I've had an experience of working years towards something and having it become somewhat of who you are, only to realize that career might not be realistic. How do you switch to something that will give you meaning?
(Taken from http://www.askedahn.com/2009/09/choosing-career.html)
If you already know what it is that'll provide you with meaning, then you just need to be smart and persistent about developing it. Make good decisions, stay involved, and dedicate time and effort to it. If you're having difficulty determining what direction will offer meaning and purpose, take the next 5 days to reflect on these questions:
- What can I offer to others?
- Who needs my assistance?
- Where can I brighten the world?
- When am I most content?
- When I picture myself smiling and being truly happy around others, what is it I see myself doing?
In the end, living with meaning isn't something that has to be limited to your job. It's a lifestyle -- an approach to living in harmony with your environment. The Japanese understood this and hid it in their lifestyle and art, where the transition between nature and humans is seamless. Compare that to the modern approach of dominating the environment and you can see the difference. The Japanese appreciated harmony.