Why a lot of us don’t have one true calling

When I was working in my last job and it really sunk in that I was in the wrong place, I turned my attention to figuring out what to do next.

And so the reading began. I stated reading the stories of others who had transitioned careers, who had also somehow ended up doing something that they didn’t enjoy, about alternative careers, entrepreneurship, about lifestyle design, freedom and new ways of living.

Initially I was reading for inspiration but, eventually, it morphed into me desperately seeking the answer as to what I should do with my life.

Surprisingly, this was actually one of the most dangerous things that I could have done as it became really paralysing and, in true introvert fashion, I kept running through things in my head and yearned more than anything for some magical lightbulb moment amongst all the mess that would just appear and make everything click into place. Abracadabra, hey presto, boom.

But life just isn’t like that. And this is where my in-my-headness wasn’t so productive. There was the risk that I would carry on doing this for months more, and even years. And grown increasingly frustrated, miserable, helpless and even depressed.

One thing I have to keep constantly reminding myself of is that there is not any one thing which I am “supposed” to be doing. I still battle with myself to remember this, and I picture the following scenario which really helps me — and hopefully might work for you, too:

I imagine several different universes, each with a planet earth and each with a Jase doing his thing. In each of these universes, I see a Jase doing something completely different career-wise and actually having a different life as a whole but — and this is the crucial bit — each Jas is doing something he cares about. In other words, either way, it’s all good in the hood!

In fact, increasingly, there is evidence showing that, whilst specialization has its benefits, it isn’t the default setting for many of us.

Barbara Sher and Emilie Wapnick are two of the best-known authorities on the subject of scanners, or multipotentialities. Are you someone who:

- Has so many interests, spanning far and wide

- Enjoys starting new things

- Likes to really deep-dive into something, and then move onto something else

Then you might just be one of these people.

If any of this resonates, I’d really recommend this TED Talk by Emilie Wapnick which should help you understand multipotentialites more, and perhaps realise that there is no right answer. Hopefully becoming aware of this will be freeing and take the pressure off a little, especially when it comes to doing something that you really care about.

If you don’t have time now, I really recommend you save the link for later on — it’s only a 10-minute video. Here’s the link again: TED Talk — Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling (Emilie Wapnick). Emilie also has a fantastic blog/community called Puttylike.

So next time you feel yourself getting stressed about what to do with your life, remember that it’s likely that you could be amazing at a lot of different things.

This article first appeared on the QuarterLifeIntrovert blog.