Its been a while. That’s probably an understatement – it has been a long time. Especially considering the fact that the inspiration strikes me to write at least 10 times a day. The feeling of just me and my words is something that is incomparable. The trigger came for me earlier when I read an interesting article on finding out who you really are and what are your underlying passions in life. This initially seemed like such a prodigious topic for me to deliberate over. The recommended way of finding these answers, according to this article, was to find out who you are through what other people think of you. I find it hard to even type those words. In my opinion, you should never determine your opinion of yourself from the opinions of others. This particular sweeping statement in this article awakened my curiosity – how do you really find out who you are?
Whilst researching this conscientious topic I came across some very interesting concepts about the inner person and the importance of your own self-awareness. A famous philosopher called Alain de Botton made a statement that resonated with me:
“We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along”.
The importance of this originality in our own thoughts seems highly relevant. However what if there is no set target or goal? What if we want our lives to be based around a continuous phase of happiness rather than distinctive life goals? For me, I feel that my life has no main goal, rather an all-embracing desire to be happy and make others happy in everything I do. To say that I do not wish to achieve certain things would be incorrect, but these contribute to the main idea of happiness. It may be all very well in stating that I want to achieve in my career, but what use is this if the career I choose does not fulfil me. If I could make a living from putting pen to paper then I would most certainly be doing it. I became the victim of my own prejudices when I was a teenager by undertaking a degree I had little passion about. I will always remember how I said to my English teacher that I could never take English at university. Her dismay was obvious and she questioned me about why I did not think it would be suitable. My reply? Because I enjoyed it too much. I made the association that nothing I was passionate about could ever turn into a career; how very naïve of me. Now I find myself with a degree and career that, although I like, does not leave me feeling fulfilled. My heart will always lie within the written word and for now it is just not feasible to follow that dream, after all a girl has got to eat!
This reminds me of something that Steve Jobs is an advocate of; doing what you love. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Good point Steve but I think he may have taken a more realistic view if he wasn’t wiping with £50 notes and bathing in liquid gold. (A bit exaggerated maybe but you get the idea). We cannot always afford to do what we love, it is just not practical. However in my situation at the moment, although I do not love what I am doing in my career, it is enabling me to do something that I love more than anything in the world; be with the ones closest to me. At the moment, this seems like a logical sacrifice. If I pursued a career I loved with no success my family would be the ones left to pick up the pieces; what a selfish burden I would be. If I continue with a stable income, I can afford to come home to my own little space with the people I love waiting for me. There truly is no better feeling than that.
This brings me onto my last point which is quite simplistic in nature yet is the most relevant to me. It is as simple as this; “Find something more important than you, and dedicate your life to it”. I have that in my life. The few people that I hold close to me are more important than my career, my social life or even that feeling of putting pen to paper. I know who I am.