Happiness is: Meaningful Work that Doesn’t Feel Like Work
In that big Venn diagram of life, I am incredibly lucky I found work that:
- I am really good at
- I really love doing
- People really want done
And, I found this work in a very unlikely field, considering my background.
Although I bought my first stock when I was 9 years old and I loved my economics courses in high school, I actually majored in Philosophy & Religious Studies as an undergraduate, before pursuing a Masters in Tibetan Buddhism. I can assure you that it is quite unlikely to be a Buddhist working for a Wall Street firm.
And, I almost quit working in the financial services industry about a half dozen times, because what self-respecting Buddhist wants to work in the financial services industry? But every time I had one foot out the door, I was reminded of the good we advisors can do in the world.
Sometimes one of my managers would perform an act of compassion or grace in their home community that was afforded by their position in the industry. More often, a client would invite me to a house-warming party, wedding, or their child’s college graduation and pull me aside to say “thank you, I couldn’t have done this without your help.”
I love what I do and everything it gives back to me. I could have taken many jobs along the way. A Buddhist nun told me on a retreat that I would be a great teacher, and I still think about that path all the time.
But, I LOVE my work. I’ve found my true vocation. I get to wake up every day to help clients design the life of their dreams, and then I get to walk with them as they reach those dreams, one at a time. They invite me to laugh with them in good times and I get to hold their hands when times are challenging.
I get to do good in the world.
I get to do well by doing good in the world.
I get to be happy while doing well because I know I am doing good in the world.
Who could ask for more from their life’s work?