Lifestyle business might not be for you
As we navigate our careers, we often have a list of aspirations that we strive to achieve. Whether it’s to run our own company, to travel the world, or to have more freedom and flexibility in our work, we all have different goals in mind. However, sometimes we realize that our ultimate goal might not be what we initially thought it was. In a recent voice memo, I came to this realization myself.
I used to believe that my goal was to have more control over my work and my schedule. I thought that by running my own business, I could be my own boss and have the freedom to do whatever I wanted. However, I’m starting to realize that these things aren’t actually my ultimate goal. What I really want is to spend more time doing work that I love and that gives me energy. I want to be in the flow.
The idea of flow was first introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He defines it as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” This is what I want to achieve in my work. I want to find tasks that allow me to lose myself in the process, that make me forget about time and space, and that give me a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
As a programmer, I used to find this flow in coding. I loved the process of problem-solving and creating something from scratch. However, as I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve found that not all programming tasks give me energy. Some of them are draining, tedious, or simply uninteresting. This is where I need to pay attention and be mindful of my work. I need to identify what gives me energy and what doesn’t, and why.
Tomorrow, I have a task to finish an iPad application. Instead of dreading it or forcing myself to do it, I want to approach it with curiosity and openness. I want to observe myself and see which parts of the task give me energy and which parts drain me. This way, I can learn more about myself and my work preferences, and adjust accordingly.
I don’t know what the next step in my career will be, whether it’s programming or something else. But what I do know is that my ultimate goal is to find the flow in my work. I want to have a percentage of my work time be in the flow, where I can be fully engaged and fulfilled. This is what will prevent burnout and keep me motivated in the long run.
As we reflect on our career goals and aspirations, it’s important to be open to change and to listen to our inner voice. Sometimes our ultimate goal might not be what we thought it was, and that’s okay. What matters is that we find purpose and fulfillment in our work, and that we strive to achieve the state of flow.