On one hand I’ve loved exploring new things and being interested in everything around me, and was always quite proud of being able to speak on numerous subjects, do a variety of things, and understand a lot of different view points. On the other hand, I’ve always had a great deal of admiration for those who knew what they wanted to do or be when they grew up, who were dedicated, focused and driven.
Lately, more than ever, I’ve been wondering what I’ve been ‘called’ to do. I’ve been wondering what it is I’m really passionate about, what it is I should really be doing with my life. Afterall, in Oprah’s final show she told us what our real ‘job’ in life is:
“What I knew for sure from this experience with you is that we are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life, they spoke of the job, and they spoke of the juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing. We saw it in the volunteers who rocked abandoned babies in Atlanta. We saw it with those lovely pie ladies from Cape Cod making those delicious potpies. … We saw it every time Tina Turner, Celine, Bocelli or Lady Gaga lit up the stage with their passion. Because that is what a calling is. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.” ~Oprah
Woah, hey? And let’s face it, Oprah’s a pretty switched on lady!
I rambled about this for a few weeks to a few people. I got some ‘informative lectures’ that went in one ear and out the other, and I also got the following response: “But your calling is to get us excited about doing exercise and eating healthy!”
After moping about on the topic for some time I came across a few other articles about passion (or callings, purpose or dream jobs) and a few of them said that we aren’t all born to a known purpose, that passions are found through small explorative steps, through curiosity and developed skill. That we can make them and map them, and even change them. And, possibly even not worry about it, and enjoy it!!
Don’t expect inspiration to hit you across the face. […]
My rough formula is: Passion = Skill + Interest
Being really good at something you hate, won’t make you love it. But being really good at something you’re curious about, can. Instead of staring at your navel, trying to discover your passions, go out in the world and start creating them.
I worry a lot of people fall into the same trap. The trap of believing that they need to make big life decisions before they can start doing anything. The trap that you need to be born with a passion. And the lie that being able to combine your interests with a profession is easy.
Instead of making definite decisions about a career path, I believe you should get curious. Get curious about the way the world works. Notice your own interests and find small ways you can exercise passion in something. Even if you can’t find a way to make money off of it yet.
Here I was, thinking I was kind of alone in not knowing what to do with my life. Clearly I am not alone, and maybe it’s not even something I need to worry about. Maybe injecting a little passion into what I am doing is all I really need. To explore what interests me, develop skills that are useful and make me ‘good’ at the things I find interesting, will lead, as it has in the past, to a fulfilling carreer. And, as I further wander down this line of thought, maybe I don’t have to be doing ‘this’ forever. Maybe my curiosity will spark a new change or direction.
Afterall, just following my nose, going where my interest took me, led me here, a place I never expected to be, and it has been a fascinating journey.
How has your own journey gone? Were you ‘called’ or did you follow a few whims and wind up somewhere unexpected? I’d love to hear from you!