I am obsessed with you doing your Thing.
I don't mean 'any old' thing either—I mean YOUR Thing! The Thing that you do that's brilliant. The Thing that makes a difference to you and has you sharing your brilliance with the world.
Yeah, THAT Thing.
So how do you know you're doing your Thing?
Well, here's some tell-tale signs:
You wake up excited about what you have to do today. You know that while there might be some 'work' involved you don't mind as you are excited about what you're doing and what you can share.
You miss it
Like all things you love, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you're not doing your Thing you miss it. A lot. Now this doesn't mean you should do your Thing 24/7 as this will wear you out! (I've tried!). But when you allow yourself time out from your Thing, when it's time to do it again you're raring to go and fit to burst with how much you've missed doing it.
You want to tell everyone about it
When you're doing your Thing you can't help yourself. You see opportunities everywhere and you want to tell everyone about it. Now this can be good for your marketing, but you do have to make sure you're telling the right people. Sharing with everyone (literally) doesn't always help you sell your Thing, it can just be annoying! But knowing that you want to tell everyone about it means it's your Thing.
No one else does it quite the way you do
Even if you're 'qualified' to do the same thing as someone else you don't 'do' your Thing the same way as anyone else. It's not about arrogance of being the best, this is about knowing that you do what you do in the way you do it and it's just your way. You may have 'learned' the same things as other people. you have may have the same certificates, or call what you do the same as other people but no-one does it your way. And you're really clear on what your way is. It's totally unique to you and it's absolutely your way.
You can't help it
You know you'd do this even if you didn't get paid for it. You can't help yourself! You've always done your Thing (in some form) and you just can't help but do it. It's easy for you, it's second nature, it's natural, and seems so obvious to you. That's your Thing. You can't help it. You have to do it. And even if you've not chosen it, you'll be doing something right now that's you doing you Thing. You might not see it, but you're doing it—the way you work, what you volunteer to do, how you process or strategise, or project manage, or understand, or explain—all you doing your Thing 'cos you can't help it.
So how does it look when you're not doing your Thing?
When you're not doing your Thing it's hard work. Now this is not to be confused with 'working hard'—I still 'work hard' when I'm doing my Thing (not all the time, but enough so lots gets done!). But the work I am doing is easy for me as it's my Thing. Sure, I have to 'work hard' to put on events, and run programs, but the content is easy and I love what I'm doing.
When something (or everything) is 'hard work' you have to force yourself to do it. You're forcing out ideas, and products and services, and it's always a push. It's push push push to 'get it done'.
Not much fun. And absolutely a sign you're not doing your Thing.
Instead of being excited about what you're doing you're annoyed. Not in a 'throw your computer out the window' way, but in that niggling, bugging, you know you're not quite 'on it' way. It's annoying. You know you're just doing what you're good at. And you know there is something that you're brilliant at (even if you can't see what it is right now!).
When it gets too annoying you'll do something about it. But for now you might be putting up with the annoying. You'll be justifying why you can't give up doing what you're good at. You'll tell yourself it doesn't matter that you're not doing your Thing. Because you find doing your Thing so easy, you're convinced no-one will pay for it... so you do nothing and stay annoyed. Or you could have a chat with me... :)
Want to talk more about this?
Hi Lucy, great post.
I have 60 students (and some graduates) in my naturopathic school that are all their to learn about their Thing. And most of them find it, even though it may not be naturopathy at all. Such as: “my Thing is to be an artist, not a naturopath”. This particular student also acknowledged that without doing the 3 years of school she wouldn’t have known her Thing.
But yes, back to commenting on your post. I see many people circling around their Thing, doing things that are almost their Thing, but never quite jumping all the way into it. (Used to be me).
I love this article/blog Lucy, because I know I can tick ALL the five points with regards my business, so I must be DOING MY THING!
You are right, you have to love what you do. In my case, I train and coach people and businesses in how to learn and how to learn from the learning to improve things. If I didn’t love learning, how on earth could I convey to them that it is the only way to help your workforce get motivated and improve their performance.
Will continue reading your work, good, clear common sense advice and good luck to you!