QEW Bronte Exit Sign
Image by pquan via Flickr

Damn it! I drove right past my appointment’s office.

I can’t believe I did that again I thought, as I merged onto the highway after passing the the street where I should have turned. Two days before, I’d promised to stop in to see a different client on my way home from the office and remembered only as I pulled into my driveway. Each time I had to make a U-turn in my route and head back to where I was supposed to be.

What’s wrong me?

The other night I put something in the oven, and after hearing the timer turned off the oven, but forgot to take the food out until two hours later. Needless to say it was dry and inedible by that time.

I started thinking about these “senior moments” and realized each time I was distracted I’d been thinking about a post I was writing, or going to write.

I breathed a sigh of relief. At least it isn’t early senility. I’m just enjoying writing and having control over the subject matter. My freelance articles are on business or real estate, which is interesting, but not as much fun to write as subjects I’m passionate about like expanding consciousness.

I’ve always known what my passion was

One night I was having dinner with a friend. We were discussing where we’d be in our lives if we had followed our hearts early on in our careers. I said without a moment’s hesitation that I’d be writing full time instead of freelancing here and there. I took a long detour through the business world, and while I learned a lot and appreciate all the opportunities I was given, I always knew that writing was my true calling.

She shook her head looking very forlorn. “Do you know how lucky you are?” she asked. “I have no idea what I want to do. I only know for sure what it is I don’t want to do.”

I realized she was right. I was lucky.

The million dollar question

Then she asked, “How did you know that writing was it for you?”

I gave her a rundown of some things I remembered from my childhood that had pointed me in the direction of writing. It started her thinking and by the end of the night we had some ideas of what she might really like to do.

The conversation continued swirling around in my head on the way home. I knew there must have been more clues than I was able to share with my friend during dinner.

The next morning I wrote in my journal about this and here’s what I came up with.

How to identify your passion using clues from childhood:

1. Look to what you loved and enjoyed doing as a child. What were you fascinated by back then? Looking up at the stars? Collecting rocks? Grooming horses? Writing poetry? Could you do this for hours on end without noticing the time whizzing by? I loved reading. I would take a flashlight to bed and read under the covers.

2. What came naturally to you in school? What were you good at? Was there one subject you never needed to study for that y0u easily got good grades in? Was everyone always telling you how great you were at something? I wrote and illustrated little books when I was a child.

3. What did you dream about doing when you grew up? When you played was there a theme to your games? Were you always the same character in the games?  Did you have a secret fantasy you never told anyone? I always fantasized about seeing my book in the window of a bookstore.

4. What was your favorite after school activity? Did you play an instrument? Sing in the choir? Act in the school plays? I loved going to the library and bringing home stacks of fresh books to read.

5. Is there an A-ha moment that stands out from your childhood? Did you see a character in a movie and decide that was what you wanted to do?Did you read a book and find yourself dreaming about the life of that character? I remember reading a book about the Bronte sisters and thinking that’s what I want to do.

I can’t imagine anything worse than going through life not knowing what it is you’d love to do. Except maybe taking a 20 or so years to get back to doing what you love, but that’s the subject of another post….

Think back to your childhood and see what comes to mind. Are some of these clues there? Did you follow your passion, or did you take a long detour like me? Where are you now?

I’d like to hear from readers about any other clues that might have helped them identify their true calling.

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