Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fruits of our Labour

Another special share just for you from Thinking out Loud: Chapter 2 - Career & Passion

The euphoria of realizing our innermost aspirations is priceless and matches no other feeling in the world. Ever since I can remember myself, I was always curious as to people’s passion in life. 

I knew what mine was, but to almost everyone I met, I would always ask the question: if money was not an issue and we lived in a utopia where we did not have to work for a living, what would you do? 

The answer must resonate deep within your soul, because no one else in this world possesses the exact talent and abilities as you do, hence the reason for each of us being created.

Some people may think: Me? What do I have to offer? But it should not be too hard to determine if we really look deep within ourselves. Something that makes you happy and suddenly time is not an issue. An eternity would go by and it would seem like mere moments have passed (I feel this way about writing—I guess that’s why I’m still working at 3 am!). Something that feels like second nature and can be performed with effortless ease. Something that gives you inspiration to continue, and empowers you to fulfil your true potential. It may be as simple as cooking, talking/counselling, painting or landscaping. The sky is the limit to our creative aspirations.

When we think of a career most of us think of a particular amount of time spent at a certain location that at the end of the day puts food on the table and pays our bills. It may or may not be something we necessarily have a passion for, but it conforms to society’s expectations or it serves a purpose within our social stratosphere. It may be that we are doing this to satisfy a tradition in our family, or maybe allowing a parent to live vicariously through us by fulfilling one of their needs or former aspirations. It may be satisfying a social or economic need. If this is the case, it then becomes a job, not a career.

            Personally, I think a career is a vocation, a calling for which we have an innate ability or flair for a passion; a yearning to fulfil a greater purpose in life, something we were destined for from the day we were born, not just something we studied at university or were taught, but a lifelong commitment to a dream that can be manifested in several different shapes and forms. 

It may be a particular mathematical or reasoning ability that can be translated into a customized service tailored to meet the needs of a niche market. Or a skill or knack for gardening for which we enjoy growing organic produce (free from chemicals or insecticides) or flowers of a particular variety. Whatever it is that we do, we must possess a love for it, for us to really excel and be happy. And everyone will know this as a result, for it will be evident to all whom we come into contact with. 

Our efforts will be less arduous because it is coming from a place of peace and contentment. We would look less at our neighbour and concentrate more on the Fruits of our own Labour.  I believe a career should in some way positively influence the quality of life or add some value to society. Whether it is a product that you have created or helped to create, the provision of a service or a feeling that you have invigorated; people must benefit from your life’s work.

            Many may assume, that to be successful one must have letters behind one’s name, a fancy title, or a corner office with a view, but some of the most affluent people in this world may be the nuts vendor selling on the street or the artist who paints from inspiration, that works from home and sells her paintings at the seaside to tourists. Whatever our skill, we can transform that into something tangible and even marketable. 

Once something is done from the heart and done for the right reasons, the possibilities for achievement are endless, as it transcends all physical or mental boundaries. To see what we have created, makes us yearn to create even more, as it fulfils an inner desire and gives us satisfaction to know that it has brought joy or comfort to someone else, or better yet, has brought about a change in that person’s modus operandi. 

Seeing our efforts realized fuels our energies and makes us want to consolidate our focus into something for a good cause, which is within the reach of the masses.

“Whatever you are by nature, keep to it; never desert your line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed.”  
-Sydney Smith (1771-1845)

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