How to Find Your Calling to Achieve Your Goals – Two Real Life Examples
A small number of people know very early in life about their life’s calling. They have a razor-sharp focus and they achieve greatness. One might wonder whether the ones that have to keep looking are unlucky?
Mozart and Churchill: Early Bloomers
You would be surprised to know that prodigies usually are not born talents. Robert Greene has discussed this phenomenon in detail in his book, “Mastery”.
Mozart is always thought of as someone who was a born musician. But he had a musician father who was great at teaching and Mozart’s training started early, he received hours and hours of training. The only thing unique about Mozart was that he could practice for longer times and he did have an interest (calling) in music.
His sister was also trained but she did not make it big. May be it was not her calling.
In some other cases, the person knew what they wanted to do in their teen years or early twenties.
Andrew Roberts, in his book, “Churchill: Walking with Destiny” describes how Winston Churchill wanted to be renowned as a soldier first before he could start his career as a statesman. In a bid to get noticed, he would get leave from his regiment and go to places where “exciting” battles were happening. He wanted to win medals, he did win a few.
He also knew that for him to be a respected statesman, he would need to be well-read, something which Harrow School was not able to help him with. So, in 1896 he pursued a two-year self-education program which easily made him stand his ground with the Oxford or Cambridge graduates.
Greene’s Journey to Find His Calling
The kind of clear vision or forethought that Churchill had is not common within human beings. This is why people go for safe professions and get 9 to 5 jobs. This helps them secure a good life but soon enough there is a longing to do something which resonates with one’s self.
In Mastery, Greene describes how he met people who would tell him about their job responsibilities were not in line with their expectations, their boss did not support them or how their career had taken a wrong turn. Greene said that when he tried to get to the root of the issue, he noticed that the people wanted a bigger change in their lives.
He then described his own journey to the people. How he always wanted to be a writer but did not know if he wanted to write novels, essays, or non-fiction books. He anyway took a job as a journalist to keep doing what he liked. In this journey, he was told by editors that he had no future in writing.
He then realized that he was doing journalism to make a living and his heart was not in it. That reason was making him create mediocre work. He then left that job and went on what he calls a “period of wandering”.
He traveled around Europe and worked on around fifty jobs, from a construction worker to an assistant director for a movie.
He kept writing plays, novels, and essays that were never published. He did not feel lost though he was 37 years old at that time. He was writing and he wanted to keep having different experiences.
In Spain, he met a book publisher who asked Greene if he had an idea for a book. Greene’s response was not rehearsed but it came out of him naturally.
He had been reading about history and he noticed how people manipulate and use power in different ways. He wanted to write about it. The publisher told him that he would pay Greene’s living expenses while he writes half the book and would help him publish it.
Greene noticed that in writing that book, all the things he had pursued in the past clicked together. He could draw from his experience of journalism, novel writing, film work, and history reading. Through following his intuition, he had given himself a perfect education to write his hugely successful book, “The 48 Laws of Power”.
Green says that instead of looking at the outward things like what other people are saying or doing, the key is to look inwards and notice what you want in life. You are unique with your DNA and your experiences. You felt some “primal inclinations” in your early years. These inclinations are forgotten with time when the world wants you to do something else.
He says that everyone’s life’s purpose is to go back to what made them unique during the early years and find those inclinations.
My Journey to Find My Calling
I will relate my story to what Robert Greene has mentioned here. It might sound like self-praise but I am trying to narrate how I found my calling.
Discontent and Search
I have been working in a 9 to 5 job for more than eleven years now. During this time, I have always enjoyed reading books. It has almost been an escape for me. At the same time, I have felt a bit discontented and I have always wanted to do a bit more, thinking that I have more potential.
In my search to find my calling, I have signed up for web design, logo design, creative writing, programming, and language learning courses. I have thought of selling posters and t-shirts. I have even thought of making perfumes, that was a short-lived dream though. I did not stick to any of these things though.
Through the years I have always loved great writers and also written down my favorite quotations from any book that I read. I was still lost on what I wanted to pursue as a creative endeavor though.
In 2016, I signed up for a Master’s degree where they taught us how to write research papers. I did not think much of it but it laid a very important foundation for me. I realized that I could write about almost anything with this technique if I was interested in the topic.
After the degree, I wrote a status on Facebook about my sister’s baking business. A friend of mine called me up, he is a professional freelance writer, he encouraged me to keep writing and think seriously about it. Some months later, in another class, a teacher pointed out the same thing to me.
These incidents started happening frequently.
Thinking About My Childhood (Primal Infliction)
I dug out some memories from my childhood that I had buried deep inside me. I remember that in grade 3, I had stapled 4 sheets together and titled a book that I planned to write.
In a long drive to another city with my parents, I had written about a monthly magazine and how I would publish it. It would have stories and jokes. I had also posted a story to a children’s magazine for them to publish it, of course, it was not published.
I also started reading really early too and kept reading without someone’s coercion. I remembered that a teacher held a contest about who could read without pausing the longest, then she had to tell me to read faster because I kept going. Then she asked me to sit even when I had not made a mistake.
Taking Action on My Calling
After thinking about those memories, I thought I need to write as a creative outlet. I did not want to earn from it. If money comes in as a result of it, I do not mind. This is when I started looking for different ways to continue my writing.
I always thought that I was better at long-form writing and the personal journal kind of websites were always short and quirky. Then I found some channels on YouTube that mentioned long form being the preferred style these days so I started sensational.
What I have noticed during this short journey is that I do not mind using my energy to write on this website and through the writing requires extensive research, I enjoy that part too. This is why I think that I can continue working on the website all my life.
It is important to see how the choices I made my life helped me find my calling. All the reading helped me become a better writer. In pursuing different courses, I understood that I could make a blog and I knew how to create one from scratch.
In doing my master’s degree, I learned how to do research and how anything of interest can be researched and written about. In the end, what I wrote on Facebook was also an extension of what I had learned.
This is why I feel that writing on this website is a big part of my goal achievement. I have found my life’s calling and I can keep improving my skills to make it better. This is why I would encourage you to use Greene’s way to think about your childhood and find your calling. It might not be writing, maybe you are a painter or a chef but it is always worth going on that journey.
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