Hello and welcome to this week’s Curious Catalog, a weekly collection of three useful gems for life, work and everything in between.
Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling
Video (12 Minutes)
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” – that cute innocuous question grownups once asked you eventually becomes the very thing that keeps you up at night. We live in a culture that romanticizes the narrowly-focused life; the idea that we each have one great thing we are destined to do during our lifetime: the one true calling. While there will always be those prodigies that knew – since the age of 5 – what they wanted to do for the rest of their life, there will be the rest of us – trying out different things, stumbling through, picking up some knowledge, developing skills here and there – before our purpose even comes to light. And even then, our purpose may continually evolve. If you’re not sure you want to do – just one thing – for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. You might just be one of us – a multipotentialite.
Create a Portfolio Life
Podcast (16 Minutes)
Most of us are not wired to do just one thing. We’re multifaceted creatures with multiple interests. Why should our work not reflect such diversity? What if, instead of identifying with a job description, we see the whole mass of things we do as what we “do” for a living? What if, instead of thinking of work as a singular activity, we see it as a complex group of interests, passions and activities? What if we master several skills, combine them in interesting ways and find the intersections where our talents and passions align with the needs of the world? Your life is a portfolio of activities – some you do for money, some for loved ones, some for your own pleasure, some for a cause – all of which make you who you are: a whole greater than its parts.
Treat Life as an Experiment
Video (5 Minutes)
Much of life is trial and error. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Just like an experiment, we start out with a guess, put it to the test, stand back, observe, make adjustments, observe again, arrive at some conclusion and create new guesses to test again. When we treat life as an experiment, we become more willing to take risks, to acknowledge failure, to learn and develop; after all, that’s what experiments are all about: discovery and growth. Not sure if something is right for you? Try it out – for an hour, a day, a month – and see if it resonates with you. It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you’re drawn to, even if you end up quitting; you might apply that knowledge in a entirely different field, in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated. The only way to truly know is to try. Be your own scientist, your own guinea pig and start a life experiment.
A quote I’m thinking about…
Learn things once. Use them forever.