What Interests May Become
L.L. Bean absolutely loved hunting and fishing, but absolutely loathed trudging home from the chilling, wet woods of Maine in foot-soaking leather boots. Rather than giving up on his love for outdoor sports due to cold feet, he set out to do find a solution. In the process, he created a life-fulfilling career and one of the most lucrative retail businesses in American history.
In 1911, Bean asked a local cobbler to sew together a rugged leather upper and a rubber bottom from an ordinary pair of galoshes to develop the prototype for the waterproof Maine Hunting Shoe. Less than a century later, this innovative product, inspired by one man’s passionate interest in outdoor recreation, represents the “first step” for what has become an internationally-known mail order outdoor apparel and equipment business with annual sales in excess of $1.4 billion.
Just like L.L. Bean, you, too, have interests that if properly channeled can be the beginning spark to ignite your inner passion to light the way to your dream career. In other words, what you find the most interesting can lead to personal enrichment and self fulfillment in your own life.
Interests are those things that grab your attention ever so gently without you even noticing. Think about those occasions when you find yourself speaking to friends for hours on end about subjects you find fascinating or times when performing a specific task was so enjoyable that it became effortless. And pay close attention to the activities that enable you to feel a sense of completion because you are tapping into your own unique gifts and expressing them fully.
In trying to find work you would love to do, the easiest place to begin is to ask yourself: “What interests me?” Behind the insight of your interests lies the clarity of what would bring you fulfillment.
When defining an interest, it is extremely important that you don’t look at what you should do or what gives you that adrenalin rush. Focus instead on those times when you’ve been drawn to something, possibly without understanding why or when you are talking with someone about a particular subject and feeling really comfortable about it.
Another way to narrow your interests is to take an inventory of what you look forward to doing in your free time. When you have an opportunity to do whatever you want, whether after work or on weekends, consider those activities that keep drawing you in.
Don’t fall into the mind trap of thinking about how you would make a sustainable living from doing something you enjoy. Just allow yourself the intellectual freedom to consider all the possibilities surrounding your interests.
An effective way to complete this exercise is to imagine that you only are allowed to discuss three subjects this year. What would they be and why? Another great strategy is to keep track of the topics that pique your interest when reading the newspaper, looking at magazine articles, watching TV, perusing your local bookstore, or surfing the Internet.
No matter where you uncover your greatest interest, finding your dream job is a process that probably won’t happen overnight or by doing one or more specific things. More often than not, it involves many steps, all building off one another to bring you closer and closer to the prize you’ve been searching for.