How to decide what you REALLY want to do in life 🧭
These 3 questions help reveal your true calling
This week’s ideas are taken from Susan Cain’s New York Times Best Seller book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts that Can’t Stop Talking.
We have two kinds of goals: the goal that we pursue because we can, and the goal that we secretly long for but haven’t acted upon.
It could be difficult to decide what your true calling is in the first place, especially if you’ve been burying it to focus on other things you’re currently pursuing.
If you have a dilemma about what you truly want to do in life, ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. How did you answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” as a child?
Should you take childhood dreams seriously? Consider this: A child is always telling the truth. All too often we throw away dreams for fear of inadequacy. However, children—probably due to their innocence still—have the capability to aim high while ignoring the how’s and what if’s.
Although the specific answer may have changed by now, the impulse behind it reveals your underlying desire. If you wanted to be a doctor, what did being a doctor mean to you? Someone important that helps a lot of people gain their life back?
If you wanted to be a singer, was it because you enjoyed being onstage, or was it your way of expressing your feelings that otherwise wouldn’t come out?
2. What work do you tend to gravitate to?
Do you have a particular role you like to stick to? It can be in a workplace, organization, volunteering, or anything else. What activities do you like to do in your free time? What kind of purpose perks your interest?
Even if you’re not entirely enjoying the work you’re doing, think of the reason you took it up in the first place. Is it because the role fits your cause? Was it to build your portfolio?
If it’s solely for your portfolio, what is the purpose of your portfolio in the first place? Is it to create a path towards a certain dream company? Where do you have your eyes set on?
3. What are you envious of?
“Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.”
This can be tricky to parse out, since we feel hundreds of desires a day with varying intensity. Try to pay attention to the feelings. If it’s just a fleeting moment of irk, such as seeing a coworker getting a promotion, maybe it’s not what you’re truly envious of.
However, if it’s long-lasting and has been building for a while, that might be it. For example, when you feel envy seeing your friend pursuing a career you’re passionate in, or longing for your role model whose work you adore and want to follow.
How you act upon your true calling depends. It could manifest as finally pursuing a career you’ve been secretly dreaming of, devoting time to activities that fuel your desire, and so on.
We hope these tips help you find out what you really want to do. Thanks for reading, and see you next week! 👋