I’m the type of guy who if you say, “Dude, you gotta…” Then the answer is automatically “no.”
I’ve missed out on many great experiences because of being stubborn. Even something as silly as TV shows, like Breaking Bad. I finally saw it last year, 2019 (it was good!). I’m not sure why I’m this way, but I just hate when other people tell me what to do, or what I should do.
If you’re one of those types of people, then perhaps this will go over your head. However, I swear it works for most people.
Finding your life’s calling is as easy as remembering what it was. You already tasted it at least once before. It’s embedded in a childhood memory.The time you received praise for something you did that genuinely impressed someone you looked up to (parents, teachers, peers).
For me, it’s writing. When I was in 4th grade, I received recognition for my writing from my teacher. It was the first time I can recall being complimented for something outside of being a cute kid. An adult, an English teacher at that, was genuinely impressed with my writing ability.
Don’t get me wrong, it was shit — but it was shit for an established writer. However, my writing clearly stood out in comparison to the other 9 year olds in the class.
I wrote short story after short story; poem after poem; anything to have Mrs. Lowe look at me like that again. I craved that feeling of approval. Sadly, I moved away a few months later, then a few more times after that. I continued to write, albeit less often and in private, and it wouldn’t be until 10th grade, when Mr. Roy complimented my writing, that I got that spark again.
People were impressed again. My teachers, friends, and family said, “Dude, you gotta write a book!”
Remember what I said about being stubborn?
I allowed my ego to put the pen down and walk away from something I was genuinely good at, and happy doing. All because I felt like other people were deciding my life for me.
Don’t be that guy! Or gal!
Think back. When did you receive praise as a child? Was it for your athletic ability? Were you great at taking tests? Did you draw? Play an instrument? Maybe you were just so easy to talk to that everyone came to you with their troubles. It’s up to you to remember, but think back to whatever it was that really stuck with you. What did you get approval for, no matter how “silly” or “dumb” you think it is, write it down.
Once you have it, if it is straight forward, like writing, great! Write! If it’s more abstract, like being easy to talk to, then think outside the box. Therapist? Teacher? Life coach? You get the idea.
We all (or most of us) have a special memory we hold onto. Most of us probably don’t even realize why it sticks out. Or worse, you’re ignoring it like I did because you don’t think it’s your “true” calling because others saw it first. Put that ego aside. Go speak with the child within. They’ve been calling you for years. All you must do is answer.