On a recent flight the woman sitting next to my wife was telling her about her daughter. The daughter had finished seven years of study to become a chiropractor. After completing her studies and graduating she decided she did not want to practice. She discovered she doesn’t like touching other people.
It took seven years to find out that she doesn’t like touching people. This is not a unique story. There are many doctors, lawyers and other professionals who discover they don’t like the field that they studied and certified to practice in.
But why? Why would it take someone seven years to find out that they are directing their effort, time, money and dedication toward something that they will hate or at the very least, not enjoy doing? Why spend so much time to discover you don’t like touching people? Did the daughter study this field to satisfy her mother? Did she become a doctor against her own wishes, was there some underlying indoctrination or false projection about being a chiropractic doctor that didn’t match the reality?
In this particular situation, these are all guesses because we don’t know. What we do know is that people can be so distanced from themselves that they don’t know the first thing about what they are like, what their natural inclinations and talents are, what energizes them and what they would enjoy doing.
The journey of life is about finding out what we are like, discovering our talents, and learning about our gifts. The task we face is to be able to fast-forward this discovery process whenever we can, because we can then share more of our gifts in the precious little time we have here on Earth. This is the journey – find out what you love doing, what energizes you, what your purpose is; and then do it fully.
The challenge is to fast-forward the learning:
Are you where you ought to be? Are you learning and growing?
Do you feel distanced from yourself or do you feel in touch, true to your gifts?
Have you found what you are here to do, how you are here to make a difference?
Do not doubt for a second that you are here for a reason; that you are here to use your gifts to make a difference.
Here are some steps for you:
1. Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing.
2. Trace everything you have ever excelled at doing. Think back to the beginning of your career, and earlier to school. What were you good at?
3. What are the things that you look forward to doing, what activities do you make a point of not missing?
4. Discover the convergence of 1 and 2 and 3.
5. Look for opportunities to express your talent and interest. These opportunities may be present inside what you already do. Look at what you do in a new way.
6. Give yourself a chance to try something new.
© Aviv Shahar