How To Find & Do Work You Love

"In 2015, I quit a corporate job with no plans other than to find my purpose and share my gifts. Learning what that work was, and how to support myself doing it has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've done." In this article, Lou Redmond explains 6 steps towards finding and doing work you love.
Lou Redmond is a meditation teacher, author, and mindfulness educator.
how to find and do work you love
Lou Redmond is a meditation teacher, author, and mindfulness educator.

Rumi said, “Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” My hope is that you find the desire in your heart and let it lead your life. In doing so you’ll access greater fulfillment, joy, and freedom with how you spend your days. Here are six insights that will help you find and do work you love.

How To Find & Do Work You Love In 6 Steps

“The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

1. You Don’t Find A Purpose – You Become Purposeful

I’ll admit I’ve fallen into the trap of promoting “finding” your purpose as if it’s this magical one thing we discover outside of ourselves. While some may find a definite outer purpose, for most of us, the shift begins not by obtaining something outside, but by becoming purposeful inside.

Inner purpose is about choosing how we want to show up in the world and striving to serve the moment in front of us.

By living with positive intentions, we shift our state of being, which then creates a ripples effect that impacts those we come across. We don’t have to quit our job to do this. We can become purposeful now.

The early days of my self-improvement included meditating and reading before work. These practices filled me with energy. I’d then show up to work radiating this positivity. People noticed my energy was different and asked what I was doing. I’d share with them the books and other tools I used which inspired others to grow. It’s in this way that I became a force for good. I didn’t have to change the world to have a purpose. I just had to change myself. 

Before you quit your job to find your purpose, ask, “How can I bring purpose to this day? How can I make a positive impact on where I’m at now?”

By deciding to bring purpose into our lives, we build a foundation to take with us no matter what we do.

Start your journey of finding and doing work you love by following Lou’s advice on meditating. Here are some selected guided meditations and talks from Lou’s free collection on Insight Timer:

  1. Creating Your Dream Life Lou Redmond 15:39
  2. How to Find Your Life's Purpose – Talk Lou Redmond 4:19
  3. How to Set Goals – Talk Lou Redmond 4:43
  4. Finding Your Heart's Desire Lou Redmond 8:50
  5. Discovering Your Gifts Lou Redmond 11:26
  6. Poem: Greatness Is A Whisper Lou Redmond 5:56
  7. Advice For A Spiritual Journey – Talk Lou Redmond 5:17
  8. Revealing Your Highest Self Lou Redmond 11:02
  9. Morning Meditation: Focus & Appreciation Lou Redmond 12:49

2. Follow Your Excitement

After becoming purposeful, it’s time to explore the next step. Following your excitement is a practical way to find outer purpose.

We can inflate intuition as this mysterious experience that makes it difficult to connect with. I’ve found intuition can sometimes speak through excitement, and we all know what that feels like.

Ask yourself, what excites you? or, What excited you as a kid? The answers to these questions should give you a spark to move forward.

While you may not find an exact correlation, there’s an essence of your child-self that may give clues to your current self. For example, what excited me as a kid was to have the ball when the game was on the line. As a 7-year-old, I played pretend championship games where it came down to me to make the winning hit or score the final basket. I loved the thrill of performance and pressure.

Fast forward to now, and while I’m no LeBron James, the essence of what excited me manifested through my love of public speaking. The pressure I feel is similar, only this time my goal is to inspire others rather than win the game. As you find what makes you excited, see how it translates into other areas of interest.

3. Follow Your Fears

“The cave you fear holds the treasure you seek.” – Joseph Campbell

You may be thinking, “Lou, follow your excitement I understand, but follow your fears!? That sounds terrible!”

Yes, follow your fears, but only if doing so helps you get closer to your goals. If you feel afraid and excited, that is a sign you are on the right path.

It is an act of courage to do work you love, and tiptoeing the line of fear and excitement helps us grow our comfort zone and expand our potential.

Often people don’t take the step in front of them because they’re afraid of what might happen years down the road. We must look at following fear despite uncertainty like a marathon runner who gets the last minute call to run a big race. Of course, the runner is afraid, but likely also excited that they get the opportunity. They can’t know how they’ll feel at mile 20. They just have to answer the call and get themselves to the starting line.

Explore hundreds of free guided meditations for fear.

You can’t know five steps ahead. You just have to keep showing up to take the action right in front of you. As Joseph Campbell would say, once you find the courage to step forward, doors will open where there were none before. You then enter the next door and continue the journey. Step by step, we conquer new fears and embrace the challenges as our teacher.

Read more: In another article, Lou Redmond explains how to overcome fear of judgement and stop caring what other people think. And meditation teacher Jessica Amos explains how to tune into self-encouragement when doubting yourself.

4. Serve Others, But Make Sure You Love It

Work is Love made visible.” – Khalil Gibran

After I quit my job, there were two years of soul searching trying to figure out my purpose. During this time, I journaled repeatedly asking one simple question – How can I serve?

When you ask this to yourself, stay with the question even if no answers are coming. I find it acts more of a proclamation to the universe that you are looking for ways to serve. As we proclaim, we open up channels to be guided towards our service.

An important distinction—service does not mean sacrifice. Many are misguided and think that in order to serve they have to sacrifice their happiness. For example, let’s say you work for a non-profit with a great mission, yet hate your job. You stay there because you think you’re doing it out of greater service. Your work has a purpose in a broader sense, but you’re not happy.

Remember, we talked about purpose more as a “state of being” rather than an act of doing. No one wants to be around someone who is unhappy, as they will feel it. You’ll be doing better for yourself and others if you follow what fills you, rather than be an unhappy martyr.

5. Welcome Imposter Syndrome

Even the most successful people in the world grapple with feelings of insecurities and think that eventually they will be found out for the fraud that they are. I found it reassuring that feeling like an imposter is actually a sign we’re doing purposeful work. 

As Seth Godin writes,

Everyone who is doing important work is working on something that might not work. And it’s extremely likely that they’re also not the very best qualified person on the planet to be doing that work. Time spent fretting about our status as impostors is time away from dancing with our fear, from leading and from doing work that matters.”

It’s our fears and unworthiness that lead us to feel this way. To grow in our self-belief, it helps to stay grateful and keep a beginner’s mindset. It also helps to see our life as a practice. There is no one judging when you practice; you’re just learning new skills. As we exercise our gifts we grow in competence. As we grow in competence, we become more confident.

A saying in the entrepreneurial world is, “Jump and build your parachute on the way down.” We can’t let the fear of being a fraud stop us from trying something new. The best learning comes from jumping in and trying to save ourselves as we’re falling.

Read more: Meditation teacher Giovanni Dienstmann explores how to overcome the fear of failure.

6. Make Work Your Spiritual Practice

Michael Singer wrote a great book called The Surrender Experiment. He talks about how early in his spiritual journey all he wanted to do was meditate alone in the woods. Michael found life had a different plan for him. Instead, it led him to start a construction business and to create a no-joke, billion-dollar software company. He explains that through this process, he never separated spiritual practice from running a business. He saw every experience as a practice in letting go and serving the moment the best he could. As he surrendered, amazing things happened.

While we may not start billion-dollar companies, we can take Michaels’s wisdom.

If we are spiritual beings, wouldn’t the entirety of our life constitute the arena for spiritual practice? 

We don’t need to be meditating or chanting mantras to feel connected to our divine source. As we start pursuing work we love, we see that it’s all playing a role in growing us into the best version of ourselves.

There are times when I read a comment on how I helped someone, and I fill up with tears. It’s a divine moment, as I feel I’m playing my role in the cosmos. This fulfillment is the treasure Joseph Campbell talked about when he mentioned entering the cave we fear.

As they say with most goals, it’s not about the achievement, rather the person we become in the process. The journey is the reward. We must remember to find gratitude and appreciation for each step we’re on.

If you want to dive deeper into how to find and do work you love, Lou Redmond’s course will take you on a journey of aligning who you are with what you do, and uncovering your path to greater happiness, freedom, and fulfillment. Over 11 days, you will gain insight into what gives your life meaning, and learn how to find the people you’re meant to serve. You will overcome doubt and learn how to trust the process of making your dreams a reality. Listen to day 1 for free by clicking on the course below:

Learn To Do Work You Love

Now, It Is Time For You To Uncover Your Purpose And Find And Do Work You Love

I hope this offers some new perspectives to explore. Finding and doing work we love is a life-long journey that we need constant support on. I’ve found it invaluable to work privately with a coach or to join a group of people who are pursuing their passion. Especially early on we need to surround ourselves with others that help us realize that yes, it’s not just a dream, it’s possible.

It is my sincere wish that you uncover your purpose and bring your contribution to the world. Sure, you’ll make an impact on others. But know who will benefit most? You.

I send you love and blessings for your journey.

Meditation. Free.