Are you yet to find yours or are you yet to take the plunge? Finding their calling in life can be quite a task for many. But for those who have it figured out, answering the call can turn their life around for the better, reckons Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma.
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Discouragement, fear of failure, criticism are bound to be showered on those who choose a varied and even unacceptable route. But those who have really found their calling, linger on... Regardless of whether they have a support system or not...
Perhaps it is the belief of being true to one’s conscience... Perhaps it is the idea of taking up challenges in a road less travelled... Perhaps it is the new age society accepting differences and radical decisions, as long as it does not harm others...
Found it yet?
The hardest part for several people lies in finding out what their true calling is. Some are trapped in redundant careers and relationships without knowing what to do and how else they can choose a life or career of their choice. Even if they realize what to do, questions crop up continually in their minds like will they be successful or would it be the right decision or not. These thoughts continue to haunt them and force them to refrain from taking any other decision. It is very easy to get swayed by what others have to say. And this is in the least bit helpful for an indecisive person. But for those who have figured it out, life can take a beautiful turn if they choose to go ahead with it.
No ready-made recipe
There are plenty of people who chose the beaten track to play it safe. But there those few who have chosen the unknown path and stuck to their decision – no matter what came along.
Rajesh Rao had an opportunity to carry forward the responsibility of running inherited hotel business, but he chose another path. He says, “My dad was really not happy when he realized managing a restaurant was not my calling and I wanted to do theatre and films. I left the family business and my hometown, despite it being a great source of income. It was a ready-made-recipe for success and I had nothing to add to it.”
“It’s not been easy to say the least, to be a small-time actor. I have been, in fact, a survivor actor,” he laughs. “But I had to take the decision to be true to myself. After 40 years, post my youth, I did not want to regret feeling I never tried being an actor and someone who never went through struggles and had it all too easy!”
Captured by passion
Others may seem aghast if you give up popularity, fame, monetary security, status, or the favoured path to (what they think is) a shaky decision. But if you have truly found your passion, none of it matters anymore.
Says Kalyan Varma, a well known wildlife photographer, “When I gave up a plush job in a huge corporate to become a photographer, everyone around me was shocked. Most thought it was just a temporary craze and it would go away, but it did not. Sure, all of us need to earn money, but always chasing big bucks will not fulfill our deepest needs. With advent of technology and the million self-help books and CDs around, people are realizing that they can still make a decent living by doing what they love.”
All sorts of “leap”
But ‘taking the leap’ doesn’t necessarily have to do with choosing alternative careers. The phrase is very much applicable to thousands of people who have followed their heart and stuck to their decision in other circumstances too–like in love, or owning up your unusual personality, or standing up for what you believe is right.
Very few in the earlier generations dared to choose a different route or take a stance that is not acceptable to the societal norms. Today there are thousands of entrepreneurs because this generation believes in creating something new. Supporting a cause that is termed silly, suicidal in career, or balancing the rope over unknown waters don’t deter these people.
A young man or woman or man living alone in the city and declaring to the world s/he is a homosexual belongs to this category. In recent times we have seen people openly participating in gay marches! Women protesting or believing that it is nobody’s right to violate their bodies is a huge leap! They do not fear any kind of pressure and that is commendable. It’s about finding your passion or what your conscience asks you to believe in, and following it, irrespective of surrounding factors.
Some dos and don’ts
* Don’t confuse others’ opinions with facts. It is wrong to assume the information shared by those around you are better.
* Practice detachment. An opinion is someone else’s perspective. Don’t make it yours. Do not add more worries to it.
* Trust and keep moving forward. Believe in your intuition and have faith in your abilities and choices.
* Speak to a couple of people who have taken up the challenge of ‘doing their own thing’.
* Make use of the million self-help tools available out there in the form of books, CDs, blogs, and websites.
* Accept you are going to face a huge number of hardships and be prepared mentally for it.
Leap of courage
It’s always easier to follow the herd and not choose a route that is lesser known or followed by others. After all, there would be lesser challenges, minimal troubles and ample amount of advice when one seeks the common path treaded by others. So when you set your foot into unknown territories, you are bound to feel somewhat lonely. For not many around you would probably understand the passion you have for it, nor would they be knowledgeable about it. You are on your own. Obviously the lesser known path is no child’s play. But when you grit your teeth and do it, no matter what, the happiness you feel is incomparable to all else...