We have disused the idea of pursuing curiosities. Following one inclination to the next, finding passion after passion. Possibly changing career directions multiple times thoughout life.
But can there be one BEST career for you?
This is a very hard topic to get into. I am sure the answer is different for everyone. Some may feel very strongly that they have found their one true calling. Where as others may spend their entire life in the search.
I wouldn't say that we all have one BEST career or calling. But there may be only one BEST one at any given time.
We all go through phases in life. Psychologists and scientists will tell you that people "reinvent themselves" throughout a life time. Depending on who you ask, the time frame may differ. Once every 5 years, 10 years, 25 years. Either way, we have a tendency to shift our personal focus, just as life shifts our circumstances.
This is why I think that most of us may not have ONE calling. But rather a RIGHT calling for any given time. Different careers may fit us better at different times in our lives. You may not go back to Med school with a brand new baby. But once you child is older and school, the time may be just right.
This goes for what we are interested in at a certain time, where we live, who we are with, and the list goes on and on.
Life is like one giant experiment. Moving from one thing to the next. Testing out what works and what doesn't. Many of us are too scared to make shifts like this. Thinking that we are supposed to pick one thing and stick with it.
But without trial and error, how can we really know where our strengths lie, and what we actually enjoy?
There will be times throughout all of our lives when we feel completely and utterly lost. Where deciding what to do next seems like a utter impossibility. So how do we cope with these moments? The moments when we must pick something to do, but have no idea where to start?
My best piece of advice is to first take a deep breath. We all want all of the answers right now. But what fun would life be if we could see the entire picture now?
Then, simply find the best possible option at the time. At times that may mean just getting a job purely for income. Or maybe taking a stab at something new that intrigues you. Remind yourself that everything is temporary, and you never know where one job or opportunity may lead.
Once you find something, do it and do it well. It may not be your calling, but it just may lead you there.
Keep an eye out for other opportunities along the way. It may be a different job, or simply an opportunity to learn something new.
Continue along this path, working your way from one thing to the next. One day you may just wake up and realize you have stumbled upon something remarkable. That's how it happened for me.
Recently I was reading The Four Purposes of Life by Dan Millman. He had a beautiful way of describing our quest for our calling:
"On the quest to find our career and calling, we're like people driving in the dark - we can only see as far as our headlights illuminate. Meanwhile, the better we understand ourselves, the better we steer or course."
Too often we get wrapped up in the stress of needing to know everything right now. Needing to know what major to pick in college, which job opportunity to accept, which city to move to. We think that it would be so much easier if we had the entire road map in front of us, knowing exactly which way to turn next, in order to start heading in the right direction.
But the reality is that we can only see so far ahead. Just as Millman put it - as far as our headlight illuminate. I could not think of a better way to put it.
We will only be able to see so far in advance. Even when you think you have it all planned out, often times you hit more than just a few bumps in the road.
So, we experiment. We try different things. We learn more about ourselves. And with each like and dislike, strength and weakness that we discover, we move that much closer to finding our true passions in life.
The next time you come upon one of those forks in the road that life loves to throw our way, smile. Take in all the options, and simply choose what you think is best at the time. Each choice will lead you down a different path, and no one knows which is best. So only worry about what is best in the present moment, and know that you have the freedom to shift and change directions whenever you see fit moving forward.
If you remember only one thing, remember that you are never stuck. You have endless choices ahead of you, and there is no reason you have to pick just one.