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A few weeks ago, I introduced the concept of primary food, which is all those things that nourish you that you don’t put on your plate. One of those things is your career.

Most Americans spend more time at work than they spend doing any other thing in their lives, including spending time with loved ones. For many of us, our career is the first things we mention when asked to describe ourselves. Shouldn’t it be something that makes us want to get out of bed?

The Japanese have a concept named Ikigai, which means a reason for being. It refers to that thing that gives your life value; it’s your reason to get out of bed every day.

Some of us know from a young age what our Ikigai is. For me, I only recently found it. The first 42 years of my life were a journey to find it and a developmental process to be ready for it. Then, there was another year of getting over fear to really go for it.

I suspect that more of you are like me. You’re either searching for your Ikigai, working up to courage to go for it, or resigned to doing it as a hobby, because your day job pays the bills.

For all of you, my message is this: Find a way to do what you love, or find a way to love what you do. Your health depends on it.

Not sure where to start? Buy a new journal and just start writing. Write about what you love about your work. Write about what you hate about your work. Make an inventory of all the things that make you happy. Make an inventory of all the things that drive you nuts. Envision your dream life.

Don’t judge yourself. Don’t hold back. Let it all out and be completely honest with yourself.

After a while, patterns will emerge, and you’ll develop a picture of what you want. Then, it’s time to figure out if you can make your current job something you love or if it’s time to find something else.

If you’re really struggling on your own, get hlep. Not from your friend or your spouse or your Mom. They all have a picture of who you should be and–despite their best efforts–will color their answers based on that. You will also filter yourself with then.

Find a mentor or a coach who only cares about helping you find the right answers for you.

It may not be easy. It certainly wasn’t for me! But to be healthy, you have to fulfilled in your career. You deserve this. You need this. Go for it!

Happy Eating!

Tanya

Author, speaker, and health coach in Tennessee

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