Do What You Love

In the remarkable journey of my life as a Career Coach for the last 20+ years your reminders about the importance and value of “doing what you love” have been consistent. They have come in many forms. Today after my “walk and talk” with an insightful leader she shared the following poem that speaks loudly to the joy that comes when you follow your curiosities and boldly keep moving toward the professional spaces that are most resonant.


Wild Geese (by Mary Oliver)

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

In multiple coaching conversations this week the distinction between what we WANT to do and what we “should do” or “have to do” or “need to do” has come up. What if we could let go of the attachments we have to those messages that include the shoulds and have to’s? What if we let go of comparison? What if we “let our imagination” go to the place that is most interesting? There is power in re-framing your relationship to where you are and where you want to go. Just changing your language to include “I want to” activates movement.

The practical side of me recognizes that it is not always simple. What I know for sure is that you can continue to intentionally move toward those professional spaces that interest you and get you closer to the work you love if you pay attention, make a plan, and begin proactively messaging what you WANT.