My mom regularly sends me a box of old magazines that have piled up around her house. I guess it's her way of recycling? One of the magazines I get too many copies of to keep up with is O. One of this issues is all about "finding your true calling". In it, frequent contributor and life coach Martha Beck provides a 4-Step Plan to Get Your Life on Track and figure out what it is you're meant to do with yourself.
Steps to figuring your life out. A list. (This counts right?)
Step 1. Stop making excuses. I'm too busy, there's too many choices, what if I miss something? Man up.
Step 2. Stop thinking logically. What? Go do what you love and keep track of what those instincts mean to you but don't let your rational mind guide what you're naturally drawn to. Beck quotes Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis in explaining that "it is only because our emotional brains work so well that our reasoning can work at all."
Step 3. Discover your bliss. Beck equates your instincts to your "inner animal" and she advises following its tracks to get a lead on something. "Make a list of every time you remember being utterly, happily absorbed in an activity, no matter how odd."
Step 4. Develop it. Experiment. With respect to tracking your instincts, try and predict them. Try an activity that may be a little different from what you're used to, but you think will still foster the same bliss. This will help you determine what it is about those activities specifically that you're drawn to like a lion to a herd of antelope. Or something like that.
Step 5. Rinse, Repeat until ou find a track that leads you somewhere. Just keep returning to your list and following new paths until you get somewhere where the track stays hot! Beck suggests finding a common theme and gives examples of clients who followed the obvious paths but it turned out that it wasn't that they wanted to be in politics, but rather that they were drawn more to teamwork and facilitating groups which lead them to event planning. Voilà.
Step 6. Answer the call of your bliss and follow your instincts through the wildness of your fear wherever they lead.