I thought I was lazy. I had many interests and ideas but I rarely saw anything through to completion. I saw fellow students and coworkers who were passionate, totally turned on by their work, as I looked on, wondering how that felt.
I just wasn’t inspired.
I played the student/employee role well, but inside I always found myself on this spectrum between overwhelmed and underwhelmed, never quite comfortable with my world the way it was.
I did what I had to do to get by, but I felt the most free and special when I was alone, doing things that I didn’t view as important to anyone but me.
I would spend endless hours with pictures and construction paper, creating scrapbooks and albums filled with positive messages for myself and my friends.
I’d listen to music and watch videos for hours, learning choreography and making up my own.
My little projects took me to another world where I could totally lose myself and feel like time stood still.
I didn’t know at the time, that I could experience that kind of fulfillment and escape through work that I was actually getting paid for. When I started blogging, this reality finally hit home.
Eventually I learned that as an introspective person, my ideal career is one that leverages the part of me that feels special and engaged in my alone time. And that came with the understanding that I would have to come out of my comfort zone to get there.
I’ve always thought of myself as a smart person who doesn’t have the common sense or discipline to effectively exploit her intelligence. An underachiever. Doing average things with average enthusiasm.
As soon as a venture or activity got uncomfortable, I would quit. I would self-sabotage and make excuses. If someone would criticize me or question my efforts, I would stick my tail between my legs and run away. I felt like I didn’t have the right to be uncertain. When I looked around, everyone seemed so sure of themselves.
I wanted a trigger to draw me out of my complacency. A sign from God. A purpose. Something to make me feel like my journey had meaning. I was used to looking at the world as a hostile place that didn’t cooperate with sensitive souls like me. I felt no connection to the images and definitions of success that were presented to me, so I felt no motivation to pursue them.
Do you ever feel stuck and unmotivated, plagued with the persistent feeling that you are meant to do more with your life but not sure where to start?
I walked around with these feelings for years:
U N D E R W H E L M E D // Knowing there’s more to life than doing work that puts me to sleep and being around people that drained me.
O V E R W H E L M E D // Knowing that I had so much to learn about the world and myself and not knowing if I had the strength or ability to do it.
Introspective people are fueled by their ideas, values and philosophies. We look for meaning and when we don’t find it, we easily lose interest. Lack of drive, energy, and purpose — all can come from lack of inspiration.
The goal is to align yourself with W O R K and P L A Y that stimulates you in the right ways.
Insert more of your personal I N T E R E S T S, T A L E N T S, and C U R I O S I T I E S into your life whenever and wherever you can.
Don’t assume that your point of view doesn’t matter. Sometimes when you have idealistic views, you’re afraid to share them. Or when you are more driven by imagination than logic. Or when you’ve been ignored or shut down before. But if it interests you, it matters, and there will undoubtedly be others who will be (quietly or openly) happy that you expressed what they were thinking.
Create what you want to see. If you’re not interested in any of the clubs or organizations around you, create your own. Same thing with blogs, books, clothing — anything you can imagine, you can create and fill your life with purpose.
If you feel chronically over or underwhelmed, know that there is more to it than just ‘being lazy’ or ‘too sensitive’ or ‘a quitter’. If you’re not inspired by what you see in your life, you have the power to change that and bring more of what’s inside — out.
Think of yourself as a puzzle. In this puzzle, every time you think you’re complete, you find a missing piece and you have to explore to find it and see where it goes. There is too much to explore, we have so many mysteries inside of us, and we all have a purpose — so there’s no reason for us to settle for being underwhelmed and underutilized.