As I was raking up years worth of old leaves and branches my mind started wandering in that lovely way that it does. I was thinking how my personal evolution has progressed and changed so drastically in the past few years, and how I now understand myself so much better than I ever have before. I know that being a sensitive person and living with an open heart changes your perspective totally. I live from a place of wanting to serve others. In that way I grow the most. It stretches me the most. It’s still very new way of life for me.
As I was raking, I thought about how I never seemed to have any specific goals in my career. I’ve had many different jobs over the past 48 years. In fact one position I held for over 16 years I did three totally different jobs. I enjoyed and excelled at all three positions because I have many different skills, and a strong desire to serve. But I always felt I either stumbled into these jobs or created them out of pure necessity. I never had any goals to be anything in particular.
I wondered why that was.
It occurred to me that most other people on the planet have specific goals, desires, and aspirations for what they want and where they want to be professionally speaking. Even when I was trying to decide a major for college between marine biology or art—two totally different subjects I felt equally suited for—it was an agonizing and difficult decision to make. I could not make up my mind. I could not picture where I wanted to be in 10 years. I did not have a specific role I wanted to fill. I wondered, was I a lazy person? Why did I lack this desire when so many others had it? What is wrong with me?
As I pondered my supposed lack of ambition and drive the answer very quietly dropped into my head. As a person who wants to serve others, there is no need, no desire to set a goal of how you want to be of service. All a person has to do is show up and wait for instruction on how to best be of service. It does not matter what the task is, or who the employer is, or what the role is. What matters is the driving force to be of service. And that is all there is to that!
It’s funny that we don’t teach that in school, but instead try and drive people to specific categories, or roles. My personality drives my success and has been responsible for all the various roles I have played in my long working career. I realize that now. That’s how I should have operated from the get go. I guess all this time I was operating that way, but I was never consciously aware of it. I believe that would have helped me feel more like I fit in, had I realized that about myself.
A NOTE ON PASSION: You always hear people saying “follow your passion” but what if you have dozens of them? That’s not exactly good advice either. Conversely, if you have no passion for anything in particular, it may make you feel that you don’t fit in, or that something is wrong with you. The follow your passion drum is sounding loudly these days, but I feel it does not serve all of us equally. Perhaps it would serve you well to simply let passion flow through as you do whatever it is you want to for a living or for your life. Passion follows you when you do something, anything, you love. Don’t beat yourself up if you have not ‘found your passion’ yet. Do a little soul searching and perhaps find a purpose rather than a passion. You can Google dozens of good articles on purpose vs passion.
My Answer may be your answer. If you are still struggling to know why you don’t feel that you fit into any particular part of the world, or you have not “found your passion,” maybe you are a person driven to simply serve in whatever capacity is needed at the time, wherever you happen to be. For me, striving for a particular goal would have been a terribly awkward and confusing way of operating. Progress would have seemed elusive and futile. Now that I know this about myself at—nearly at the end of my working career—I laugh about it and think about how I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and I did just fine.
If you have no particular professional desire, passions or goals, maybe you too are a person who simply wants to be of service in whatever capacity is needed at the time. Maybe that is your purpose. That’s a great place to be, and society will always need people like you! Be open to whatever is next and in that way, you can follow your heart.