This popped up as my Facebook Memory from 8 years ago:
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” ~ William Barclay
Such a simple yet powerful quote.
Apart from the being born in the first place finding the “why” seems almost as important. To be sure, as soon as we are old enough to be self aware we begin to pursuit that question in earnest.
Where does this idea come from? Is it really innate or is it learned through social conditioning? Maybe because as children we’re always being asked what we want to be when we grow up? Or maybe it’s from being told G-d has a special plan for our lives? Who knows.
We begin our journey by focusing on the things we like. Things that interest us. Things we’re naturally good at. I was good at Art. Math? Not so much. So I ruled out anything with numbers, but imagine what a brilliant mathematician or astronaut I might have been had I not been dyslexic.
When I played I created the most elaborate story lines that went on for days and days. It never occurred to me to become a writer, because I was such a poor reader. My eyes didn’t track printed lines very well. So my mind drifted in-between those lines and I filled in the story with my own imaginings. The upshot was lower comprehension scores.
I really couldn’t blame teachers for thinking I might not be the brightest student they had. I probably would have thought the same.
I picked up the guitar at 13 and I quickly became good at it. But the math of scales and complication of notes intimidated me and pretty much kept me playing by ear. Of course, I had reason to hope. My father paid for lessons, which I told him to cancel after the Instructor asked me how I was doing certain fingerings. It never occurred to me that might be a good sign.
Then came Sports. What a godsend! I loved sports and I was pretty good at them as well. Perhaps I had a future in Physical Education? So I focused on Sports all the way through High School. Until I realized a P.E. career would require college.
I hadn’t intended to go to college. Not many kids at my level did. But my Mom had other ideas and much to my surprise I was accepted by the small College that belonged to our Church demomination.
Suddenly I had to choose a Major. I went over the P.E. classes and saw some things I wasn’t sure I could pass so I went with my solid standby . . . Art. Even then self-doubt still lingered. Especially after the Head of Art Department flat out told me he’d never give me an A because he thought I might become complacent. That didn’t make me complacent. It made me mad!
I went looking for a different Major and realized I loved Religious studies. So halfway through my four years I switched to Christian Education. These studies were extremely easy for me. Almost too easy. It made me wonder if it was actually a real thing.
So I switched back to Art. At that point it didn’t matter whether I ever got an A or not. I was going to do my own thing and screw the rest.
As you can see I never had a any concern for what I was going to do once I got out of college. Truth us, I never had any idea what I was supposed to do with my life in the first place, but once I started my work “career” life just unfolded on its own.
Basically it worked out like this . . . I had some pretty good “tools in my tool box” and I was really good with people. I wasn’t afraid to work hard or long hours. I applied myself so that I earned my wages and the respect of my peers and managers. I had people who recognized my talents and gave me opportunities to advance and eventually to manage staff and lead projects.
Oh, I had setbacks and failures, both work related and financially, but that’s how it goes. No one ever promised things would go smoothly in life.
What I’m saying is life is an ever changing moving target. People might spend years getting a degree they may never use. A degree in something they may never have liked it in the first place. Mostly we just do what we think we’re supposed to do.
In the meantime life unfolds, and then one day we realize the true Purpose of life is being the best person we can be while being kind to each other. Everything else? Well, that’s just what we do to pass the time.