The Smart Lemming Rules of Life and Career Management: #1 Find your Own Spirituality and Practice It

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Are you religious? Then you most likely have some peace of mind about why you were born. If you’re not, then are you spiritual? No? Then you probably have some angst as you wonder what you’re purpose in life is.

If you’re religious or spiritual, then you most likely understand why you’re here and what you should be doing with your life and career.

The Consequences of a Lack of Faith

For those people who don’t have their own spirituality (I’ll use this interchangeably with religion), they’re unable to understand and cope with why bad things happen and why their actions or the sum of their actions even matter.

In my case, I didn’t grow up with any particular religion. I found my own spirituality in my early 20s. I believed was there was a God or higher power. I knew I believed in evolution, but that was it. I didn’t have a job. I had just dropped out of college because I didn’t know what I wanted to major in. I had no direction or career aspirations. I didn’t know it yet, but I needed to find my own belief system.

Spiritual Discovery

Fortunately for me, I met a woman, who would eventually become my mentor, best friend, and adopted grandmother. When I was only 20 years old, she helped me understand my own beliefs. She mentored me on why I was here by providing context to my life and exposing me to new ideas. For 23 years, I talked to her every day about my life, personal relationships, and work.

This discovery with my grandmother became the foundation or bedrock of my life. Ever since then, I know why I’m here, what I should be doing, and why it matters. This belief provides meaning for my actions, life and career experiences, and overall reason for being. I don’t see life as pointless. I don’t fear death.

Ever since finding my spirituality, I’ve weathered trying crises that could have challenged my faith, but I survived because I found meaning in the experiences. I’m resolute in my beliefs.

Why is Spirituality Important?

A lack of spirituality can cause a crisis of faith. You may be unable to understand the bigger picture of your life by asking, “Why am I here? What’s the point if we’re just going to die? Why do bad things keep happening to me? Nothing I do makes a difference.”

How is this related to your career? If you have your own belief system, then you’ll understand there are no accidents.  Each job in your career is a link in a chain. At times, it may feel like you’re going backwards rather than forward, but each experience adds value to your cumulative knowledge and wisdom.

Action Item

If you don’t have your own spirituality and are having issues similar to what I’ve described, then I recommend you take time out to discover your belief system. Research various Western and Eastern religions or New Age principles. Find a friend, family, or mentor to help you find your own answers. Find what feels right to you.

Word of caution, it could take you a weekend, a month, a year, or your lifetime to discover your spirituality. Just be patient with yourself during your journey. There is a reason for being. The trick is finding out what yours is and practicing it as you manage your life and career.

You’ll know you find it because when you see meaning in or understand why bad things happen and how it affects you.

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The Smart Lemming Rules of Life and Career Management series outlines my rules of personal and work success. After reflecting on my personal values, I made this list, realizing values are my rules of being or life management principles. Based on your experiences, I hope this list inspires you to identify your own rules. Here are the rules to my success that may help you over the course of your journey:

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Level 1: Rules for Our Fundamental Nature

Level 2: Rules of Continuous Learning and Modeling

Level 3: Rules for the Actual Journey

Level 4: Rules of Adapting to Environment and Interacting with Others

Level 5: Rules of Humility

Level 6: Rule of Being

  • #21 Be compassionate.

4 comments

  1. I agree being spiritual is important. In a certain way, these rules are a sort of spirituality. I have my own belief. The religion I inherited from my parents -my mom mostly. It helps me everyday: I don´t have problems to manage my family life. I have a great and supportive partner and good friends. However I can´t find my career path. When I was younger I had a perfect mental picture of what I wanted to do. I studied Law and worked for almost five years in a company. After that I got lost. I didn´t feel motivated for that job again. And my spirituality doesn´t seem to help on that matter.

  2. For some of us, our spirituality helps us with the ambiguity of not knowing what our career is supposed to be. Sometimes spirituality adds meaning to why they keep getting into endless jobs that we don’t care about.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that not everyone needs to be passionate about work. It’s nice, but doesn’t always happen. We don’t always know our career path, but all the random jobs in our career give us the skills, knowledge, and experience just in case our passion play does cross our path.

    When I’m lost, I stay still and don’t thrash around. I’m mindful about what’s in my life and try to pay attention to the little signals. All those little details sometimes point you in the right direction. For example, the best course of action is inaction by keeping the same job until circumstances arise that inspire you to take jobs.

    For some, their career is to have a job that allows them to earn a wage that support their family, but without passion in work. Its the work to live perspective.

    I thought I read that over our lifetime, we have 2 or three careers. Take me for example, I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t get into Indian Healthcare until mid-20s, then got into healthcare technology in my mid-30s, and happened into the internet in my late 30s and early 40s.

    The common theme across all the mundane and cool jobs was that I liked smaller companies, I like creating something from nothing, and creating order out of chaos.

    I think with spirituality, one of the basic beliefs is that there’s a reason for everything. It can be mundane like learning that it’s okay to not know what your career is until it finds you. Find your themes, maybe you’ve accumulated skills and knowledge that you’re not aware of.

    How does that sound?

  3. It sounds inspiring. I like that part about having two or three careers in our lifetime. It is something I hadn´t considered before. I am still concerned about myself though. I know I love business, I feel the energy inside, I have some kind of power inside. I just can´t find out how to take it outside and put it into action.

    I guess now this is related to the second rule and I just saw you posted it on detail few minutes ago, so I am going to read it.

    Thanks Lori, for sharing your experience. It is very generous of you.

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