Friday, 21 June 2013

Finding what you love is a lot like moving

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Last week, we talked about time management and how planning too much can be your downfall.  Maybe you read this and thought, "This is all well, but I'm not even sure what I'm doing actually is what I want to do." Maybe you felt slightly jealous of those people who are able to get so caught up in something they end up losing tack of everything else.  You shouldn't because finding what you love is a lot like moving.  Allow me to clarify.
Some people are very lucky in the sense that they seem to be born with a passion.  We all know this one guy who dreamed of joining the army since grade 4 and grew up to do just that.  For those people, there is no doubt possible.  This passion of theirs is like the perfect house. If you found the house of your dreams and had the certainty that you were never going to leave it, you would naturally unpack all your things.  You wouldn't mind investing time and money in the house because you'd know without a doubt that you were adding value to the place while making it your own.  People who know they've found their calling act the same way.  They apply all the knowledge they have (they "unpack") to thrive doing what they love.  They invest time and money in their craft (regardless of its nature) because they know they are becoming better at what they do and will have added value in their field.

This doesn't mean the "homeowner" have it easy and never feel doubt, but the path is clearer for them.  For most of us, however, the real estate hunt for passion takes longer.

Imagine you were looking for a place but didn't have a clear idea of what you needed or wanted.  It would take you much more time finding a place you deemed decent; you might choose something following a friend's or relative's suggestion.  You might decide on something convenient although it doesn't really seem right for you.  Once settled, you probably wouldn't unpack everything, feeling that you might move again, yet, you would probably invest just enough to make the place comfortable.  You'd then find yourself stuck in the following conundrum: I'm not very fond of this place, but I've spent money and time on it, so I feel bad leaving.  The thought of looking for a new place probably would also be very daunting.  Now transpose this idea to your hobby, passion or craft.  Many people who are unsure of what they want to do end up trying things that don't really make them happy, but because they've made a time investment, they don't want to stop.  It takes time, but usually they do end up quitting, just like an unsatisfied tenant will eventually pack up his things and try to look for another place, in hopes it will be the one.

Now there's another type of passion seeking tenant, and that's the one who thinks he knows what he wants.  This is the type of person who falls in love with flats without even looking around much.  They move in, unpack everything (even the paper mache sculpture from grade 3) and start decorating right away.  They have great plans and invest a lot of time and money in the place.  Unfortunately, after a few months, they realize that the place isn't exactly what they thought it was.  They rapidly stop investing and start looking for a new flat.  They move often.  Those people are those who, upon finding a new hobby, activity, passion or craft, just hit the ground running.  They buy every possible tool even remotely necessary for the craft and invest huge amounts of money and time.  They do so because they feel that this time, they've found the thing that makes them feel alive.  Unfortunately, they are discouraged at the first difficulty and soon abandon.
Moving wisely
Of course, the above are extreme examples, and many people combine characteristics from the two 
tenants.  I also failed to mention the people who don't care to find what they want or don't even care to know what it is in the first place.  However, what unites those who try is the embarrassment or shame felt when having to admit abandoning whatever it is they had invested time in because it just didn't turn out to be what they thought it would.  This mindset is dangerous because it can lead people to stop searching.

We all want to be like the "homeowners" and find that one thing that makes us vibrate with life, but the truth is most of us will be tenants for a while before we can get where we want to be.  And there is no shame in that at all.  Better do something and fail (I wouldn't even call it failing, most of the time) than letting life pass you by on easy mode.  It takes courage to recognize we were wrong and strength to try something new but in the long run, we acquire knowledge and experience we will be able to put to good use once we've found our true calling.  

Knowledge is like the things you have in your living space.  The more things you own, the longest it takes to pack when you have to move.  As a result, when you move you go through your possession and get rid of what you don't really need, only keeping the essential.  The more you move, the more you declutter and the more you do, the more what you own is useful and valuable.  Homeowners, however, don't need to do that, so they accumulate a lot of useless things (thing of your parents' house).  I'm not saying that people who know exactly what they want have tons of useless knowledge, but they definitely don't have to do a regular inventory of what clutters their head. Also, trying different things makes you more flexible, a better adaptability to chance. You see, it's not so bad being a tenant.

Remember that there is no shame in trying new things as there is no shame in looking for a new flat.  Avoid the extremes and keep decluttering.  Eventually, you'll find the perfect "house," and you'll be glad your mind's cartons are only filled with the things you really need.


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