How–Not What–You Want to Be

Late at night or early in the morning–around 3 or 4am–is when I can think most clearly. I’m sensitive to how people feel and think, and so I suppose I feel calmer at this hour because most people are giving their thoughts a rest and I can really focus on my own.

Right now, it’s clear to me that I’ve been approaching career-planning from the wrong angle. Right now, I know that it does not matter to me what my professional title is; what matters to me is how much love I add to this world.

A few years ago, I read an article by Steve Pavlina about finding your calling. The goal was to get the reader to cry about something they were passionate about, and what I ended up crying about was the fact that some people don’t feel loved. Around that time, my grandmother was in a nursing home being cared for by strangers, and when I visited, everything about that place broke my heart. Steve said that whatever you cry about is what you are meant to change. Or something like that.

That article, in some way, changed my life. I had no idea what to do with this new information, but I knew that it was powerful. Since then, I’ve been mixing career and business ideas in an effort to find the recipe for My Perfect Life. I’m less confused and I’m certainly stronger and more confident, but the road is meandering, my destination has remained foggy, and I often get the feeling that there must exist a more direct, more passionate path.

This morning, in this silence, I understand that no traditional career has appealed to me because a traditional career is not the point. What matters to me is knowing that I am trying my best to do whatever it takes to radiate love. That means a lot of personal development, which is something I’m passionate about anyway, and it also means indulging in my hobbies, which is something that I often prevent myself from doing, not seeing what purpose they serve. I’ve always known, deep down, that there are two things that make me happiest: serving others and creating beautiful art. I think that these acts are meant to support each other in my life.

Right now, I see how, not what, I’m meant to be. I don’t see myself holding a stethoscope or rocking a guitar on stage, though I consider both health and music to be important. I see myself being loving, fearless, and making people smile because I’ve helped them remember that they are worthy of love.

Even though I’ve made a lot of progress over the years, I still have a lot of work to do. Being fearless and loving aren’t exactly talents of mine–in fact, they may even be weaknesses; but I think my pure intentions and ambition make up for what I lack.

I know that if I remember these truths daily, financial problems will not get me down too much; however, it does scare me that I don’t have a business plan. I’ve done a lot of research on careers, and none of them seem to fit with both my passions and my purpose. Perhaps I’m meant to be an entrepreneur, but I don’t know yet what my service would be. I suppose that these things reveal themselves once you start walking the path.

I also can’t deny that it scares me that while the norm is to go to an educational institution for life training, I’ve decided to let life itself shape me as it will. But, really, even though it’s terrifying that my best option so far is getting my Smart Serve in order to bartend, it excites me that I see plenty of happiness and peace in my future. I just have to remember, in the morning, that peace does exist beneath the city’s noise and to not pick up the poisonous burdens and made-up responsibilities that I usually allow myself to carry.

Questions to ask myself:

1. What do I have to do to express my love and to help others feel loved? (This relates to my purpose)
2. What would I do if I was not afraid? (This relates to my passions)

(It’s clear that my purpose is also a passion, but for the sake of clarity, by “passion” I mean hobbies–daily stuff that realigns me with what feels true.)

The answers to both of these questions scare the crap out of me, and are my necessary next steps.



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5 responses to “How–Not What–You Want to Be

  1. This is such a wonderful post! I really love this way of seeing ourselves, by HOW and not WHAT we want to be. I think that’s the best way forward – once you know the how, the what will form itself on its own.

  2. Woah, kind of scary when you read something so close to your own heart you feel like someone is sharing your thoughts. I have been experiencing the EXACT same thing for the past year, trying to figure out the balance between my passion, purpose, and making a living while doing what I love. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a wonderful post. I’ve had a lot of the same thoughts lately, and I really like the two questions you asked at the end. I need to really think about those as well.

  4. I am in the same boat…it can be scary sometimes, and lonely as most of my peers are already well into their careers. It is really nice to see these words from someone else out there who is going through the same process!

  5. LiesHurtMySanity

    Reblogged this on Lies Hurt my Sanity and commented:
    I’m reblogging this so I can reread it whenever I feel Meh about the world.

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