Photo by Olya Kuzovkina on Unsplash

The other day, I watched a TV interview of an actress who claimed she knew she would become an actor growing up. It seems she knew the answers to all the bizarre questions that can help her find a true calling in life.

Wow, I thought, because I suffer indecision deciding what to eat, and she had it all figured out. 

The thing is- every decision she made thereon had a specific reason and purpose. Where to study, what to do, and where to live and connect? The entire thing planned to last mile.

She reached where she intended to and doing good. 

Contrary to her meticulous planning and detailed plot, I remember walking to my folks and telling them about my aspirations on several occasions. The problem here is- several occasions. 

See, declaring several times means you have not figured it out yet. Who am I to lie? Have you figured out things in life? 

Maybe you have. I am still searching for the answer.

Most of us are clueless about what we want to do with our lives. We follow a set pattern that is enforced upon us by society. We attend school, college and then get a job. Even the money is of no help when it comes to figuring out life.

The probability of you and me being clueless are pretty high. It is a conflict we all go through.

The true calling and the shit we go through

Ask someone about their true calling or life purpose, and chances are they give you a blank look or a poker face at best. We are accustomed to simplicity, though we live complicated lives. We understand simple things as it gives us comfort and will to take a step further. 

So, when terms as true calling and purpose enter into the equation, the whole idea of life changes. We tend to view them through our limited perspectives and get all hazed up in an attempt to decipher the real meaning. 

Let us get clarity on this.

As much as I love the true calling and purpose jargons to define life, the fact is- simplicity works.

So, a true calling or purpose implies- how you would like to spend the time given to you? or what good can you do with the time you have?

It takes off the pressure of living up to some imagined expectations or a perfect answer you are trying to discover. Ask yourself better questions and get better and realistic answers in return.

We should ask specific questions, and at times imagine hypothetical situations. Problems that can shake your core or challenge the status quo are the ones defining your true motives by providing clarity of thoughts.

I put myself in imaginary situations asking questions for gauging what matters most and adds meaning to my life. So, rather than asking conventional questions, I imagine circumstances and things contributing to meaningful debate within the conscience. 

Here are a few bizarre questions that help me find a true calling.

What makes you hold your poop?

Yes, why not? We all experience situations when we get so engrossed in our thing that everything else takes a backseat, even your poop. It is like you forgot to relieve yourself since you got shit busy with what you were doing.

The shit busy work defines you. It tells you what you crave and aspire.

A short story on this:

I remember failing my physics exam in pre-boards, and then we had this tradition in Indian schools to invite parents for a discussion over the exam performance. This ritual consisted of displaying your exam answer sheets and letting them know how pathetic the child did.

I was a good student but failed miserably and hence was taken to the cleaners by my teacher. Here I was, standing alongside dad with my answer sheet in hand, gaping at all red marks. Finally, the teacher declared that I am no good at studying and perhaps wasting the school money spent by my folks. 

Those were the most embarrassing 20 minutes of my life till then (I had many more after that). 

With tears all over my face, I came back and decided this needs to be changed. I was embarrassed, shocked, hurt, and all this before my dad.

So, I slogged hard day and night to prove I am good enough and that the bashing I took was uncalled for, and I would go studying throughout the night (and yes, held my poop since I could not remember) to get back that lost respect. 

Eventually, I did exceptionally well and was amongst the top scorers. 

The thing is- it was not the physics paper I studied for, but the respect and pride. It was about proving myself and competing. I was obsessed with the result, and I took pride in competing.

We all go through phases like these, but somehow we lose our way under external influences or social standards.

Find your obsession and bring it to your rescue. Something that keeps you awake the whole night or makes you hold your poop. 

What this question gives you to think?

  1. What are you obsessed with the most?
  2. What can you find other than the mundane life that excites you?

What if you lost everything when you woke up?

Yes, ask yourself, what if you lose everything once you wake up?

What would be your strategy or plan B or whatever you call your contingency plan?

What help is your true calling if it were not to rescue you now? 

I am not suggesting it will happen to you. God forbid, it should not, and your path stays clear and life smooth, but what if there is a situation like this?

What would be your immediate step? What would you fall back on?

How would you rebuild your life from this setback? 

Try answering yourself and note the responses you come up with, and you will be surprised as to how ill-prepared we all are. 

But, hold on, amongst your thoughts and possible actions you decide, there will be something that is your go-to plan or how would you proceed with life, given you have nothing to lose any more. 

There, that is your true calling if you might or purpose or something you would cherish doing. 

What this question gives you to think?

  1. What is your contingency plan for life?
  2. What is your passion or true calling?

Imagine going to bed daily. Do you peacefully sleep or wait for it?

What keeps you awake at night? 

It’s a two-way question. It’s all good if you are following your dreams and slogging away your day’s and nights to buy that house, start that business, or working at your side hustle. 

But is it your dreams that keep you awake, or the pathetic life you so loathe that keeps you off from sleep? The majority today are sleep deprived and wait for it to take over and then wake all grumpy. People go to bed all tired and exhausted, yet sleep eludes them. They wait for it, hoping the night would end and the sunrise would bring a new lease of life. 

How? I say how?

We need to ask ourselves and get this monster out in the open. It tells us how crippled our lives have become, and our acceptance is the most unfortunate thing to have happened. 

We end up in our beds with all the crap, failures, and cursing us for how unfulfilling life is, yet we decide no action. We let it all slide like dust behind that door only to be hidden and haunt us day and day out.

What this question gives you to think?

  1. What is it that you’ve been putting under the carpet for a long time?
  2. Why do you need to take control of your life?

Is there something that annoys you, and what can you do about it?

Look around, and there is shit all around. We are all part of this one shit hole that we happily embrace. Just switch on your television sets, and you find events leaving you in disbelief. Okay, you can not change everything. Agreed, but what can you change? 

What annoys you the most about society? What riles you up?

To live a fulfilling life, we must cling to values significant than our pleasures. Not suggesting you become an activist and take on the world and corrupt forces (you can do that too). The simple thing would be to find what annoys you and try solving it.

There is corruption, health care, education, and racism, to name a few. While these are generic and tedious problems, you can certainly choose one close to your heart or something you hate the most. 

I see articles on child education and health, and it just puts me off, wondering what to do? 

I see people sleeping on streets, empty stomachs with extreme temperatures to deal with, and it annoys me. There is certainly a lot to be done. Small steps go a long way in changing society. 

You can not fix the world problems on your own, but you can certainly make some difference by contributing. 

The feeling of making a difference is a critical part of your happiness. Your small contribution and support to a cause is your true calling.

What this question gives you to think?

  1. How can you bring about some difference?
  2. What problems do you care for and change?

Can you embarrass yourself today? 

You did not stop walking when you tried and fell for the first time. You see, that was an embarrassment, but you did not care. You wanted to ride a bike and took a fall while people laughed at you. Did you stop doing it? No, because you embraced embarrassment.

Before you come up with something good and do something important, you must first suck at things while being clueless about what you are doing. You must embarrass yourself repeatedly in some way or the other, and keep at it. Most people detest embarrassment and avoid embarrassing situations (been there), mainly because it gives them discomfort.

Yes, I know we all are outstanding and bask in the glory of our awesomeness. To keep this grandeur intact, we refrain from doing things that we even sniff, and sense will embarrass us. We end up doing what is considered right and not what we feel important?

Let’s agree that our lives are mostly dependent on reasons based on what others would think. We resist things essential for our growth to appease the society, and it’s set precedence.

I remember opting for science as a subject to conform to expectations set and please everyone around. It made me wrestle deep inside with my conscience and the fear of being judged won. It took over me and made me do something uncanny. 

You achieve greatness by going against the flow. Great things by virtue are unconventional. Therefore, it takes internal rebellion to have a go at them. In principle, it is scary and keeps us down. We fear going against the tide and get stuck. We fear being embarrassed as we crave conformity.

We adapt to being foolish throughout our lives but won’t risk looking a fool for some moments to leap freedom and greatness.

What this question gives you to think?

  1. What should you focus on and get started with immediately?
  2. What you resisted all this while just because you thought what others might think?

Wrapping up

Maybe it all seems bizarre and strange, but we need a reality check to come to senses and gain perspective. What might seem like a routine exercise is a powerhouse if done right. 

Life is a bizarre adventure we embark on with no manual. Let’s ask and seek.

Thanks for reading.

Let me know if this was worth your while.

Do like and share with friends and colleagues.

Drop your comments and let me know about your views or connect with me socially on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

Sincerely

thewriterhead

Footnotes

Newport, C. (2012). So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love. Business Plus.

Hagy, J. (2012, June 26). 20 Ways to Find Your Calling . Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2012/06/26/20-ways-to-find-your-calling/?sh=3ea8671b5b7d

Thanks to Mark Manson for inspiration.