Years ago, Tama Kieves was a Harvard University graduate, working as a successful lawyer on the partnership track.
Big money and big success were on the horizon.
"I was miserable," she says.
As someone who dreamed of being a writer when she was in high school, Kieves certainly was good at laboring as a lawyer. But she says she felt as if the job were sucking the life out of her.
She was depressed and didn't feel like herself anymore.
"I think like so many people who are doing well professionally, they discover they just feel so empty," she says. "I felt haunted."
That's when a friend said something that got her thinking: If she was so good at something she didn't like, imagine the success she might have doing something she loved.
The message resonated with Kieves who decided to chuck her lawyer gig and begin writing. Twelve years after beginning a book about finding your life's inspiration and doing something you love, she decided to self-publish.
For months her labor of love garnered little attention. Then a senior executive at a major publishing house picked up the book because she, too, was going through a major career transition and trying to find her inspired work.
What followed next was an offer from the publisher for Kieves's book and even more offers of speaking and coaching.
Kieves says what she's learned from her experience is that she wasn't alone in feeling trapped in a job she didn't like. Now she believes that anyone can turn life's labor into inspired work.
Her message appears to have an audience: A Gallup survey finds that 70% of workers are not engaged or actively engaged at work.
But isn't that what we've come to expect with a struggling economy and challenging labor market? Aren't some workers destined to have jobs that they don't really like but that pay the mortgage?
Kieves hears that argument all the time but doesn't buy it.
"I think true passion is your greatest economic security," she says. "If you (read more here)