Laurie Swanson Blog

Career Wisdom from the 1800s

Recently, my husband and I were having one of our more interesting discussions.  We wondered what we would be doing if we lived in a Native American tribe in the 1800’s?

After I got past the idea of no running water, heat or air conditioning I got to thinking about what would be my role in the tribe assuming I could do whatever I wanted.
  • Would I be the person who cooked the food?
  • Would I be the person who made the tools?
  • Would I be hunting for food?
  • Would I be planting/gathering food? 
  • Would I be caring for the kids?
  • Would I be selling or trading our goods?
  • Would I be the healer/medicine person in the tribe?
  • Would I be the warrior defending our tribe against enemies?
  • Would I be training and caring for the animals?
  • Would I be the leader of the tribe?
  • Would I be negotiating for the tribe? 
  • Would I be the storyteller?
  • Would I be dancer/entertainer/music maker?
  • Would I be the spiritual guide?
Not only is this a fun family discussion, but this is a creative way to determine if you are aligned with what you truly love to do.


Try this

Consider the different options I listed above and add some of your own.

Which of these options would you be good at?

Which hold no interest whatsoever for you?

Which would you enjoy doing?

Cross off all the ones in the list that do not interest you.

With the options left, start to compare them against each other. If you could do this one or that one, what would you choose?  

Once you have narrowed it done to your top choices then ask yourself:

How are these roles currently showing up in your life?

How are thy NOT a part of your daily life?

Is there a role today that is similar to what you would have chosen back in the day?

If it is still interesting then what do you need to do to pursue that role? 

Doing what you're good at and love to do is the essential to you... and your tribe.
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