Editor’s note: Patrick Ewers is a leading Executive Coach and start-up Advisor. We have asked Patrick to share his wisdom with the about.me community in a series of posts designed to help professionals develop a sense of sustained fulfillment in their work.
I believe you deserve a job that charges you up, gives you energy and lets you go home with a profound sense of fulfillment almost every day.
Your work life is a substantial part of ‘you’ and when that part is fulfilled, you’ll notice that it produces an infectious vibe that permeates into all the other parts of your life. It energizes your relationships with those around you who matter most.
The perfect job may sound like a fantasy, but attaining it is easier than you think. You may already have it, but for mysterious reasons, you’re just not attuned to it.
Experiencing the happiness and fulfillment in life can only come when your day-to-day endeavors perfectly align with your life’s themes. You’re life’s themes are the few things that describe who you truly are at your core. These are the themes that have traveled with you throughout your life and have always been on your side.
I’m a strong believer that everything in your life becomes more meaningful and satisfying when you find and follow your life’s themes. Everyone has them and they’re usually based on the simplest things. But the problem is that the larger things and struggles we have in our lives make them hard to identify. Our life’s themes become elusive to grasp and that makes them challenging to pursue. Have you ever had the feeling of drifting or being lost?
It took me thousands of miles enduring many hardships on the road to discover my life’s themes, but the result has helped me become one of the Silicon Valley’s leading Network relationship coaches. More importantly, it has helped me see the full potential life has to offer.
So what are life’s themes and how do you find them?
In 2007, my wife and I were leading a ‘typical’ life and entrenched in our daily Silicon Valley routines. But something was missing. We felt like we were experiencing life through a skewed lens of reality.
Imagine looking at a coral reef from above the crystal clear waters. The formations, colors and marine life are visible below. You can recognize them for what they are, but there’s an invisible barrier that’s altering the true reality of their appearance. Things often look bigger and more important than they are. It’s only when we pierce the barrier and experience the reef up close, view it from within the water, that the full richness of the ecosystem reveals itself.
As the notion of our skewed perception grew stronger, we decided to set out on an epic 10-month journey we called the ‘Circle the Pacific Tour’ with the goal of discovering how others viewed reality. If you’re intrigued about what backpacking through several continents, visiting remote villages and becoming immersed in their cultures was like, you can read our chronicle of the full adventure here.
During that time, the amount we learned about life and relationships was staggering and beyond any expectations we had for our trip. It spurred profound personal discoveries and a much-needed reality check that still positively reverberates through our lives today.
Our travels certainly tested our relationship and challenged the long-standing views we held that guided us through life up to that point. It’s amazing what you encounter while traveling to the Bolivian salt plains, or deep in the Amazon jungle. Life is very different when experienced from a remote Laotian village in Southeast Asia. Though, large families shared sparse dwellings that were no larger than a small garage, there was still a buoyant pride and calm satisfaction in their facial expression. They can provide all of us with important insights on how to lead fulfilled lives with less.
Upon our return, a casual stroll down Market Street would never be the same.