It’s the origin of everything. The place from whence you can trace back all the following steps that culminate in the life that you have created for yourself.
If you’re searching for your life’s task, this is where you should begin your search.
I can remember clearly the very first time I read a book. Actually, I asked my mom to read it for me because I couldn’t read well still. It was a youth action series novel about a secret crime fighting organization with an ensemble of heroes. I loved it.
It’s probably the main reason that I took to learning how to read with enthusiasm, because I wanted to be able to read the rest of the book series on my own. We had a few at our place, and I remember mom telling me they were her sister’s.
I did not understand all the words I was reading and I often asked for help to understand new words, but soon I started to deduce the meaning from context, a skill that served me well throughout my education.
I became obsessed with reading. I read all the books we had at home, then it was time to get new ones. I started to buy a new novel almost weekly. Soon I was a die hard fan of four novel series. The new issues used to come out monthly, if my memory serves me well, and I used to go buy two or three at a time from the newsstand across the square across the street from our building.
I had to budget myself because my allowance wasn’t enough to satisfy my passion for reading. I used to beg for money to buy a new novel, ask grandma when my dad said no, and even borrowed from my siblings. I found out there was another newsstand, far from home, that sometimes had the new issues I couldn’t find at the one near my house, and I used to walk there for a long time to get my novels. I remember having the best time of my life carrying those freshly printed novel back home, almost skipping all the way back with my loot.
As time passed, I started to read more than just the small novels and comic books found me, as well as international classics, and magazines. At school, teachers started to notice that I liked to read all the storybooks we were supposed to study for class voluntarily and that I excelled in writing essays for class and exams. By the time I was in college, I was picking up Scientific American, PC Magazine, Newsweek, and Time as my pastime reading in college in between classes.
If I’m to figure out my life’s task, the thing that is uniquely meaningful to me, it must have something to do with reading and writing. It’s possible that I’ve been grooming myself to be an author from such an early start. I can’t remember why I gave it up really.
I vividly remember keeping a journal and writing short stories, poetry, and my own thoughts. But somehow, I got convinced to give it all up, that my writing was mediocre at best, and that it was a complete waste of my time. Was it just my own insecurity? Was it because someone criticized me and shamed me for it? I honestly do not recall.
But when I listen to Robert Greene’s advice in his famous book “Mastery” about finding one’s own life task, one’s calling, one’s own life mission, he points us towards combing our childhoods’ obsessions.
This was my biggest obsession, followed closely by riding my BMX bicycle at high speed tearing up tge asphalt of my neighborhood in the early morning hours. So there, it’s either being an author or a dirt bike racer!
Go find yours.
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