Recently this topic has come across my radar. I’ve been thinking a lot about “your thing” and not the “thing” that refers to a man’s penis (although that would be a funnier post than this), but “your thing” in reference to your life purpose, your greatest passion, that thing you were put on this earth to do.
(Let me just start by saying- fucking fantastic. Let’s add another enormous pressure to the never-ending list for women.)
Sarcasm aside, let’s look at this for a moment. I’ve always thought it was crazy to ask 16 or 17 year-old kids to pick a college major. To actually pick something they want to do as a career. Forever. When I was 17, all I wanted to do was pick the right body suit to wear (remember those, early 90’s?), let alone what I wanted to study for 4 years, then do as a career. I envied my peers that did know and felt bad about myself that I did not. Clearly there was something wrong with me and I was a flake.
Fast-forward 20 years and I am on my 5th career. People tell me, “It’s so awesome that you’ve found your thing”. In all honesty- this makes me feel panicked. Is this my forever thing? My true life calling purpose? The ONE THING I was put on this Earth to do? What if I got it wrong? What if….when I die and I’m standing in front of God he says, “Really? Is that what you thought it was? There must have been a bad connection when I told you.”
What if we don’t have one “thing”? What if it changes every few years? I think what really bothers me is that people go through life panicked that they haven’t found it, or that theirs doesn’t stack up to someone else’s. Just because you’re not a best-selling author or traveling the world helping orphans doesn’t make you any less of a human being. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you matter any less.
What if your life purpose is that you learn about yourself and the world on this journey of life, you do your best to be a good person and be kind to people, and help some people that need help. The end. That doing those 3 things for the entire 99 or so years of life is really what you were meant to do?
And what if you need to change your mind every few years? What if we think something is our “calling”, we go after it and turns out it’s not? Oh shit, right? But, what if it wasn’t a big deal and changing our mind just meant we are changing our mind?
How many times have you bought something from a catalog, tried it on and it wasn’t right? On the return form, usually there are boxes that say wrong color, wrong fit, not as pictured and CHANGED MIND. It’s just not a big deal to them, apparently.
On a sidenote– I also think what becomes a big hang-up for women is “finding your passion”. Like it’s one “Thing” we all have hidden away inside of us and we need to find this passion and live it like it’s our job. And some advice tells us to literally make it our job. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Bull. Shit. I do what I love and it’s still work. Ask most people who’ve turned their hobby into their career and they’ll tell you the same thing.
Passion can be a lot of different things. Advocacy for what you believe in which can run the gamut of SO MANY topics. Creativity, which again, options galore. What do you love? And if you don’t know, what did you used to love?
Bottom line: If you’re stressing the hell out about your life purpose, or feel bad about yourself because you haven’t found your calling- give yourself a break. It doesn’t mean you’re less of an important person. It doesn’t mean if you don’t find it you’re a failure. All it means is that it might not be something specific that you do, but just who you are and what you represent is purposeful enough.
Resources from this podcast:
Episode with former 1:1 Daring Way client
For those of you that think you don’t have any shame
Hey, guess what? You can now access this podcast on Google Play Music Under “Podcasts”. Simple search for “Your kick-ass life” and subscribe.