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Discovering Your Secret Identity April 22, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

Our unique talents, skills, and abilities are clues to our “secret identity” ~ if we follow the clues, like breadcrumbs, we may discovery our vocation, calling,  or purpose somewhere along the way. 

Or we may not.  

As you may already suspect, having aptitude for something is not always enough.  Our purpose should fill us with passion ~ adding to, not detracting from, our enthusiasm for life.  That requires that we factor into the equation the totality of our likes and dislikes. 

Let’s take a few easy examples first:   

* Someone who is born to be a mechanic will love being under the hood of a car or plane.  Someone who hates getting their fingernails dirty was not born to be a mechanic. 

* Someone who is born to be a hair stylist will enjoy playing with hair and helping others look their best.  Someone who hates touching people’s hair was not born to be a hair stylist. 

* Someone who is born to be a bartender will love the excitement of being in bars late at night, conversing with customers, and handing out free advice while whipping up exotic drinks.  Someone who hates being out after dark, and dislikes cocktail party chatter, was not born to be a bartender. 

Now, let’s take a slightly longer range example:

J.D. comes from a long line of lawyers who steered him toward law as the appropriate choice of career. 

Based on J.D.’s  familial background and accumulated legal acumen (picked up from conversations around the dinner table), he aced the LSAT’s and got into the law school of his choice.  Once there, however, J.D. realizes that he dislikes everything about law school . . . with a passion. 

Instead of blindly moving forward with his decision to pursue a career in law, J.D. might want to consider taking a different career path.  If he doesn’t like law school, chances are he won’t like being a lawyer any better.  

Same goes for M.D.’s decision to go to medical school ~ and for Ph.D.’s decision to get a doctorate. 

When the stepping stones to a career require years of specialized training, career candidates should ask themselves, “Is this how I want to spend my limited time on this planet?” 

If not, they should think about shifting their career path to something more suited to their unique personality, traits, skills and abilities.

This does not mean that we should abandon a rigorous two-week training program for a job we expect to enjoy for many years.  Most people can safely gamble with two or three weeks of their life. 

But trading years of our lives, to train for something that we don’t really want to do, makes little sense. 

Time is our most valuable and irreplaceable commodity ~ a bank account which mandates daily withdrawals, prohibits deposits, and pays dividends when we spend it wisely.  Training for a profession that doesn’t interest us, or accepting a job that is not in line with our core values, is not a good use of our limited time on this planet.

Related Posts: Discovering Right Livelihood * Do What You Will Stop Playing “Follow The Leader” * Life Is Not One-Size-Fits-All * Simplify Your Life * Way of the Peaceful Warrior * Live Your Life  * But I Might Die Tonight


1. simply scott - April 22, 2010

My not-so-secret identity (any longer) is writer/teacher/social activist. But, that said, I had no idea until my divorce and subsequent blogging/self-therapy. No wonder my ex-wife remarks how much I’ve changed. I don’t really see it, but she does. And I think she is right.

nrhatch - April 22, 2010

Simply Scott ~ writer/teacher/social activist is a superb not-so-secret identity! Writing/Blogging is a wonderful way to explore our hidden depths.

I think others (especially those who don’t see us every day) can more easily see the cumulative effect of change on us.


2. Richard W Scott - April 22, 2010

They say that if you do what you love, you’ll never “work” a day in your life.

3. nrhatch - April 22, 2010

Rik Scott ~ So true.

On a related note: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

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