of chasing my dream soundly defeats the background noise that the past occasionally tries to bring up. It is a completely different life now. I get to use my favorite skills each and every day. I get to spend my time doing things I adore. When you achieve that, it doesn’t feel like “going to work”. Not even a little.
If you’ve been crabby, snippy, short, moody or anything similar, I urge you to scan your current reality and see if it is congruent with your authentic calling. If it’s not, take one step today to move towards your calling. Tomorrow, take another. One step at a time. Build some momentum because when you do, it will be hard to slow you down. You can travel one of two roads. One is filled with rumination and regret. And a cage. The other, wild and free. Just like it is supposed to be.