Last Saturday, I taught a workshop at Steadfast Supply about building healthy habits.
When I was planning the workshop, the phrase that kept coming back to me is “motivation is a muscle”.
So often, we believe that some people are blessed with a large amount of motivation, and other people simply don’t have it.
I know that motivation is something you can build. Just like any other muscle, as you work your motivation and put habits into practice, you get better and better at it. Yes, it’s a challenge, yes it’s uncomfortable, but it’s possible.
I also realized that there are 3 key mindset shifts you need to make in order to keep with your habits and achieve your goals.
Let’s dive into these mindset shifts, and as we do, ask yourself: Which of these do I already have? Which do I need to cultivate more of in order to be successful?
Can a 5,000 year old system of healthcare teach you about your career?
It sounds crazy, but it actually can. Beyond being a system of medicine, Ayurveda can help you find balance throughout your life – diet, morning routine, and *career* included.
There’s a reason why I call Ayurveda “Meyers-Briggs on steroids”.
Here are some examples:
Feeling overly anxious before presentations? Maybe it’s b/c you don’t have that much Pitta in you.
Frustrated at the 1st graders making noise? Leave the job to someone a little more Kapha.
Struggling again and again with writer’s block? Turn up your Vata.
Of course, roadblocks happen in our career for many reasons, but knowledge of your Ayurvedic dosha can help you understand why certain aspects of your job aren’t going well, and make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success.
First, I’ll take you through some general guidelines of what sorts of careers Vata, Pitta, and Kapha type people would be good at.
Then, we’ll discuss what to do if you are not in a job position that utilizes these Ayurvedic strengths.
Please note: if you’re not in a career that your Dosha is not naturally called to, it doesn’t mean you need to automatically quit. We’ll talk about ways that you can continue to find balance, and even thrive because your dosha is different than your job’s.
What careers and job positions are best for each Dosha type
We know you like to talk, and you can sell. You’re a great manager because you can keep track of everyone’s tasks. If you’re given a job, you will get it done. On time. On spec. Some might even say it was done perfectly.
You’re charismatic. People are excited by your vision and you can captivate a room. You do well as a sales exec, a TV host, VP or manager.
You’re nurturing. You’re there for your colleagues with whatever they need – cookies, a helpful ear, or a ride. Always reliable, you’re the ringleader for employee gatherings.
You make everyone feel good around you. You do well as an HR manager, as a teacher, a nurse, or anyone that needs to do a reliable, good job, and be there for the team.
You’re a dreamer. You’re artistic. You’re okay working by yourself – your vision changes so much, it’s just easier to do it alone. You see the whole picture. You can envision and communicate a grand vision that makes people excited.
You are the artist and the creative. You’d do well as a writer, a director, a dancer, a freelancer, a designer.
Which career path resonates most with you?
What to do with this information
If you’re completely in sync with your current job, great! Recognize that your personal strengths are your career strengths, and that you’re in alignment. Awesome.
If you don’t feel in sync with your current job, there are a few options. This could be the wake-up call and permission that you needed to follow an alternative path. Go you!
But, please remember: Just because your dosha doesn’t sync up with your current job doesn’t mean you need to quit. We can’t pretend that one paragraph of a random blog post could ever tell you that.
If your dosha doesn’t sync up with your current job, you can still be amazing at it. Here are some ways that can be the case:
See your unique strengths
Recognize that having your dosha in your field of work can actually be an asset. For example: if you have a busy sales role and you’re a Vata type, notice how your ability to tell a great story and see the whole picture allows you to pursue the best sales leads. If you’re in sales and have a Kapha dosha, you might bring a carrying, nurturing aspect to your job that makes your sales leads loyal and love you.
Find the unique strengths you get to bring to your position, and play those up so you stand out in your organization.
Give yourself permission to rebalance
Having a different dosha than your work role might require extra energy/balancing time.
Using the example of the sales role – people with a more Pitta dosha might be able to spend all day doing sales, go home, hang out with friends, and feel completely energized. If you have a more Vata or Kapha dosha, you might find yourself drained at the end of the day of sales, and need to take some quiet time or a nap to recharge.
Alternatively, if you have a Pitta personality and you teach kindergarten, you might want to take a graduate class, sign up for a race, or find another way to push your body and mind after work.
Unhappy at your current job? Ask yourself whether an incompatible dosha could explain some of the difficulties.
Interviewing? Ask about the typical day in the life for the prospective job, and see how they jive with your energy. You might even want to see if you can understand the dosha of the interviewer/your prospective boss to see how you would mesh (perhaps that should be a conversation for another blog post 😀 ).
Enjoying your job, but still feel like you could be more productive/happier? Ask yourself if there’s something you need to do to balance your energy during or after work.
I don’t get too prescriptive because balance looks different on everyone. If you’re interested in learning more specifically about how your dosha and career are interactive, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can set up a free Ayurvedic consultation.
There you have it – a 5,000 year old system of healthcare can tell you about your career. So let’s hear from you: What’s your dosha and what’s your job? Do they match up? Feel at odds? How does this article change how you’ll approach your work tomorrow morning?
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.
At first glance, my diet is pretty uninteresting. I mix some of my favorite vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, cucumber, and kale (sometimes). I top them with some sort of protein: usually lentils, hummus, or another chickpea dish.
Ok, maybe you’re right. I’m getting bored just writing about it.
So how do I eat so many veggies day in and day out without running screaming to the nearest restaurant? The secret’s in the sauce.
For 10 minutes every morning I have one sole purpose: breathe.
I meditate daily, and have for about the last 4 years. Why? Well, it started after reading that meditation was going to improve my focus, my mood, and my relationships. Over time, I’ve realized that meditation is the one time when I’m not supposed to problem solve, manage, or be productive. Instead, I get to simply BE.
You’d be surprised, but BEing isn’t all that easy. Even after some 1,000 meditation sessions, some days go smoother than others.
On January 3rd this year, I decided to go alcohol-free for 40 days. I was going to be in Indian the first week of February, and it felt like a good time to experiment.
I’ve always had a healthy relationship with alcohol. I enjoy good wine, get excited about special cocktails, and appreciate a craft beer. And while in general I wasn’t drinking heavily, I did notice that between Happy Hours, date nights, and the occasional night cap, I was having a drink more than I realized – often 4-5 nights per week.
I take care of my body well, and hangovers were few and far between, but I still wondered: would cutting alcohol out for an extended period of time significantly alter my happiness, health, or well-being?
And so I did it. 40 days, no alcohol. Here’s what happened.