All you have to do . . . Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 23:52
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All you have to do . . .

Look, girlfriend, I’m the very last person who should ever make any sort of grand, sweeping statements about education. I’m simply not qualified to do that. But, of course this is not going to stop me . . .

You see, this is the time of year when one of the biggest life choices stares grade nine pupils in the face – selecting the subjects they will matriculate with. Most teenagers struggle to commit to weekend plans, never mind making decisions that could alter the course of their lives.

How did your school subject choices influence your life? I’m asking because I certainly had no clue how to choose. So, I ended up with subjects which would allow me to go into any professional direction whatsoever. It included taking maths. What good that ever did me, I have yet to figure out.

Also, after all these years I might still be stuck in some sort of post-traumatic disorder from cutting up frog legs in biology. The only lasting impression science left on me were the words: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed.” For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why nobody had taken this concept and run with it. You know, as in buy a marquee tent and start a new religion.

Fact is I didn’t have the wherewithal to insist on sticking to subjects I actually liked. I was mostly groomed for the ivory tower and seeing that nobody had any inkling that I might be anything else than a salaried employee, I had no subjects which could possibly have prepared me for being my own boss.

But, somehow, I did eventually start finding my own way. Author Martha Beck uses the word ‘wayfinder’ in her book ‘Finding your way in a wild new world’. You only discover that you’re a wayfinder when you get disenchanted enough with the life you are supposed to lead. It is only when you feel miserable enough, misplaced enough, lost and lonely enough; it is only then that something deep inside you has the chance to come to the surface.

It’s not really as if Armageddon is going to kick in when you refuse to recognise whatever it is that has clawed its way to the surface. Medical doctor Lissa Rankin says it may be much more subtle than that, something so insidious that it may just feel like life, only it’s not the Technicolor life you hoped you’d live.

She says that your suffering may show up as the malaise that is endemic in our society. You may lose your mojo, and you won’t know why. You may feel tired, listless, low on energy and bankrupt on joy. Your relationships may suffer, your professional life may unravel, or you may feel the creative frustration of a song within you that is yet unsung.

How to start singing your song? Worrying, struggling, striving, pushing and “making it happen” won’t help. It’s the exact opposite. Lissa says that if what you’re trying to accomplish feels like pulling teeth, you’re going about it the wrong way. When you find the right way, it feels like playing and you wouldn’t believe that you’re getting paid to do something you’d gladly do for free.

If you still don’t know what that is, use the mirror concept. We’re all mirrors for each other and who you are could be laid bare to you through that which you see in others. Look for someone you admire. The very things you admire about them you would have been blind to, had they not already existed inside you as well.

Maybe that is the best way of choosing subjects at school – to look at people you admire. What kind of work do they do? Maybe the same kind of work can help you to express your true nature. Keeping in mind, of course, that we cannot have an entire generation made up of rock stars.

When trying to find your calling there are no ready-made steps to take. It is more like meandering through a wilderness with no marked paths. You’re lead by curiosity, instinct, pleasure, synchronicity and signs.
When you do it that way, you’ll realise that finding-your-calling is actually a misnomer.

You never find your calling. Your calling has found you a long time ago. All you have to do is surrender to it.


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