The Million Dollar Question

What is your calling in life?

Where do you find it? How many experiments can you run with your life before you stumble upon that spark that lights your fires? Can it be something you’re really born with, a latent talent, a certain aptitude, or perhaps something pre-coded in your DNA? Is it something that you pick randomly and apply yourself until you develop a passion for it? Do we do things because we like them even before we’re any good at them, or do we fall in love with that which we’re already good at?

The questions are endless and really hard to answer because if you care to look you’ll see people who will tell you to find your passion and then follow it, but you’ll also find those who tell you to just start with hard work and to hell with passion.

“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all others: We are merely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.” —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

What Goethe is telling us is that we are born with the potential to do something really well. We have certain strengths, certain gifts bestowed upon us by Mother nature, good genes, or good fortune. But it’s not quite enough to have the raw materials available, you must start using them, shaping them, putting them to the test, and then see what comes out.

There’s a funny catch, though, and that is those talents, gifts and raw materials are locked away in the basement, untapped, unexplored, and unknown.

Some say that the clues lie somewhere in your childhood. It’s in the creases of those activities you enjoyed doing the most. What you chose to spend your allowance on, the things you did first and foremost, the places where you made your friends, whatever made time fly by, that object of interest that you would borrow, swindle, cheat, and lie to do uninterrupted if it weren’t made available to you regularly.

Alas, life happens to us all. We start to pay attention to our parents, teachers, people on TV, or whoever shapes our consciousness at that age and we go down that predetermined path of the safest bet.

But the years roll by, the stamina you had to take all the bullshit, all the stress, all the unfairness and oppression of being a cog in the machine takes a toll on your soul, and your start to fall apart. You start to think you’re no longer fit for slavery for a monthly salary and Netflix binges on the weekends. You start to remember that your spirit is free, that there was a time when you were a sovereign individual who took shit from no one, who couldn’t suffer fools for even an instant, and who had a severe aversion to authority.

You couple all of this with the habit of educating yourself and reading and you wake up one day to find yourself unemployable.

So, sooner or later you will have to find your way back to the starting line again and take another stab at choosing the right path, and hopefully, it’s the path that leads to mastery.

Your soul will never really be at peace unless you give it what it yearns for. A life spent in the pursuit of mastery fulfilling a meaningful purpose that is uniquely yours.

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