“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”– ALBERT EINSTEIN
Following on from my post, The Only Thing The World Needs From You, I realised the advice I gave, although brilliant (ha), could be summarised by saying one should chase their dreams while simultaneously telling society to go fuck itself…
I stand by my words of course, but I realised it probably doesn’t help those who have absolutely no idea what they actually what to do.
For that reason, I decided to put this more practical post together in order to help any lost souls find their true calling in life (whatever the fuck that means).
Anyway, buckle up boys and girls, because I’m about to blow your minds wide open…
1. Don’t Do What You Don’t Love
So many talk about chasing their dreams or following their heart or some other trite bullshit, as if everyone’s already figured out what that is. Yet for so many of us we have no idea what we really want. Often not knowing makes us feel like we’ve got something badly wrong. The truth is it’s completely understandable given the sheer amount of noise out there.
The question remains though, how are we suppose to understand what we want? How can we listen through the noise long enough to make sense of our place in all of it? If you really have no idea what you want then I suggest starting with the opposite.
If you don’t know what you want to do, become clear about what you don’t want to and stop doing it.
Use the process of elimination to take you closer.
The same way if you want to get fit and healthy, but hate running, don’t spend an hour on the fucking treadmill everyday – do something else instead! Dance or box or climb some rocks if that floats your boat. Do what ever it is you think you might like.
Ultimately you don’t have to like those things either, but I guarantee if you keep searching, if you keep cutting out the shit you don’t want to, you’ll eventually find the thing that you do.
There are always ways to make things you don’t want to do, like exercise, into things you actually do like dancing or boxing or surfing. Your job is no different.
Don’t settle for the treadmill. Don’t settle for the dead end job you hate. Find the shit that gets you excited by saying no to the shit that doesn’t.
2. Stop Thinking About The Future
Sit down and meditate for hours if need be. Seek out professional help if you have to.
Whatever it is you need to do to stop the monkey mind from regurgitating the sheer amount of bullshit that society has fed it and find clarity.
I belief if you can do that, then what you need to do in the moment will become obvious. You won’t need to think about what you want in life. You’ll just know.
For me, at this moment in time, my calling is to write something that might be considered vaguely inspirational by some of you lovely readers. In about half an hour my calling will probably be to go make the world’s best sandwich. One day it was flying aeroplanes and travelling the world. The next day it was overcoming depression and anxiety. After that it has been trying to help others as I have, by channeling a mind that doesn’t know how to shut-the-fuck-up with a love of writing. On another day it was falling in love. After that it was starting a family.
I could go on.
These are all things that have called to me. That made me feel alive. But those were only ever things I knew were right for me in the moment. If you can remain present I believe your calling will become clear.
3. Don’t Think You Only Have One Calling In Life
Don’t think there has to be just one calling. In the moment there is only ever one calling but not throughout life.
Don’t think you need to peg your life to one career path.
It’s society that told you you had to have one long distinguished career. Who told you to had to get married to ‘the one.’ But there is no such thing as ‘the one’ or ‘the perfect job.’ There are millions of different types of people – as there are jobs – with some more compatible than others depending on the individual and where they are in life.
The relationships that work best are the ones where both understand the need to work at it. Not the ones who think because they’ve married “the one” everything will work out “happily ever after.”
Society definitely fucked up our thinking up there.
Of course it certainly makes things simpler if you can have just one person and one career. And maybe for you that’s the case. Great – I’m not saying it can’t be – I just think it’s helpful to think in terms of not having to have one career path or life partner.
After all the pandemic could leave you unemployed and then, after being forced to spend too much time with your partner who realises doesn’t love you anymore, divorced…
Shit happens. When it does you have to embrace that shit with the fullness of your heart, or some other trite bullshit line. You get the point.
4. Imagine The Worst Case Scenario Then Do It Anyway.
This brings me to my next bit of advice I stole from someone much smarter than me.
Imagine the worst case scenario of whatever you’re considering. Accept it as though it’s already happened and then go ahead and do it anyway.
Are you fucking crazy?! Probably but hear me out.
By worst case scenario I mean in a realistic sense – not if I go surfing a shark might attack me as a tsunami strikes while I get simultaneously hit by lightening from a freak storm that forms over head. No. I mean more like you could drown…
I joke of course.
What I mean is that maybe the water will be freezing cold and I end up shallowing sea water while everyone laughs at me because I can’t stand up on the board – ie you have a shitty time.
Did anyone die? Will anyone die if you leave that shitty job you hate?
The point of doing this is to understand that what we’re afraid of isn’t really that scary. Further that what we’re most afraid of isn’t very likely.
The chances are you might have loads of fun if you go surfing.
A great exercise to do if you’re considering a major life change is something called Fear Setting. Here’s what you do,
1. Write out the major life change you’re considering. For example you might write, What if I… quit (or lost) my dead end office job?
2. Next define the worst case scenario in detail. Ask yourself if it would be the end of your life (probably not)? Ask yourself how permanent it would be? It’s not like you won’t able to find another shitty job you hate right?
3. Next ask yourself what the benefits of a more probable scenario are? What are the definite positive outcomes (including for your self-esteem, mental and physical health etc)
4. Next ask yourself what the cost will be if you do nothing? What will it cost you financially, emotionally & physically if you postpone that difficult choice? This is such a great question because if you zoom out ten years and you know you’ll still be miserable then you’ll see that the cost of inaction is often far greater.
5. Finally ask yourself what you’re so afraid of? It’s the fear of the unknown that prevents us from doing what we need to so to quote the big man Tim Ferris, “we end up choosing unhappiness over uncertainty.”
5. Trust Your Intuition
I honestly don’t know what my calling will be tomorrow and I don’t want to know either. Life’s more beautiful when you allow yourself the freedom to change paths. When you’re not worrying about what career path to take tomorrow or what you said yesterday. When you’re fully invested in making the world’s best fucking sandwich.
I find it’s a much more exciting to live this way. Give me excitement over security any day of the week. We all die at the end of it guys and gals. You gotta do the things that make you feel alive. Got to!
The truth is I might well lose my job as a pilot because of this pandemic. Honestly I won’t chase it as a career if it comes to an end. I’m simply going to let it go. Not because there aren’t any other pilot jobs out there (there aren’t), but because I’ve found other passions. Other things I want to pursue. Other ladders I want to climb. I’ve had a great run but I’ve known for some time that a big change is due for me.
I’m not going to do anything rash but when the time comes I’m trusting my gut. I’m following my heart – whatever it is you want to call it – I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. That instinctual part that goes beyond the rational mind. The one that tells you to say ‘fuck it’ and go after what you want regardless of what anyone else thinks. Regardless of what your own rational mind has to say even. Because you know that it’s right in your heart.
Because you know it’s what will make you come alive.
I’m done chasing someone else’s idea of success. It’s too hard. I like my own version better. I’ve found that the older I get, the more able and willing I am to simply say fuck that, to anything and everything I don’t want to do. I don’t shirk my responsibilities of course – I learnt the hard way that taking full responsibility for my life is something I definitely want – but I understand more clearly than I ever have about what it is I want. It’s been, and continues to be, an in-the-moment process.
For that reason I want to finish by saying please don’t be disheartened if you don’t know what you what to do with your life. Stay present and keep mixing it up. Don’t settle and remember that the worst case scenario is rarely as bad in reality – more often than not it works out for the best. Above all else trust your intuition. It exists for a reason.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m being called to make the world’s best sandwich…
Love to all X
As always ladies and gentleman I welcome ALL comments and opinions on this blog. I’m curious as to what you think about my advice and whether you have any additional gems you’d like to add? Thanks for reading!