Follow Your Urges to Career Fulfillment and Success
It may seem dangerous, but if you follow your urges, you'll get clues about what your next career move could be.
You might think that the business of living life following your urges would be bad for you. That is if you subscribe to the belief that deep down human beings are evil if left to their own devices. Truth is, human beings are basically good. It’s the odd man that kills or maims if otherwise we’d have a much higher incidence of killing and maiming around us.
What of the man who we read about in the daily newspaper who jumps into the water to save a child or even a dog? Or the uncle who wrestles a shark to retrieve the arm of his nephew? Chances are neither of these people just doesn’t even stop and think – they follow their instincts or urges and do what they need to do at the moment to save a life.
We generally call such people heroes but the principle by which they act doing what comes naturally to them actually is what’s remarkable. That same idea – following your own urges in your daily life can offer you greater fulfillment and possibilities, if only you are able to override the programming you’ve had to countermand your urges.
What would life be like for you if you were to spend a day or several days living from your urges? Not thinking about what you should do or what’s on your “to do” list, but from what YOU – the inner person who lives inside of you wants to experience. What do you suppose would happen? Would you lie around on your couch all day eating bonbons? Would you sit at your computer composing the great American novel? Would you help a battered woman or a homeless person?
If you are willing to experiment with this question and explore your own inner promptings, you might discover a whole new world of possibilities for yourself. You’d become an anthropologist, taking note of what your inner world affords you.
Are you curious enough to see what results you’d achieve to try living from your urges for a day or two? If so, pick a weekend or a holiday as a time for your experiment. Arrange as much as possible to clear your decks of responsibilities. If you are a parent, see if you can park your child or children with a friend or relative for this time. If you can’t give up a whole day or two – try just a half a day. Or simply pick times throughout your current daily schedule to check inside with yourself and ask yourself, “What do I want now?”
As a matter of fact, using the question, “What do I want?” as a mantra can be quite a liberating exercise. It’s a most effective entrée to the world of your own inner urges. How many times in the course of a day or a week have you been in the habit of asking yourself such a question?
A well-known coach calls this a “wisdom access question” or WAQ. The wisdom in this case is the answers that reside inside of you. You won’t know what’s there, however, unless you give yourself the time and attention you deserve to seek your answers out.
In addition to using the tool of a question such as “What do I want (now)?” as an access point to your own internal wisdom, you will also want to carry a small pad with you or a means of recording the information you are gathering.
A client of mine told me of his experiment with following his urges and asking himself moment to moment what he wanted. He was in career transition, having taken a sabbatical from the world for six months and lived at a retreat center on the east coast, far from his home in the Minneapolis area. Upon his return, he was trying to decide what was next for him regarding career direction. He had a number of opportunities, open to him including going back to the computer field that he had left or working in the helping profession as a counselor, having credentials in both areas. He had hoped that the six months away would have helped him clarify his next steps. But he still wasn’t quite sure what he wanted.
So he decided to spend some time staying very quiet and listening to his heart to see where he was led. One morning he had a list of errands that he needed to accomplish, but instead of doing these he reached inside of himself and asked what he wanted to do next at that moment in time. He was drawn to driving around in his car and taking in the nature around him. He also felt like listening to a favorite public radio station that played classical music he found calming and enjoying.
And so he did this. And much to his surprise he saw a signpost on the side of the road for Hazelden, the world famous alcohol and drug treatment center near the Twin Cities. This organization had been completely off his radar but at that moment he was filled with enthusiasm for working for that organization, even proposing a new program he could design. He raced home and sat down at his computer to learn more about the organization at their Web site and composed a letter introducing himself. He fully credits this new possibility in front of him with the act of following his own inner promptings.
What new vistas would open up for you at work or in your personal life if you were to follow your urges?