Mutterings and utterings of a budding novelist

Finding Your Calling

We’ve all seen the scenario – asking a group of young children what they would like to do when they grow up. Inevitably the usual responses crop up – Fireman, Nurse, Train Driver, Pilot. Basically the kind of professions youngsters are exposed to through kids books or children’s television.

But of course the onset of growing up causes that naive chosen job to change and then suddenly at sixteen (in England at least) when high school is over, we are all forced to make a decision on our career. Personally I feel sixteen is far too young to make such a life-altering choice. Another couple of years (like other countries) would mature the individual even more and make a more educated decision. For instance, when I left school I swore I wanted to be a Graphic Designer so naturally I went on to study it at college. But at the end of that course I decided I wanted to be an Animator. Strangely after studying that at university I decided I wanted to a writer/illustrator.

I guess it took me until my mid-twenties before I firmly made a commitment to myself to devote my life to the writing and illustrating of books. Of course I don’t regret the graphic design or animation courses, as they paved the way to where I am now. and now I am extremely grateful that I found what I want to do in life.

But I know many people who don’t have an idea of what to do with the short existence we’re afforded in this world. It can be a difficult decision, devoting yourself to one thing, hoping it makes you successful.

A long time ago I read a perfect way of deciding what to do in life.

Just ask yourself – ‘If money was no object, what would you do?’

Now immediately after asking yourself this thoughts of laying on a beach all day, endless parties, and living like royalty may flood your mind. This is only natural as this life is a fantasy very few can experience. But even so, after a certain amount of time, you WILL get bored of this lifestyle. Trust me! I’ve known very successful people who have become so wealthy they wouldn’t have to work again, yet after nine months of living in paradise, they actually returned back to work – bored.

So, the question remains – ‘Once the fantasy has been lived, and you’re laying bored on a beach, what would you do next?’

After a bit of mental digging, dormant dreams and desires surface. Ideas from long ago may return. Maybe it’s starting a business with an idea you had, writing a book, pursuing a sport, starting a band, or organising a charitable endeavour.

This is your calling, and once you’ve found it, it will envelop your life.

And if the doubts creep in such as ‘I can’t do that’, you must batter them back with a firm belief that you can. ‘I can’t write/draw/cook/play volleyball/play the guitar etc etc.’ – well of course if you’ve never tried it you can’t. Nobody is born an expert in any field. Most professionals will tell you that they only became good at something after hammering hours and hours away at it. It’s the passion that will carry you on, and drag you through the times of despair and doubt. It’s the passion that pulls you away from the TV, from the Xbox, and everything else that eats at your time, and focus on your heart’s desire. They key is to not give up, no matter what anybody says or even what you tell yourself.

Keep on affirming that you can do this, that you can succeed in whatever you choose to be. Believe in this enough and you’ll find any obstacles magically move out of your way as progress on the journey.

I guess that’s why the name it ‘The Calling’, – because it sings to you, pulling at you to keep on trying, keep on developing, and keep on improving at your game.

As the motivational speaker Wayne Dyer has said on numerous occasions – ‘Don’t die with the music still inside of you.’

What a tragedy that would be.

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