I’ve been reading a lot lately about finding your passion and discovering your life’s work. Sometimes I feel frustrated, sometimes I feel like I’ve missed out on something important, and sometimes it makes me feel a little inadequate.
My feelings could really be summed up by the title of Barbara Cher’s book “I could do anything, if only I knew what it was”. But I don’t know what it is. I am passionate about stories and learning and geographic analysis and the Australian bush and environmental issues and every day gratitude and reading and climbing and bellydance and I defy anyone to come up with a job description that includes more than three of those things. Even if I could mould my ‘perfect job’ out of a collection of these things, I think I would only enjoy it for nine months or so, before I was off to something else.
The problem is, learned we must choose a path. I’ve chosen science over the arts, IT over Geography, analysis over activism. Each time I decide that I must choose a direction, it’s ended in struggle and disaster. Each time I’ve planned out a future, I’ve missed by miles. And eventually, after the universe hit me over the head with it for years and years, I’ve figured out a better plan.
The better plan is to wait for opportunities to come to me. I need to keep doing the things I love, and I need to keep moving towards the things that make me happy. Then I need to look for opportunities, not with an eye to a master plan, but whether that opportunity, right now, is the right one for me. The future can go sort itself out.
Each time I choose a life goal, I immediately start stressing about the things I’ve left out. I’m much more at home with ‘guiding principles’ and life lists that assume there will be time for everything. And if part of my list no longer suits, I don’t feel obligated to fight to fulfill it.
I think I need a copy of Barbara’s new book ‘Refuse to Choose’. I read that article by Sarah and was immediately relieved. I didn’t have to choose just one thing!
Who knows? Maybe I’m just a loser trying to justify a lack of commitment to anything. But I think it’s deeper than that. So if you’re somebody else who struggles with the whole life-goal, mission-statement, life-purpose thing, lets start looking at our options. Maybe there’s a better plan.