Tuesday, September 4, 2012

True calling – what could this be?

‘True calling’ – this is a phrase which has been consistently grabbing my attention in recent days. I often come across this phrase in print media, especially in interviews/candid chats, where the concerned guy tells ‘I found this to be my true calling and decided to pursue it for the rest of my life’. This triggered two questions within me – what is this ‘True calling’ and how to find it?

Reading about people who seem to have found their true calling and interacting with some, I could arrive at 3 common observations:
  • That particular activity which they find their true calling is something which they are naturally good at and inclined to. This makes total sense, because logically there is no way we can excel at something which we are intrinsically not good at. 
  • Second point is that pursuing this activity gets the best out of them and helps them realize their true potential. 
  • Lastly, at a more philosophical level, they feel that this is what they are destined to do and pursuing this activity would do justice to their presence in this world.
To some extent, now I understand what people mean by ‘True calling’, but how to answer the next question of finding one’s true calling? I feel that understanding what is true calling is much easier than finding and pursuing it. The post The-short-but-powerful-guide-to-finding-your-passion from Zenhabits could be a good start in this direction.

One question which intrigued me is how many of us really take the journey to find our true callings? Do all of us have the luxury to pursue it? Unfortunately, most of us might not be in a situation to answer either of the questions, for the simple reason that we have been groomed to follow what I call ‘society calling’!! From a young age, the world around us is systematically injecting its idea of a successful life into us. It has been setting goalposts for us to achieve and we have been spending all our time and energy to reach those targets, without giving much thought if this is what we actually want to achieve.

Looking around, it looks like the percentage of the population who have found their true calling or for that matter who are on the path to finding one is almost negligible and these people are hard to find by. One thing for sure is that not everybody on this planet has the required resources to contemplate and understand what their true calling is and then pursue it. But, those of us who are blessed with the required resources should definitely give it a shot. A failure in this journey would be much more meaningful than success otherwise.

I like the quote by Erma Bombeck “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.” May be, if we could find and pursue our true callings, we could speak in a similar tone at the end of our lives.