Are you doing your soul work? Are you doing the work you were called to do? And does that even matter?
What is Soul Work?
As somebody who has spent more than 20 years exploring this question and applying it to my own life, I can tell you that there are a lot of different ways to approach it, and there is no one right answer.
However, there are a few things you can do to help put yourself on the right path.
The first thing to consider is that your soul work might not be what you do for a living. There are different schools of thoughts on this. Some people will say “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” That was a very good, very popular book written years ago.
There are other people who will say “Do what you can do to make the biggest amount of money in the smallest amount of time, and then take time off to do what you love.”
In my experience as somebody who's gone back and forth between...
What kind of return on investment are you getting on the relationships you invest your time and your life force in?
Your Time is Precious
At first this might sound a little selfish. Maybe you like to think of what you can give in life, not what you can get out of it. That’s great, and I understand that. But in all of our relationships, there needs to be both giving and receiving if we want things to be good and to keep improving in the long run.
In life there are certain relationships we don’t have a choice about participating in. Maybe as a kid, there might be a teacher you don’t like. As an adult, you might have a boss that you don't get along with, but you have to make the relationship work as well as possible. This is normal and totally understandable.
But when you're on your own free time, when you have time to live life on your terms, are you investing your time with people and with groups of people...
What's so magical about the 5th day of your work week? Does it really matter?
Know Which Type of Work You’re Doing
If you're an entrepreneur, or even if you're an employee, in your work there are 3 different types of tasks:
There are certain tasks that will happen no matter what. You've got them on autopilot, they’re really easy to do, and you know how to do them well.
There are certain things you're working towards that you've succeeded at, but you still need to concentrate on doing them.
And then there are certain things that you work hard on, but no matter what you do, they just don't seem to work.
Let's start with that first category, the things that work on autopilot. Whether you work 4 days a week or 5 days a week, is it really going to matter with those things on autopilot? No, it's not, because they're on autopilot. So, part of your work that needs to happen in your place of business, whether it's...
Could you move to a 4-Day Work Week within a year?
If you're an entrepreneur already making the income you need to make, you could probably be working a 4-Day Work Week in less than a year. Some of the clients I've worked with have got there in less than 3 months.
Before you get into your doubts, and your what-ifs and what-could-bes, just remember at some point you made a certain amount of income and now you make more. If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably used to work for someone else, and now you don't. If you're currently an employee, you used not to have a job, now you do. It’s all just a matter of making progress.
If you really want to simplify this process, and you can even skip all the coaching programs we have and you can do something very simple. First, decide you're going to do it, and then for the next 12 months, just work one hour less on a weekly basis.
Have you decided that you're going to work a 4-Day Work Week yet?
All Goals Are a Choice
One of the things people seem to forget is that working a 4-Day Work Week or any other desirable schedule, or any other goal in life, needs to be a choice.
Some people will say it needs to happen in the mind first, that you need to envision it. But whether you even get to envision it or not, at some point you've got to decide.
That’s not to say it has to be a very dramatic decision. At some point, didn’t you decide you were going to get a job? In the morning, don’t you decide that you're going to brush your teeth? Everything from the most complex decision to the most simple decision still needs to happen in order for you to move forward with something.
So many people I talk to about working a 4-Day Week remind me of where I used to be. They have tons of reasons why it's not possible.
They tell me about their bills, they tell me about...
Is your inner child preventing you from working a 4-Day Work Week?
And if so, what are you going to do about it?
The Inner Child Loves Drama
I promise I’m not trying to be funny here. I have a Master's degree in mental health counseling and psychology. I've been a coach for 20 years. I've done a lot of work on the beliefs we have and the things that can slow us down and keep us from reaching our goals, our potential and our dreams.
To put it simply, sometimes we seem to prefer the drama. I don't know why – maybe that's just how we're wired. My dad likes to tell the story about how when I was a kid and I was playing baseball, if there was a fly ball coming that I had to catch, instead of just standing there and catching the ball like normal, I would do this whole thing where I had to psyche myself up and then make a huge show of catching the ball.
If you watch soccer (or football if you’re outside the US), there are some...
I asked this question to one of the young adults I was working with at a runaway shelter many years ago. I was working on my master's degree in mental health counseling and psychology, and as part of it I worked with kids who were in the shelter’s addictions management program, as well as some of the kids with anger issues.
One of the kids I was talking to that day was telling me his troubles: how he didn't have enough money to buy cool stuff for his girlfriend, and then have some fun outside as well.
I said, “Tell me something. You’ve got some nice new jeans there. Did you steal them?”
What's going to make you happier: more time inside work, or more free time outside work?
Your Most Life-Changing Moments
Here’s a very simple question for you: if you were to write down the 20 most impactful, powerful, life-changing, enjoyable moments in your life, where did they happen? Did they happen at work, or did they happen outside of work?
This is not an attack on work. I love work! I love being creative, helping people, creating value, and doing things that make the world a better place. I also love making money, and all that good stuff that goes along with it.
But when I recently made a list, I looked back at the list I made of my most important life events. As I went down the list, I thought about where all these things happened, and what type of experiences they were, categorizing them. Were they achievements in sports? Were they work related? Were they romantic? Or to do with friendship?
Do you ever feel like you're working way too hard to make something happen? Like you're struggling and it just isn’t working out for you?
HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE?
I want to tell you a very simple but powerful story about somebody I know that ran into that same problem, and how they were able to address it.
It all centers around creating a lifestyle that we most want, and how much we’re willing or able to wait for it.
A lot of us have been raised to believe that everything takes hard work. To be clear, most things that are worth doing do require hard work at some point. Usually you've got to break the gravity of the situation—to get out of the habit or rut that you’re in, and make something happen.
But not everything that's worth having needs to take a lot of effort forever. More importantly, delaying gratification for the sake of it is not always the best answer.