They say there is a first time for everything and today is no exception. For the first time in almost a year and a half, I got a duplicate fortune in my lunch today. It is very similar to one I wrote about over a year ago—albeit the wording is slightly different.
That said, I still want to address this topic for a couple reasons. First, I am not the same person (or writer for that matter) as I was a year ago. No one is. Second, I have a newer perspective on what it means to pursue your passion and follow a calling.
A common misconception—especially among those in the personal development realm—is that your life’s calling will come to you. That one day you’ll be sitting around and the Fates or angels or the Muse will come tapping on your shoulder and reveal to you what your purpose and mission in life is.
In fact, the opposite it true.
Your calling doesn’t find you. You find it.
And finding your calling does not have to be some laborious, Outback walkabout, vision quest, high-on-a-mountain-top kind of experience. It can be much, much simpler. You can simply choose your calling—much like you would select your favorite box of cereal in the grocery store isle.
Walk down the isle. See what looks appealing. Grab it, put it in your shopping cart, and take it home. Taste it. Is it delicious? Eat some more! Is it just so-so? Go back to the store and pick another box.
It is really that simple. Sure, the necessary steps for mastery and implementation still follow. In some cases, these steps may take years. And yes, you’ll have to ignore the sunk cost of those previous “boxes” that were no good. But selecting a calling it fairly straightforward. You start by choosing. Then you begin the steps to bring it into being. You experiment, collect data and feedback, and then reassess and reformat. Some of your actions will bring you closer—do more of those. Some of your actions will take you further away—pick a new course of action and move forward. Repeat. As often as needed.
Now, you might say to me, “My calling is to be a starter in the NBA.” Is this true? Honestly, I don’t know. Only you can answer that for you. But what I do know is that each step will take you further down the path towards your calling—or away from it towards something new which IS true for you.
So pick something. Anything. Literally anything. Then follow your internal and external feedback. Move forward, course correct. Move forward, course correct. If you’re fortunate you may get it right the first time. For some of you it may take multiple tries. But try anyway.
One final thing: It is possible to have multiple callings in your lifetime.
What worked for you and spoke to you in your twenties may no longer be applicable in your forties. That is totally okay. You will not be the same person then as you are now. I know I’m not. And to be honest, that is a relief. The twenty-something me was kind of clueless and I have no desire to go back. It is also exciting to know that 1, 5, 10, 20 years from now I can adopt still another calling.
Life is a grocery isle with myriad choices. Eat up!
To your good fortune!