If time is a constant and quantifiable measurement of existence, why has my experience of it changed significantly throughout my life? After experiencing three different professions, I believe my experience of time is heavily dependent on the level of heart I have invested in my actions. Without heart, time is a nuisance and life is a struggle until the reprieve of the weekend. With heart, time is my friend and every day is fulfilling. I believe that a fulfilling career and life must be driven by the heart.
During my first role at a positively impactful non-profit, tasks were completed with flow and I rarely looked at the clock. I left my job feeling fulfilled and took every opportunity to talk about the organization because I knew I could potentially make an impact for someone by spreading the word. My job was an extension of who I was and I was proud of that. I was living a life of flow and abundance. My love for the result of my actions was strong and my work created a better existence for myself and experience of time.
At my second position at a defense contractor, I dreaded going to work and felt worn down when I left. Time made me anxious at my job and at home. My unhappiness flowed into my relationships and cut off my motivation to partake in hobbies. I did not feel like I had purpose and often cried myself to sleep. I sank into a depression. My heart was cut off from my actions and time lingered.
At my current position directly supporting the Government as a contractor, I do not dread going to work but am not excited about it. My job helps support our family and offers technical and general education for growth. I am fine at my current position. Time generally moves slowly and although I know my work does some good, I cannot feel it in my heart.
I know now that the difference between living with flow, depression, and being alright in my life has been dependent on how connected my heart is to my work. With significantly higher pay and improved benefits compared to working for a non-profit, I am still living in mediocrity and feeling a lack of passion and purpose that flows from the heart. To me, passion is the visceral empathy for the much-anticipated result of my actions that I have not felt since I could connect with what I was doing.
When I spend my time doing something from the heart, I dive into the moment instead of clinging to it. With this mindset, clocks contain mere numbers and my days are filled with wholehearted intentions that yield a high performance.
Days filled with wholehearted intentions translate into a life of happiness.
What is my life and career without heart? I think it is an existence that feels mostly like obligations and less like the miracle that I am even alive in the first place.
I will search for what makes my heart overcome the pressures of time. In the mean time, I am grateful for each day.