“There might be false starts and do-overs. You are entitled to experiment before you find your calling.” ~ Jane Pauley, excerpt from Providence College commencement speech, 1995 …
You can recall a few different chapters of your youth in which you felt sure that you knew what you would be doing for the rest of your life.
A lot of us like to figure things out ahead of time–our education, our careers, our relationships, our marriages, our families, our place of residence. But what if we restrict ourselves to the confines of yesterday, many of us will end up feeling unfulfilled or end up burning out early in life because we end up doing something that may bring us money but leaves us feeling empty, or investing ourselves into a relationship with someone because they fit the bill of who we imagined ourselves with, but end up feeling incomplete. This often leads us to feel like we are stuck in a rut that we cannot get out of–especially if we have a family who depends on us.
If we are not honest with ourselves, we may someday find ourselves facing the realization that our first choice of careers were not necessarily our best options. However, they do not have to be our last choice of options either, for in the search for our calling in life it may take us several tries to get it right, and we might have to start over again and again, but we always have the option to decide now to start down another path. And if we allow ourselves to adopt this perspective in life, we will be open to change and happiness will be our guide.
If you ever feel like you have failed to find your true calling in life, do not lose hope. We are all entitled to do-overs in life–we will all need them at some point in the journey. Just do you best to love the work you find and commit to, and be open to all of the opportunities that come your way.
Try doing something that you enjoy in life.
Questions to consider:
Why do we often feel pressure to start our careers earlier?
What kinds of things do you really love, and do you feel that you are really good at? Are you working in that area?
If you could do things over, which field(s) would you go into and why? Are there opportunities for you to work in that field or those fields now?
For further thought:
“What you need to do is think of work as “vocation.” This word may seem stilted in its tone, but it has a wisdom within it. It comes from the Latin word for calling, which comes from the word for voice. In those meanings it touches on what work really should be. It should be something that calls to you as something you want to do, and it should be something that gives voice to who you are and what you want to say to the world. . . . a true vocation calls to you to perform it and it allows your life to speak.” ~ Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son