For some reason I haven’t had much to write about lately….Not sure where this writers block has come from because usually I’m inspired constantly by the various conversations I have with people, or things I hear and read in the news.
Lately though, I’ve just been experiencing “real life”, when I say this….I’m not referring to life in the physical, work 9-5, have a shit load of responsibilities to take care of, go go go kind of sense…..I mean life in an internal spiritual sense. Learning more about myself, my strengths, my flaws…..learning more to decipher between what’s my ego and what my genuine impulses and emotions are.
To be honest, I’m not even sure exactly where I’m going with this entry….I just felt I should write, didn’t know what to write about but went ahead anyway and this is what’s coming out. That last line actually has a lot of meaning to me as it’s very relevant to what I’ve been reflecting on the past couple days. I felt an impulse, didn’t know where it would go but just ran with it anyway.
I’ve been discovering my life is most fulfilling when I just go with my impulses in the moment rather than pondering on what the end result of acting on said impulse will be. A lot of people may see this as irresponsible, foolish and not being conscious of the consequence of my actions. However, I feel a lot better putting this into practice because I’m seeing that living by those internal impulses rather than what you’e socially conditioned to think you’re supposed to do results in having a stronger sense of inner peace and a clearer sense of direction in life because you’re not stuck thinking “what if?” with regard to everything that could possibly go wrong…you’re just living every moment as it comes and crossing every emotional bridge, happy or sad, when you get there rather than mentally fighting with it sooner.
I have seen that living an overly strategic life where one is rigidly attached to a specific outcome rather than just going with what feels right can ironically be a huge impediment to action and progress. I hope I am not being misinterpreted here and coming across as “Just don’t have any goals in your life and be a hippy who goes nowhere in life”. I am definitely not big on that extreme either, and don’t think I could ever see myself as hippy who speaks of changing the world and peace yet sits on their ass smoking weed and living in their imaginary world.
I think it’s a matter of assessing whether you’re working towards your goals out of passion (the internal impulses) or not. I’m honestly not even sure exactly how to assess that, don’t know what questions you would ask yourself. I just know for quite a while, about 2 years, I haven’t felt totally happy with what I do despite making good money, not having to work a lot of hours and living what most people would consider a very high quality of life. I realize most people will feel like smacking me over the head for complaining…..but what I was seeking all that time wasn’t more material gain, I was looking for a sense of purpose. It’s a bit funny how I didn’t find it until I just stopped over thinking about the long term possibilities of what could happen if I choose career #1, career #2 and so on. I stopped focusing so heavily on the financial logistics of it all, stopped focusing so hard on employment prospects etc. and quieted my mind a bit. That’s when all the signs started pouring in.
In particular it was when I was in Africa that the signs were coming my way, one of the paths I had been thinking about was Masters of Public Health. When I was speaking to people I met over there about not being sure what I want to do with my life, based on my background up to now and my interests I kept getting the suggestion “you should consider a masters in public health” I took it to heart that I got those signs and made a decision based on that, I guess you can say it’s a leap of faith I’m taking. Also, with the interest I have in international development I narrowed it down to masters of international public health. Now, going along even further with this whole talk about impulses and gut feelings…..I can recal having two dreams back in January, in the dreams I was living in Australia. In one of the dreams I was skyping my parents telling them I was really happy there….in the other dream I remember going to visit one of my friends who lives in Sydney with her bf, and also my parents were going there to visit me…..I had no idea what all that was about, but I remembered that back in late 2010 I was out for dinner and group of two couples sitting near me were talking about moving to Australia soon….the younger couple were the ones moving. When overhearing the conversation I reacted….it’s really hard to explain how I reacted…it’s just like I was struck with a feeling of “I’m going to be living there too someday”, a gut reaction.
I didn’t put together the pieces about the dreams and why I would be living there until I did some research into masters programs. I checked out the ones around here of course, and there are only two that offer the option I’m interested in, and out of the two programs I feel only one is exactly what I’m looking for. I then did some research on schools outside of Canada, and it seemed Australia had the most interesting programs, was also able to get feed back from a friend of a friend who did her masters of international public health at Queensland and everything sounded awesome, so I am applying to schools there. I’m sure most of you read that anecdote and thought “self fulfilling prophecy” I don’t know though…..I’ve had stuff like this happen before, where I’ve felt like something was going to happen, or dreamed about something and it has indeed happened. I think the best examples are car accidents that I’ve dreamed of happening, cause those are the kind of things you avoid turning into a self fulfilling prophecy…..I remember the time I dreamed I rear ended someone….and yes, it happened the next day, ugh. Last week I actually had a dream my car got t boned, and a couple days later it ALMOST happened. I saw them coming and swerved into the next lane on yonge street almost hitting someone…..I was shaken up a bit, but very happy that one didn’t actually happen…..I realize I’ve gone off on a major tangent here lol….and I could probably go on and on about things I’ve had gut feelings about or dreams about happening, things that would freak you all out and have most of you thinking I’m nuts….but I’ll just leave it at that for now.
Now I will get back to my main point, about how to decipher whether or not you’re following your passion….
I believe that when people follow a genuine passion it’s not going to be entirely self serving, it can still earn you a high income, but at the same time it will be about sharing a valuable part of yourself in a way that impacts other people positively….and that can be in a mass way, or one on one, doesn’t matter. When what you’re doing becomes solely about yourself…..that’s when I think it’s no longer serving much purpose. When the job is just about you and making material gains, that’s when I think it becomes miserable. I was chatting with a friend earlier this evening about how she’s gone into a dept. management role at the hospital, and it being a big change from having only the responsibilities of caring for patients before….I remembered her talking about not thinking management roles were for her in the past due to her life being of a more spiritual nature rather than materially driven…..We came to the conclusion that with most jobs, regardless of what level you’re at, it can be done in a way that’s self serving, or if you’re genuinely passionate about what you do, it can be done in a way that’s beneficial for many.
I do realize there are people who need to work solely for the purpose of material gain to meet survival needs. My point applies to people who have gotten beyond fulfilling their survival needs.