A friend posted these questions. In my experience, they are universal. Many people respond to her with their insight.
Please share and add your own wisdom in the comments below.
“How do you know or how do you find what you’re truly passionate about? I realize that I’ve been a dabbler and a ‘get by’er’ for a long time and its just not cutting it anymore. I want to feel free and light and in love with life again, purposeful and making a positive impact on the world, not just by being nice or giving out hugs. A deeper connection to myself, the Universe, a true sense of community… There are a lot of people I admire for being passionate about what they do in life and how comfortable and happy they seem to be! What’s the secret? We’re you born that way or did you figure it out?”
Many people can find work and be content. They can find happiness in their life. Their calling is something put off until after retirement, when the timing is right for them. In my experience, these kind of individuals are rare.
There are all the rest of us who are figuring it out.
When living at the ashram, a story was told to me. This man is a leading cardiologist for a group of hospitals in the mid-west. He started his medical education at 40 years of age, becoming a doctor in his fifties. This unique person shared the following.
While attending medical school, a new building was built on campus. There was a lot of discussion and planning about where to place the sidewalks to the building. Until one person suggested not building any sidewalks for one school year. The purpose was to see where people would walk naturally. The paths that formed is where the sidewalks would be built.
My fascination with this story is the idea of allowing the path to become visible.
The answer is already present, except it isn’t a rational mind story. It’s a reasonable heart, knowing its song, dance and rhythms of life. Any number of ways to share the soul are available. This is why the healing professions, arts, music and beyond are so varied.
When it comes to contentment, work and a calling that integrates family, community and having a positive purpose then a person is asking a deeper question: Who are you? Not in the definable sense. In the realm of pure sense, breath and experience, what is the nature of relationship within yourself?
It’s a question of integrity one feels within. Until the balance is found one must seek. It’s a self-discovery process and there are no finite rules applicable to everyone. What works for one person could be toxic to another.
Consider it a song, where the harmony feels like home. It’s just known. Fragments of that melody play through a larger song of life. This gives us glimpses, excites us with passion, and for a moment it does really bring a person home. What the soul yearns for is a deeper integration, and persons who are sensitive remain fully aware of the disharmonies. It’s a gift, prodding us to deeper knowledge, wisdom and love.
Still trying to find your calling in life and want some actionable steps?
1. Unlearn what has been learned. Only one person has the answer and knows the way, yourself. This is not a forced way that requires discussion, planning and committees, like with the sidewalk. It’s a recognition, validation and appreciation of who one is.
2. Revisit childhood. In my experience, almost everyone has a certain peace and joy during some point of their childhood. There is rich opportunity from childhood experiences. During his childhood years Nikola Tesla formulated the base idea behind AC/DC power, that grew into fruition as an adult. What gifts are dormant within each person?
3. Natural talents and gifts are often easy, and thus overlooked. Reconsider what is available. They can also be quiet and unassuming, abilities that popular culture would overlook.
4. Rediscover gratitude for what is present. With fresh eyes the details and nuances of what is present become doorways to vast discovery.
5. Living a calling is about soul and an internal relationship. How a person lives their calling can change, allowing for those passionate interests to become an avenue for serving their deeper intention.
6. Nothing worth having comes easily, the universe will test resolve. One must dodge rocks in the river when rafting. There are uncertain handholds in the cliff wall one climbs.
7. One only competes with oneself, and the nature of relationship and attitude within influences everything.
8. Nurturing oneself, consistently in little ways, makes a difference in the long term.
9. Perseverance, devotion and love are the key ingredients. Only time gives answers to these questions, continual follow through and knowing full well the answers are already present.
Author: Keith Artisan
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Emilien Ettienne