Have you ever met a distance runner? Chances are you don’t have to ask them how many marathons they have ran…they will go ahead and tell you. These people run 60, 70, or even as much as 100 miles a week. Miles! You read that sentence correctly, I did not say 100 feet a week. It takes a ridiculous amount of time and planned effort to accomplish this feat.
If you put that much time into running, people will start calling you a runner. You will attend running events and have running friends. You go to dinner and talk about running. You read running magazines and subscribe to running blogs. I think you get the point. These people run, and therefore others begin to define them as runners.
The exact same thing can be said for you and your career. Whatever you actively do for 40 plus hours a week begins to define you. How many times are people first described by their profession? “Do you know Tim? You know, the doctor?” Or, “Have you ever met Sarah the truck driver?”
I have met many people who include a “but” to their career. I am a teacher, but I dream to be a singer. I am an accountant but I would love to be a dentist. They may even be making strides towards their dreams but the fact remains, they are still an accountant.
If you are in a temporary career, it will be a temporary definition. If you are in a permanent career, you will be known for your profession for the rest of your life. It will be how people start conversations with you. You will attend conferences about your field. You will read books to improve in your position.
People automatically assume you are passionate about you career because you spend so much of your life focused on that one area. Let’s assume you work 40 hours a week for 40 years, that is over 83,000 hours, 10,000 days, and 2,000 weeks. You have spent over 40% of your available awake hours focused on that one topic. And that is if you are an average worker. Some work much more.
When you Live Your List, you realize that you need to be in a career that supports your purpose and your passion. You intentionally seek out positions that will allow you to grow and give back. Your career does not limit you, but launches you to being defined as a whole person. Don’t squander years in a career that you don’t like unless you know it supports your dream.