Do you ever feel as though you're 'barely making it' through your life on a day-to-day basis? That every time Monday rolls around, you feel an overwhelming sense of dread, knowing you'll have to struggle daily until the weekend finally gives you some reprieve? Then there's a very good likelihood you're doing a lot of 'pushing' in your career and life, and feeling very little 'pull'.
So many of us feel that element of 'push' when relating it to our careers. Perhaps we're working a job that we no longer see a future in. Or maybe we didn't ever really care for the job, but it paid really well, and felt we couldn't turn it down. Irregardless of circumstance, when we feel that need to 'push' ourselves against the struggle of daily life, it really behooves us to ask ourselves, "Is this worth it?" Because it's incredibly exhausting.
I remember working jobs like this in the past. Summer jobs between years at university -- ones that had no future for me, but allowed me to start building a resume and bring in some extra cash. There were even times when that "extra cash" didn't even motivate me past the 'push'. I worked at a golf course for a few summers, and there were days I wished it would rain just so I wouldn't have to go in at all. And make absolutely zero money in the meantime. Obviously, this is a rather basic example, as it was never my actual career, but the mindset carries over. I've spoken with people who have called in sick when they actually weren't, have made up appointments to leave early, and have even faked injury -- all in the name of avoiding the 'push'.
Another eye-opening realization about pushing through your career (and life) is the speed at which time passes. It doesn't necessarily seem like it at the time, because your head is wrapped up in surviving -- however you can -- until you get to more enjoyable times. For those who are dissatisfied with their jobs, that's often the weekend. They push and push their way through the week, those magical two days off acting as the golden carrot they perpetually chase. Often, after all that struggle, those same people are too exhausted to actually enjoy themselves on their days off -- not living any more excitedly on those days than the other ones they so frequently come to loathe. Life is happening every day for us, and when you look back at it, it's amazing how many weeks/months/years have gone by, pushing towards this point when one gets to actually live.
The difference-maker in our lives is the power of 'pull'. When we feel pulled towards something or someone, we feel alive, excited, and driven. Studies have shown that top achievers feel a real 'pull' towards their goals, completing them out of true desire to bring them to fruition; those who feel a 'push' complete their goals largely out of fear of what will happen if they don't. And that really speaks to the difference between 'push' and 'pull':
When you push, you're pushing yourself away from something -- whether it be fear, reprimand, regret, or any number of other negatives
When you're pulled, you're being drawn towards something
Self-awareness is key when discovering what 'pulls' us in our life. Explore what you're good at and what you enjoy. Perhaps you don't like everything about your job, but are there certain aspects that really light you up and get you excited? Then maybe it's worth expanding on those, and finding out how you can do more of them. You may be able to redefine your career by standing out in those areas, or could even become an entrepreneur by specializing into them.
Everyone's 'pull' is different, and there's no set process to determine what it is for you. The commonality that I've found is that when people discover it, it resonates deeply with them. It resonates because it falls into line with your values and truth, and you can't help yourself from being drawn towards it. In those cases, you owe it to yourself to, at the very least, explore what that 'pull' means to you. You dictate the pace and actions around it, but don't let it go by without giving it your honest attention. Because it's a hell of a lot easier to by pulled than it is to have to push.
** View the video for this post HERE **