October 2017 Finding your true calling is often a challenge. A lowdown on how to distill your life calling from a cocktail of dreams and aspirations ‘Follow your heart and you will succeed’ is a popular success mantra. But what if you don’t know what your calling is? What if your heart does not know which direction to go? I am a 23 year old girl and haven’t yet discovered my life’s purpose, but I’d like to share a few lessons that I’ve learned on my journey to finding my calling. Your dream might not be your calling – I have always dreamed of becoming a soldier. The thought of defending my nation’s pride has captivated me from the age of five. I even joined Taekwondo classes to learn fighting skills. Over time, I realised it was only my high respect for soldiers that was reflected as a dream, and though I am still quite interested in the lives of the warriors, I know it is not what I am meant to be. Your career goal might not be your calling – I have gone through over 30 career goals in 23 years. There was a time when I wanted to be a scientist. Then I thought of pursuing acting. All said and done, I’ve come to understand that none of these are my calling, but my responses to popular culture. Our career goals form a part of our ambition but are not necessarily our calling. Observe the subtleties in your hobbies – Look for the common thread running through all your hobbies. I love watching television and movies, and reading books. The common element binding these interests is my love for stories and characters. I’ve always been drawn to a good story and have tried to imagine what would happen after ‘The End’; storytelling and a vivid imagination integral to my calling. Find out your quirks – I always cry watching the villain die in a movie. I have the ability to see redeemable qualities in a supposedly bad person and potential danger in a utopian situation. I am sure that my unconventional perspective is integral to it. Listen to what people say – Most people will advise you not to care about others’ opinions. I believe that carefully listening to what people say about you can help unravel layers of your calling. My friends say that I give good advice and am able to explain concepts in a simple manner. Though I’ve never seen myself as a teacher or coach, I seem to have the abilities for it. Know your flaws – I am a lazy and moody person. Though I love helping people, serving in a disaster-stricken area cannot be my calling as my mood fluctuations will have an adverse impact on the affected people. You need not have a single calling – There is no rule that you can have only one calling. Michelangelo was an engineer and painter. You can be simultaneously drawn to science and music. It is natural to have multiple callings. Do not judge your calling on the basis of preconceived notions. You need not make drastic changes – There is no need to give up your job or leave your home to follow your calling. You can follow your calling by making small changes in your life. Life is constantly changing, so are you. Often times, these changes go a long way in determining your calling. -Pragya Vishnoi
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