There are some things you just take for granted.
eating chocolate torte every night will catch up with you (in a bad way),
adding the cute barista at Starbucks to your contact list is a bad idea, and
pigs don’t fly.
It’s the same with a lot of things in life…until it isn’t.
It wasn’t long ago we drove to a store to buy music (not to mention: books, shoes, cameras, etc.),
your working career ended at 55, and
evening entertainment was the whole family watching The Wonderful World of Disney.
Okay, back to pigs not flying.
You might think pigs don’t fly because they don’t have wings, or webs between their short stubby legs – like a flying squirrel (now, there’s a visual).
The reason pigs don’t fly is because snorting and standing around in mucky-muck is what they do. I guess the other reason is their nest would break most tree branches.
That brings me to why I speak and help other people who want to become speakers.
It’s what I do.
It’s what I do
I’ve tried building businesses, consulting, even a stint at construction (good for stories, bad for the body). And I keep coming back to teaching. It’s what I do.
Discovering what you’re meant to do can feel like driving a beautiful country road with no road signs – you have no idea where you are, but it’s a great ride.
I remember after high-school, taking some kind of career-test (I think my father arranged it in a fit of sheer desperation). I had to fill in 12 pages of what seemed like ridiculously nonsensical questions.
“If you were lost in a desert, would you rather have a hammer or a straw?”
“Are you more similar to a lamp post or a flashlight?” and
“Why are manhole covers round?”
It was painful.
In the end, my career was destined to be (wait for it) a cartographer.
I remember pulling out the Encyclopedia Britannica, looking up “cartographer” and feeling my throat tighten at the thought of hunching over a drafting table (as I imagined it) fussing over elevation lines and annual precipitation patterns.
Maybe you’ve been there as well—good advice, but it’s not what you’re supposed to do.
I like that author Gretchen Rubin has a ‘commandment’ about living hers:
“My first commandment is to ‘Be Gretchen’—yet it’s very hard to know myself. I get so distracted by the way I wish I were, or the way I assume I am, that I lose sight of what’s actually true.”
Turning Point Year
This is a turning-point year for me.
I’m entering my last year before the big 6-0, and I’m sticking to my semi-retirement goal of no office, no staff (both changes happened in the last 30 days).
That’s going to open up a lot of freedom and time.
What I do with it is still unclear.
All I know is I absolutely need to do what I’m meant to do – not some contrived BS idea of what other people think I should be doing.
There are lots of things that simply weren’t meant to be – like pigs flying – the trick is to find what is meant to be and keep stepping towards it.
Are you doing what you are meant to be doing?