Arjun is settling in life, has a great decent paying job in a leading MNC and on all accounts, has made it. Arjun is restless. Unsure. He worries about his goals in life. And is not sure if this life is the life he wants to lead. If not this, then what. The “what” is unclear. And frustrating.
Midlife crisis hits many of us. And we go through an intense phase of soul searching. And it is generally accepted as part of life. Not in Arjun’s case. He just turned 25. And there are Arjuns are everywhere. Arjuns with early life crisis. Driven, restless, ambitious, unsure and frustrated.
This monday was particularly unbearable. He picked up his cellpgone, stepped out of his office and called his brother in law, Krishna whom he trusts and shared his frustration with him. Krishna smiled. Reflected upon his own struggles for a few moments before speaking.
“Let’s meet for a drink this weekend. I would like you to meet a my guru, Sandip.You have met him at my house some time ago.”
When Arjun arrived at the bar, later that week, Sandip and Krishna were already animatedly discussing something. Arjun seated himself and ordered a drink. He had met Sandip earlier and was eager to get his inputs.
Sandip listened to Arjun’s frustration. His desire to seek out his goal in life. And why he is feeling lost. And in the end, Sandip shared a framework to think about his life and goals.
“Think of your working life in four buckets – first you explore your passions, then find your strengths, next build on this by working on your calling and finally give back and create your legacy”
All of us go through this phase, some sooner in life, some later. But you will find that we sometimes move from one to another without fully realising the previous phase or understanding it.
Arjun was intrigued. “Tell me more. How do i explore my passion?” “By exploring. If you are a student, do internships, join the student club, travel or take up a summer job. If you are a young professional, you explore by volunteering, attending conferences, travelling and even attending parties with eclectic group of people. And most of all read. Read and learn as much as you can.” Sandeep explained.
How do i know i found my passion or my calling?
“You will know. If you are looking for passion, you will find that you are consumed by your passion, whatever it is. By finding your strengths, you will realise that you are growing as a person. By identifying your calling, you will attain success in whatever you are doing. And finally, once you have found what you want to be known for – your legacy, you will attain significance in your personal life.
Explore. Discover. Build. Give.
So explore.. to identify your passions and you will know when you feel consumed by particular ideas/thoughts/concepts. And keep exploring till you find what drives you – your passion. Then find your strengths. Your calling is at the intersection of your passion and strengths. Work on leveraging it and build something – a product, a team, service, a function..whatever. … And then give back something to the community to create your legacy.”
Arjun was quiet. In his desire to settle down, he had stopped exploring many years ago and chose the most comfortable or convenient or recommended path. It was time now to explore passions and see what comes out of it. That volunteering project that has been dormant for a while, it was time to get it kick started. Maybe attend a few startup events. What Sandip said made sense. He was ready to find his passion and his strengths. He was worried about his legacy before he even knew what his passion and strengths were. It was time to explore for himself.
As Sandip was getting ready to leave and he had one last piece of advice for Arjun.
“Remember one thing. No one really knows that they really should do in life. As you grow older, you are just better at looking like you do. Age helps you to wing it better. Take care. May you find your passion and discover your strengths.”