If you take a step back and really examine your life at this very moment, do you feel that you are living up to your full potential? Have you found your true purpose or calling in life, or do you feel like something is missing? I took a webinar on this very topic quite a few months ago and it really made me take a step back and examine my life. I had a great job utilizing my hard earned Master's degree with good benefits and steady income. I had an amazing husband and two fur-babies that I loved so very much. I was blessed to have a roof over my head and a car to take me to where I needed to go. Most of my family and friends were all healthy and well. So why was I unhappy?
I had to be honest with myself and accept the fact that I was not living up to my full potential. Yes, speech pathology was VERY rewarding. I was helping people communicate for a living! But I still felt like I had more in life to give. I had to do a lot of soul searching to realize something very important. Society tells us that we need to go to college, earn a degree, then use that hard earned degree to pay back all of the student loan debt we accumulated while earning that degree. Some people will argue that it doesn't matter if you have a true passion for that chosen career or not, the money should always outweigh the happiness because "someone has to pay the bills". These same people seem to always be negative and unhappy with their life. They are not living up to their full potential.
We should feel truly satisfied and content at the end of the day. Now I am not telling you to go quit your high-paying job (especially if you actually enjoy it!). What I am telling you to do is to be creative. Don't let the fear of disappointment keep you from reaching your true potential. My passion for helping others with fitness was figured out by accident. I was attending a lot of group fitness classes at the time. A couple of the instructors were urging me to get certified in group exercise so I finally decided to do it so that I could make a little extra cash doing what I was already doing.
I quickly fell in love with it. THIS was my true passion. I began to teach fitness classes in the mornings, evenings, and weekends. I did all of this while continuing to work my full time job as a speech pathologist. Although this was extremely hard at times and I felt like I was always tired, it helped me figure out what my true passion was which was helping others improve their fitness and health. It allowed me to feel like my life had a purpose. It allowed me to feel full. If I had not taken that scary first step to get certified, I would never have figured out what my true passion was in life.
My advice to you: Figure out what truly brings YOU happiness and joy, and then figure out a way you can incorporate it into your life. Whether you choose to make it a part-time or full-time commitment, that choice is up to you. If your passion is to give back, maybe it means donating money or volunteering your time at a church or local homeless shelter on the weekends. If you are unsatisfied at work, maybe it means finally asking for that promotion that you so desperately deserve. If you are lonely, maybe it means devoting more time to spending with your significant other, family, or friends. If you feel overwhelmed by your current workload, maybe it means finally saying "no" to the continuous commitments that take away all your time and that you don't even enjoy doing. Figure out what you truly need in your life to be happy and make it happen. Don't just settle because it feels "comfortable". You only get one shot at life and you deserve to truly be happy. It may not be easy, but I promise you in the end it will be worth it. Taking that risk and feeling like you tried your best is a much better feeling than the feeling of not trying at all. The world is full of endless possibilities.
So my question to you is are you living up to your full potential?
If you are looking for a good read, I highly recommend Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Super interesting book that will help you understand the difference between a fixed vs. growth mindset. It also explains how the way you are raised determines which type of mindset you typically have.