What should I do with my life? Part 2

I wanted to add just a little bit more to the previous post that asked the age-old question “what should I do with my life?” I’d like to add some very interesting science to the mix.

Have you ever felt something but had trouble putting it into words? This is something that happened with me when I was trying to figure out my career goals. I had certain preferences and opinions but I couldn’t quite articulate them. I’ve heard from clients that they have this experience too.

This is in fact normal and it actually makes a lot of scientific sense.

We have two parts of our brain, the emotional brain and the rational brain. The emotional brain lets us have opinions and feelings and tells us what we deep down want. The trouble is that we can’t access the emotional brain through language — language is the domain of the rational brain. There’s a gap! So it makes sense that sometimes we can’t put what we feel into words.

So we have to use other ways of accessing and understanding our emotions. Exercise, meditation, and heart coherence are excellent activities for helping us gain clarity and understand our emotions better. (I highly recommend David Servan-Schreiber’s book “The Instinct to Heal” for more on the benefits of these activities.)

Our task is to discover insights about ourselves that are often hard to uncover. In the words of my positive psychology professor Tal Ben-Shahar:

“Sometimes what works for us gets so deeply stuck in our subconscious, we don’t think about it. We don’t notice it.”

The nature of the brain can make it play tricks on us and lead us to ignore even obvious clues about what makes us tick and what we deep down want.

Being aware of how the brain works can help us clarify our strongest intrinsic desires and help us answer that age-old question of “what should I do with my life?”

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Art James Heller is a positive psychology life coach and career coach. He meets with local clients in Hillsboro, OR and clients from around the world by phone and video. If you’d like to learn more please explore the site, or get in touch to sign up for a free consultation.

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