One quick way to find out if your current job and lifestyle are aligned with your passion is to ask the simple question, "If money suddenly weren't an issue, what would I want to do every day?".
That's actually a very simply question with profound implications for striking the perfect work/life balance.
While there's still something to be said for putting in the hours and working hard, the interesting thing is that the highest flying entrepreneurs don't feel as though they're working when they arrive at the office.
Why's that? Because they're so passionate about what they do, and their livelihood is so entwined with their reason for springing out of bed every morning, that they often find a lack of distinction between work, leisure and pleasure.
The concept of work as work fades away as their job becomes a true calling and their livelihood more aligned with their passions, curiosity and growth.
Work the Right Way and Have Fun Doing It
The really interesting thing about finding the right job is that the externals might not change all that much to an outside observer but the change in the way that you relate to what you're doing can be night and day.
You might be putting in the same amount of hours every week and have similar expectations at the beginning…yet receive totally different results depending on how that job relates to your values and what you really want to be doing with your life.
Align Your Efforts With Your Ambitions
Work should ideally be something that excites you and presents daily challenges for growth and self development.
When your efforts are aligned with the right role and your work's in the right environment, you'll probably also find that the amount of hours that you put in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly become almost irrelevant since you're making a real impact and having fun doing it.
Doing what you really want to be doing, in other words, can make work feel like play and encourage you to put in the extra time and effort without any kind of outside coercion or reinforcement: You genuinely want to create the best end product you can.
Great questions to ask yourself, if you're unsure whether you've found the right calling are: "Would I be here even if I weren't getting paid as much?," and "Does this job make me excited to get out of bed in the morning?".
These quick checkins really help to rule out the possibility that you're doing the job simply for compensation or to "get by," and that you've actually found your purpose.
What Research Findings Say About Your True Calling
Meta-studies collecting five dozen independent studies together actually were able to distill down what make a dream job with off-the-charts job satisfaction into about a half-dozen factors.
So, do you want to know the results? They actually indicate that pay or passion alone aren't good enough!
For a job to be a dream job and your true calling it effectively needs to offer you the chance to regularly collaborate with supportive peers, commit to tasks that taps into your unique talents, and engage in work that puts you in a flow state every day.
The whole idea of "flow" or being in a zone is a concept taken from psychology that basically means you're doing work that you find completely engaged, happy, productive, creative and fulfilled doing.
For that to happen you need to be doing something that gives you that sweet spot between challenge, variety, enjoyment, freedom and the chance to grow further.