What motivates us to do the type of work that we do? I’m a lot less cynical than the Generation X stereotype connotes, and I am also an idealist – which tends to be embraced by the millennial. One narrative about millennials that is a virtual truism these days is that every project they take on is part of a larger plan to make the world a little (or lot) better. As much I resonate with that concept, it’s not (or at least I thought) in my DNA. Instead, I grew up with the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality – you don’t get the luxury of taking a job just because it feeds your values. You work hard, harder and hardest until you prove your indispensable worth.
So when I was asked by Anna Scott what my soul’s work is – I balked. Um… “Why do you do what you do?” My answer was literal: I started Hello Divorce to solve a problem – the need for high quality, on demand, affordable legal help for divorce.The answer was clearly not what she was looking for. I don’t think so, she said.
Take a deep breath, feel gravity …. what’s the first thing that comes to you – first thought, first image…
I did not want to answer this question. Who am I to think that I could actually be doing something that felt meaningful or could make a real impact?
This is about knowing your soul’s work… the work you, and only you, are meant to do in this world.
Ok, she’s not going to let this one go (I thought). And quite frankly, my energy was so low that day I was willing to give anything a shot that could help me climb out of this state of exhaustion.
I’ll save you from the next 25 minutes of self-discovery and simply summarize what ultimately came out.
When I was a child, I was the victim of violence. As a late teen, I was the plaintiff in a civil action and a witness in a criminal action. My experience can be summed up with these words: lonely, scary, soul killing, unproductive, intimidating, stressful. I started Hello Divorce for a much a more powerful reason (that I didn’t truly realize until now): I don’t want anyone to feel trapped. Ever. I empower. I inspire instead of motivate by fear. I give people the tools they need to move out of a time of crisis and into a new, better version of themselves. Every human I collaborate or partner with shares this same core vision. Oh, and I will not stop until our process becomes as close to perfect as possible.
Thankfully, my soul is much smarter than I am. You don’t have to be a millennial to be of service in this world. You don’t have to find the cure for cancer or change the way we communicate to help transform lives. If you’re like most people (including me at one point) and have lost sight of what your soul work is, you’re not alone. It’s not too late.
What does your core compel you to do? What do you feel called to create?
Follow Erin Levine on Twitter for inspiration, tips and thoughtful divorce advice at @HelloDivorce.