Sunday, 14 June 2015

How to Live The Life You're Meant to Live

Jeff Goins, a brilliant new voice counting Seth Godin and Jon Acuff among his fans, explains how to abandon the status quo and live a life that matters with true passion and purpose.

I read a lot of self-help books and blogs and articles... but I don't write about all of them. No, I save these posts for something special. Earlier this year, I wrote about Scott Adams's book and how we can learn so much from it.
Today, I'm talking about another book that has inspired me to do what I love to do: write. And that's why I'm here.

I like to believe there are three kinds of people. The first kind are the brave and lucky ones. They know what they want to do with their lives, and they go right ahead and conquer their dreams.
The second kind are brave but unlucky. As much as they want to find their calling, they can't. They have no idea what they're meant to do, so they just try different things, trying to find that special something.
The third kind? They're just afraid. They know what they want to do, they know what they can do, but... what if they fail? What if they end up poor and lonely? So why not stick with the boring, meaningless job doing what they hate? At least it's decent money.

The First Kind
The first kind does not need my words of advice. I need theirs. They're the people we read about on the internet or in the newspaper. They're the people who write books like The Art of Work. They're the people who are happy, even excited, at the thought of Monday mornings and going to work.

The Second Kind
Some people have a taste for everything. Maybe they like basketball, coaching, fitness, business management, and every other thing you can think of. Maybe they're good at too many things and can't decide which one they're best at. So they jump from one occupation to the other without ever feeling satisfied. They try everything but just can't find their calling.

But the thing is, a calling doesn't have to be one thing. Actually, it isn't ever one thing. The true calling is your life. It's everything you do every single day. 

People are not robots programmed to do one thing. We are multifaceted creatures with many varied interests. And though we may like to believe we were born to do just one thing, the reality is that most of us are hardwired for a handful of activities that when combined lead to our greatest satisfaction and best work.
- Jeff Goins
The trick to doing what you're meant to do isn't to find the one thing you love best. The trick to living the best life you can live (what Jeff calls a 'portfolio life') is to incorporate all your talents into your career. You don't have to just be a businessperson or a writer or a public speaker. You can be all of the above.

The Third Kind

I've been living the third kind of life all these years. Sure, I'd write and blog and dream about making it big someday, but then I'd go back to wondering where I should get my MBA and which multinational company I should join after that MBA.

And I have a feeling that many of you - no, most of you - are living a similar kind of life. Deep down, you know what you really want to do. You can hear a whisper in your head when you see the word 'calling'. Maybe you have a business plan. Maybe you want to be an actor, or a singer, or a writer, like me. Maybe you want to start your own restaurant.
But you push those thoughts away because of all the 'what ifs'.

We can spend our days dreaming of a better life or do the messy work of getting started today. You are not just waiting on your calling; your calling is waiting on you. And you can sit around, playing the what-if game until you're exhausted, or you can begin by saying that one little word that changes everything: let's.
- Jeff Goins
You aren't just losing out on your dreams, the world is losing out on your talent. Each of us is different. Each of us has something special to offer to the world. But if each of us is busy hiding inside our cushy little comfort zone, who's going to make a difference?

I might not be a revolutionary or a freedom fighter. My novels might not be literary masterpieces or lessons of life. My blog might only have a handful of loyal readers. But if these words on a page make someone smile, or make them learn to love themselves, or make them laugh at the funny GIFs, then I've done my job, and I've done it well.

Another point I ought to mention is that everything you've ever done with your life, no matter how irrelevant or useless you think it might be, it all makes a difference in the end. Every incident, every person you meet, every minute of your life shapes you into the person you're capable of becoming. You just have to find out how you can make use of your past to shape your future.

Nothing is wasted. No job, no task, no obstacle is useless, if we are willing to see how it can fit into our calling.
- Jeff Goins
So whether you're afraid, confused or unsure, remember that every part of your life is supposed to feel right. You aren't doing what you're meant to do if you shudder at the thought of working. You can change that, however, just by thinking about your past, present and what you want your future to be like. 

You can live the life you're mean to live if you want to. There is no other obstacle. So go ahead and live it.

Have you found your calling yet, Geeks? Which life do you think you're living, and how do you think you can make the shift to the first life?
Also, if you haven't already, do check out Jeff's new book. It's a real eye-opener, and it's full of real life examples of simple people just like you and me who have found their calling.



  1. I LOVE this post Swati! I'm definitely going to post this one on my site, probably the others too....I really like your writing style :)


    1. Thanks, Jessica. Drop me an email and let me know which posts you'd like to feature. :)


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