Most of the history of human civilization has been punctuated by people who have found purpose in their lives. These visionaries have in turn lead the road by illuminating it for others using their words and deeds. Take two people, Socrates from the Greek peninsula and Buddha from India. Socrates questioned man’s knowing of himself, of the sureness of man’s belief in his own knowledge and own existence. His disciples, Plato and Xenophon, and later Aristotle, spread his wisdom and hearkened the beginning of European philosophy.
In India, the prince of the Shakyas of Kapilavastu, questioned life, aging, mortality and death and asked the fundamental question, how must a man live in order to rid himself of earthly torments? He would go on to meditate and receive answers, and become the Buddha, or the wise, enlightened one. His ascetic disciples spearheaded learning and spread word of his philosophy all over Asia and the world.
Both these thinkers have something in common: they both start from a point of uncertainty, like all other leaders and visionaries. They too had a struggle within themselves to find one particular goal in life.
So you too, if you are struggling to find your calling, are the same as they were. You need to introspect, for all answers are present within you, whether you believe it or not. What you need to ask yourself are the following 5 questions:
1. What used to excite you as a child?
As a child, people are often most likely to find their true calling. This might just be something they enjoy doing, like fish keeping or something normally considered extra-curricular. This hobby/passion deserves nurturing, this is because it is the thing that will grow in leaps and bounds as time goes by. After all, as someone wise on the internet once said “The creative adult is the child who survived”. This is the case with the most of us. We end up smothering our inner child mercilessly. On the other hand, what we should be doing is helping that child realize its fullest potential doing what it loves to do.
2. What would you rather be doing?
Office jobs and sitting all day in front of a computer screen might just not be your game, despite the absolute plushness of the office. You might have a different calling altogether. You might not have even started living life properly when you were plucked out of an educational institution and put into someplace for working.
Ask yourself this all important question. Ask yourselves what you actually enjoy doing. You might be the honest movie reviewer the world needs, while you burn the midnight oil, the manager of a mill.
3. What is something, which when you indulge in, makes you forget time?
This is especially pertinent for one particular class of people: people who indulged in artistic or musical activity at one point of time, but ended up chucking that in the dumpster because, firstly, art is personal and second, art is rarely understood by everyone and hence always underappreciated and third, art often doesn’t manage to pay all the bills.
This makes people opt for the dreary, bleak but safe option, instead of doing what they actually feel alive doing. What makes you stop looking at your wristwatch or count the hours till lunchtime? Ask yourself this very important question and this might help you free your mind better. The most important thing is to never let that passion die, despite your work-a-day routine.
4. What are the things you hold close to your heart?
This is also a very important question. Ask yourself what ideals you really stand for and if you are sacrificing any of them in the job you are currently in. No human being deserves to be stuck at a job where every day, even in order to function, he/she has to fight against his own ideals and principles. Once you are in a job that doesn’t make you choose between money and what you believe in, you will find that life is easier than ever and far more enjoyable.
5. What is on your to-do list?
Especially if you are already in your 30’s. If you haven’t fulfilled your to-do list by the age of 35, you really haven’t enjoyed the prime of your life.