Self Discovery Through Recovery

Easily nine years ago I wrote an article titled Self Discovery through Recovery for a mental health newspaper.

I’m reading the books Born for This and The Economy of You about how to create side gigs for yourself as  a soloist or in addition to a day job. I recommend you read these books too.

In the late 1980s when I first wanted to get a full-time job there was no practical career counseling or career assessment. I got a job as an Administrative Assistant because it was the option that presented itself to me as the best one from the limited choices I had.

My memoir Left of the Dial chronicles how after that early detour in a mental health system and rocky start in a failed gray flannel insurance career I was able to  find a creative job in a field I love.

Recovery gives us the chance to discover ourselves. I was always fond of saying you need to give yourself the gift of a lifetime to make positive changes.

Set a “lifeline” instead of an impossible-to-reach deadline. Read the books I’ve recommended in this blog entry.

Civil rights leader Howard Thurman is quoted:

“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

This quote sums up a great model for recovery: discovering what gives you joy and going and doing that, like I’ve always advocated for.

The world does need more people who have come alive.

Recovery is the process of coming alive by reinventing yourself and living out your passions every day or as often as you can.

I’ll be 51 in two weeks. I’m living proof that you don’t have to make yourself miserable one minute in a job you don’t like just to pay the bills. You might not discover your dream job until later in life like I did when I was 35. That’s OK. Sometimes you do have to try one or two things or more to figure out the right thing.

The author of Born for This calls this “career shopping” instead of career hopping.

Finding what you were born to do is a great way to be Alive in the World.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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