Is it time to make a change?
Here are five signs that you're restless with your life:
#1 You're unhappy at your job.
This is the most obvious sign. You go to work feeling unmotivated, listless, and bored. Or even worse, you dread work because you feel overwhelmed and out of your element.
I know what you're thinking: "No one likes their job, Kevin!"
But your situation is different. Your unhappiness stems from the fact that you know you're capable of great things -- that you could be doing something more with your life. It's not that you hate working; you just hate working on things that don't excite you or give you a sense of purpose.
#2 You don't know what you want to pursue.
You're interested in lots of stuff, but none of them seem like viable options to pursue.
Or maybe you're on the opposite end of the spectrum and feel like you don't have enough interests. When someone asks you what you want to do with your life, all you think about is drinking wine and watching Netflix.
Either way, you haven't narrowed down what you want to spend the majority of your life working on.
#3 You don't have time for the things that truly matter.
Your obligations keep you busy. Too busy.
By the time you come home, all you want to do is pass out.
Or eat and then pass out.
And that's a problem. Because as much as you'd love to execute on your master plan to conquer your goals and go after what you really want in life, you feel stuck. Caught in the trap of working to live, and living to work. Which would be fine if you were totally committed to your job. But you're not.
And every Monday morning is the same: "I really need to make time for [your passion]!" But like it always does, work steals your attention away. And before you know it, another week has flown by with you having nothing to show for the progress of your creative goals.
#4 You're passionate as hell, but it fades quickly.
You're motivated. You're determined. You're ready to move mountains and change the world.
Then, as quickly as it arrived, your passion dies.
You've endured endless cycles of motivation followed by slumps of inaction and disappointment.
And it's begun to take its toll.
Because every time you rediscover your creative spark and are met with yet another road block, you become a little more jaded, a little less hopeful, and a thousand times more frustrated.
#5 You're easily overwhelmed.
The Internet is an amazing place. With billions of resources at your fingertips, there's nothing you can't learn.
But therein lies the problem: Where do you start?
Maybe you've been wanting to start an online business or create a blog. Researching how to go about doing so can be daunting. Much of the advice out there is confusing or contradictory.
You're feeling lost and desperately need a sense of direction.
How did you fare?
If most of the signs accurately described you, it's safe to say you're in a creative crisis. I know, because I've been there, and it's not fun.
Here's what you can do about it:
Learn to love what you do.
As much value as society places in doing what you love, there's also merit in learning to love what you do.
What's the difference?
Doing what you love means pursuing what you really care about. It's being devoted to your craft because it truly excites you.
On the other hand, loving what you do means appreciating your current circumstances. You may not be thrilled with your job, but you find ways to stay engaged and make the most of it.
Sure, it's easier said than done. But if you have to be at work every day, you might as well find ways to use your creativity and keep yourself stimulated.
Here's an example: An aspiring actor who works as a server at a restaurant is just grinding to pay the bills, right?
But my friend Keith didn't view it that way. He used each shift as an opportunity to practice his skills, performing a different impersonation or accent with each table he was assigned.
Think about how you can leverage your situation to stimulate creativity. You'll preserve your sanity, and come up with some pretty cool ideas in the process.
Find your passion by making a list.
If you're not exactly sure what it is you're passionate about, consider this exercise:
Take out a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. On the top left, write "strengths" and on the top right, write "interests." Fill out each column with as many things as possible. It's important that you don't omit anything, even if it sounds silly.
Think of your collective strengths and interests as one large marble slab. To narrow down your passion, you need as large a foundation as possible before you can whittle it down to a masterpiece.
When considering your skills and interests, think back into your own experiences. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What have you learned in my life?
- What obstacles have I overcome?
- What have people told me I'm good at?
Consider moving down to part-time.
I can hear the shouting and cursing from the critics already.
Yes, if you have a family to take care of, or if you're barely making ends meet, this simply isn't an option.
But if you're single, or find yourself with leftover income at the end of each month, reducing your hours at your job could be one of the best moves you'll ever make.
When I was first considering blogging full-time, I knew quitting my job completely would have been financially devastating. So I asked to be moved down to part-time. I went from working over 50 hours a week to just 20. This way, I didn't have to rely solely on my savings to pay the bills, and I had more hours in the day to devote to building my blog.
Join a community.
Pursuing your passion can be a lonely journey. Sometimes it feels like you're the only person who feels stuck.
If your passion seems to fade quickly or if you're easily overwhelmed, take heart. Realize you're not the only one.
Human beings are social creatures. We need to feel included -- to be part of a tribe of like-minded individuals who share similar goals. Joining a community of people will help you stay accountable, encouraged, and inspired.
One of the easiest places to start is by searching on Facebook. I did this recently when I joined a local photographers group. After just a few weeks of being a part of the group, I've been able to network with other artists, receive valuable feedback and advice, and even book my first wedding gig!
If you're feeling restless, consider it a warning sign from your soul to take action.
- Find time to pursue your passion.
- Discover ways to be creative at your job.
- Find the overlap between your skills and interests.
- Stay encouraged and inspired by joining a community of creative people.
Don't settle for restlessness, you're capable of great things. The universe is calling on you to take action. Listen to it.
If you enjoyed this article, check out my guide, Stop Dreaming and Start Doing: How To Actually Do What You Love, for free at peoplepassionate.com.