success is in the heart

For the first time in my life, I have a job where people don’t say, “You’re capable of so much more.” After years of working in more junior roles at the same organization, a few months ago I accepted a management position in a field I’m passionate about. Finally, I thought. For the first time, I can be proud of what I do. I have my own office filled with plants and books – and business cards! I don’t have to explain my career choices anymore.

And yet, something feels off.

In my previous position, a colleague once said to me: “You don’t seem particularly career driven.” I don’t think this was meant offensively, but I was slightly triggered and pondered her words for some time after.

The fact is, she was right. When it came to a day job, I never wanted the responsibility that came with senior level roles. I was always content to serve in a more support-type capacity, because I didn’t want to carry home any unnecessary stress. I liked being behind the scenes. I took pride in doing a good job, and I could forget about work at the end of the day.

For the most part, I was always motivated by something else, something much deeper for me. It was a personal, inner – spiritual – search. This occupied most of my energy, and that was hard (and often pointless) to explain to those who were more outwardly focused and who questioned why I didn’t challenge myself more, work-wise.

Fundamentally, I also never cared about title and prestige. It was an interesting paradox to feel triggered by the opinions of those around me, yet know deep in my heart that it ultimately means nothing. I understood I was so much more than my career.

Now here I am poised for change yet again, and I ask myself (yet again): what do I really want? Can I feel and follow the beat of my own drum, unplugging from others’ notions of what ‘success’ looks like? Seeds have been planted, and movement in a new direction is imminent. This involves leaving the company I’ve been with for many years and starting over in a new organization.

As I previously wrote, my home environment is changing too. In these times of upheaval all around, some of us are moving back to our roots (as the wonderful Laura mentions in her comment on my post). I’ve been spending time in the very neighbourhood I grew up in and, more than ever, it feels like home.

For so many years, I wanted to live anywhere but there. I had visions of starting life over in a foreign country where I knew no one and had no shackles of the past. And now, the place I grew up is the only place I want to be. I’m seeing my childhood, and the awesome beauty that surrounded me, with new and appreciative eyes.

In a way, it feels like rewriting time and history.

My friends laugh at me for moving and changing jobs so much. And yes, I am feeling a bit exhausted and want some stability. But then, is anything really stable these days? Can we accept that flux is the new norm? Though this little birdy is looking for a place to nest, she will always be grateful for the ability to fly to new surroundings and expand her horizons.

For now, my new direction feels good and as long as I trust my heart and intuition, I can’t go wrong.

15 thoughts on “success is in the heart

  1. I can relate to your post. I’ve never been very motivated by the typical ‘success’ indicators either. It’s tough to be in the world where we measure so much instead of just looking at the intrinsic value of doing the work for the work’s sake and what not. Best of luck in the new position. Don’t lose the you that brings the passion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Reena. I’m relieved to have come to place where I’m at peace with the work I do – my day job – if it allows me to pursue the things I really love to do. And the thing is – when I’m stressed out at work (like in a job that depletes rather than energizes me), instead of doing those things I love to do, I don’t do anything at all – because I lose my motivation entirely! So I do hope this upcoming change is a positive one. Mostly that is up to me in prioritizing what’s really important. 😉 Namaste, Aleya

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “For the most part, I was always motivated by something else, something much deeper for me. It was a personal, inner – spiritual – search. This occupied most of my energy, and that was hard (and often pointless) to explain to those who were more outwardly focused and who questioned why I didn’t challenge myself more, work-wise.”

    I once had a boss tell me she didn’t know what motivated me. I was top ranked for sales but she couldn’t quite grasp what would inspire me to achieve more, or what to reward me with that I would be excited about. I just smiled because there wasn’t anything she could offer. I just suggested she keep doing what she was doing.

    “Fundamentally, I also never cared about title and prestige. It was an interesting paradox to feel triggered by the opinions of those around me, yet know deep in my heart that it ultimately means nothing. I understood I was so much more than my career”

    This reminds me of the times I turned down opportunities/left positions even when more money or promotions were on the table. The career path forward in those organizations just didn’t fulfill me and no title or more money could change that. Sometimes, I think about what I would be doing if I had stayed the course but I do not regret for one minute stepping out to help run the family business. I only have me to answer to and I can come and go as I please. Though I do still dream about making a living doing something I am passionate about. Maybe someday:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brandi, it’s great to hear from you! Thanks so much for sharing your insight and experience here. I relate to your words, esp when it comes to title or money not having to do with fulfillment. I’ve long wished I was one of those people who seemed to effortlessly make a living from pursuing their passion (though there’s probably a lot of hard work involved!) but I think for many of us it’s an unfolding journey over time.

      It’s wonderful that you’ve followed your heart and intuition, and have no regrets. As I wrap up the final few weeks at my current workplace, I am in gratitude of all I have learned and the connections I’ve made. It hasn’t been my passion per se, but it’s had many great moments and I don’t want to lose sight of that! I also know that there is always room I can make for my passions and hobbies, and it’s on me to carve out that time. I haven’t always done that. 😉 Thank you again and I hope you are doing very well! Aleya

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your process here so honestly.
    That sounds good that you follow your heart and intuition. Opinions of others don’t matter. Of course, we all know this in theory, and yet in practice, it can be hard to get over the opinions of others. I can relate to that.
    Congratulations to the management position, even if you are going to,leave it soon for a new adventure. And best wishes for your next steps. Your journey stays exciting. I am curious how it will continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s been a big one for me – tuning out the opinions of others. Probably one of my biggest life lessons/challenges. Thanks, Karen, for your support and encouragement; I’m also curious to see how things unfold. Aleya

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved your post and can so relate to it. To my own surprise I have taking on my first supervisor role early this year and I am now looking at how it fits. I actually do love what I am doing, but didn’t think it would take over my whole life. So for me instead of changing it right now, I am looking at what I need to find and create balance. So focusing on creativity and time in nature is crucial. I am learning a lot about myself, my values, what brings me stress and also seeing what gifts I am finally given, that I have held back before. So yes, this is an ongoing process for me as well. Many many blessings on your path!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations on your new role- it’s great that you love what you’re doing! Balance is essential and in such an over-stressed world it’s so easy to become overwhelmed. Creativity and nature are priorities for me too and I’m taking the steps to make life more conducive to that. Every role I’ve been in has taught me something valuable about myself and others and for that I am grateful. Thank you for commenting and all the best in this ongoing process. ❤ Aleya

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You can feel a bit triggered Aleya and still know you are following your own path. I am confuse here; are you leaving for another management position after the promotion or are you seeking out a new adventure? I can relate in a way, I am often unsatisfied, looking for the next opportunity, being bored and wanting to embrace my potential.

    There are many ways to do this and some are non-linear. Congrats on all you enjoy and all the love you pour out to the planet.

    love, Linda

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