I do my work, what do you do?

I do what I do because you do what you do.

I don’t do what you do because I do what I do.

I don’t do what you do because you do it better.

You don’t do what I do because I do it better.

Maybe you do what I do but do it differently.

It is highly likely that someone precedes us who knows how to do what we do better because they have done it longer, love it more and dedicated their life to it. The challenge then is in finding out what each of us is here to do, right now, not ten years, nor twenty years from now.

Wow!  Light bulb on.


© Jenn Shallvey 2012How simple it can be. The work you do now is just that, the work you do.  Dig deeper and what you do you are at some level driven and capable to do.

Go further and say in doing what you are best at right now you can truly be of service to others and make a contribution right now.

But what do you do? What does he/she do? What do I do? What do we do?  How do I, you, we know? In the bigger scheme does it really matter? YES!

For example, we know that many people live in poverty, experience poor health or have other difficult circumstances.   For many we are compelled to help these individuals as part of a moral imperative.

Yet who can do this? Who should do this?  We can’t all physically go to the streets and literally help each individual. Or can we? Some say anything is possible. Yet what is practical as well, right now?

Yes we can contribute financially. But this is not work equating to a contribution or doing something.  We can however help others who can.  I, or you, may not at this time have the capacity mentally, emotionally or physically to help in this example, whilst others do. The compassionate part of us aspires to help. It is then important to match the people who CAN with the work that is best for them to do.

So what is it about the fact that my personality and makeup says that I can do ‘this’ but maybe not do ‘that’ really well?  If I can’t do it, I pull back from it. Likewise you can do it really well and I am not going to do that.  How do we work that out?  

You figure out what it is that you can do because you love it, because you have the capacity, capability and potential for it. And somewhere inside of you is always this thing that you can do best and better than anything else that you could possibly consider doing. And if it’s still in there, then it’s time for you to look at that and do it now.

I look at someone like Bryce Courtenay who just passed away and wrote 20 books in the last quarter of his life.  He left behind a self destructive lifestyle to be an author. Was his life journey the impetus for the unwavering later commitment? Was that what his absolute purpose for being here was?  Was it really his mission to say I am an author telling stories for people to read? And now he has left a legacy of that and he will have that legacy here forever.

I look at someone like Louise Hay who is still going strong at 86.  She started her publishing business at 58. Through her publishing dream, inspiration and belief in a suite of authors, positive messages make their way into the hands of millions around the globe.

I look at someone like George Harrison who contributed through his art and his actions. His legacy goes beyond the music he created with the Beatles. He was a quiet non assuming creative pioneer, a spiritual explorer and an individual that could not be put in a box.  His willingness to risk being himself led to powerful examples of creativity, song-writing and compassion. Whilst his journey may not be one many of of us would have embarked on it was HIS journey, his WORK.

Your work may not be a book, a company or a song. Your work may not be something tangible.  

It could be a person that you affected and helped through your actions or even just your presence.

It could be a person in a dire situation that got off their feet and back into your life because of you being there at the right time.

It could be you helping a person in a cubicle two workstations away who doesn’t like their job, has an unhappy life at home. It could be you who went up to that person and said ‘hey mate, let’s go have a coffee and have a chat’.  Your chat may just have been the pinnacle of change because you cared and paid attention.  Maybe that’s your ‘work’ you have in this world right now and you haven’t done it yet. Now you don’t have to go out and look for people to fix and help and all that.  But turn your radar on and say I’m here. What can I do?  Not what can’t I do?  

I think we walk around saying 'I can’t do that' so often that we forget to say to ourselves 'with all my experience, with all my knowledge, with all the mentoring support I have from the people around me who have even more knowledge and experience what CAN I do? not what CAN’T I do?'.

Now I coach a lot of people in careers and I have been through my own career transitions over many years. And I can tell you the easiest thing we have to say is what I don’t want to do. It is so easy.  You sit around the coffee table and you say “I don’t want to do this job anymore. I hate this. I don’t like this. I don’t want to do this.”  

It’s much harder to claim and own what we really want to do. It’s much harder to say I LOVE DOING WHAT I DO. Your reasons for waiting, holding back, stopping your greatness are you own.  Yet at some level we all share something in common don’t we?  We all start from the wrong end of the equation.  We start with what others think, want, say and tell.  It’s time to start with what our own voice says, what our own inner self says is what we are here to do. This is your choice now.

I invite you to allow yourself the gift of reflection at this time of year when the world seems so turbulent and topsy-turvy.  Ask what is your ‘work’?  Ask how CAN you start NOW to do even a fraction of what you are here to do? 

Isn’t it time we all started to benefit from your wonderful gifts, your amazing abilities, your passion?  I for one would love to know. No more excuses. No more blame. No more avoidance. It’s time to listen to you and do the work you can do best.

Jenn Shallvey