Sean Aiken is the creator of The One Week Job Project, an inspiring journey across North America in which he worked 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion.
After having graduated from Capilano University with a Business Administration degree, top of his class with a 4.0 GPA and Class Valedictorian, Aiken struggled with the direction his life should take. This inspired his website and journey and ultimately his book, The One Week Job Project, which was published in 2010 by Penguin Group Canada and Random House USA.
He frequently speaks to students and companies about what he learned from his experience and has developed an international program to empower others to discover their passion by taking on a series of “one week jobs”. www.oneweekjob.com
What events led up to you deciding to take back your life?
I was struggling with the question, “What should I do with my life?” I felt depressed, lacking direction, and the societal pressure to choose something that would be seen as successful.
Was there a significant event or moment that made you realize you needed to make a change? What was it?
I realized that nothing was going to change unless I took action. I needed to get out into the world, try different things, embrace the possibility of failure, and most importantly be willing to ask for support.
Was there a first step of action when you decided to take back your life? What was it?
My first step was to acknowledge that there was nothing wrong with me – that lacking direction is completely normal and that the pressure I felt was completely self-imposed. Then I went to friends to ask for feedback and advice on my project.
Since you took back your life, how have things changed for you?
More often than not, I choose to proceed with confidence allowing the consequence of my worthiness to inform my actions. I have a deeper inclination and commitment towards self-acceptance. On the days where this is difficult, instead of being hard on myself for being hard on myself, I now acknowledge the underlying plea for self-love and attention – accepting the invitation to be gentle with myself.
What would you say to anyone who finds themselves in the situation you were in?
It can be overwhelming to look at the big long term picture of where you want to go – break it down into small achievable action steps. It’s only when I look back today that I realize just how far I have come.
Truly understand that there is nothing wrong with you. You don’t need to fix anything and you don’t need to take back your life. It’s always been yours. Perhaps what you need to do is give back the false belief that you are not good enough and take back the precious understanding that you are worthy of this life.
And if you shall need proof of your worthiness of such a magnificent gift?
What does ‘Fully Alive’ mean to you?
To inspire possibility. To embrace the interconnectedness of each of us. To embody our life’s work. To share our gifts with the world. To be fulfilled, energized, compassionate, and in turn enrich ourselves, our family, friends, and our communities.
Favourite Inspirational Quote
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs, is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Connect with Sean
Take Back Your Life Month
Last year, I declared May 16th ‘Take Back Your Life’ Day, because that’s the day that I took back my life from that evil beast, Cancer. It’s so important to me that this year I’m declaring the whole month of May ‘Take Back Your Life’. Every Tuesday and Friday this month, be inspired by stories of everyday people who have transformed their lives. These are people who converted a moment of struggle into a moment of strength and revolution! (Read more here.) Check back here to read their stories & share your own on social media! #TakeBackYourLife