How do you decide what you are going to do? What should you dedicate your life to? Almost everyone is stuck with this question, except for a lucky few. After 10 years of pursuing entrepreneurship, online education and legal media, even I am filled with doubts at times.
Did I waste my time? Should I have just done whatever that would have made me more money? Starting a law firm certainly would have – at least more than what I currently make. When I started a startup around money recovery, it scaled super fast. I had to close it down to focus on LawSikho and iPleaders eventually because this was my true calling.
I chose to follow a difficult path, building something for which there was no obvious demand or market, and a lot of times it was sheerly on the strength of will and passion that we kept going. Things definitely look much better today, but trying to trailblaze a new kind of legal education when most of the world is sceptical is scary to say the least, requires tremendous patience and a massive amount of work.
When you can give your life to something, or put yourself in the line to make something happen, it is a thrilling experience. You may succeed or fail, but it is an exhilarating journey. You will always come out richer on the other side.
You may have heard many times that the journey is more important than the end goal. If you learn to put yourself in the line for something to happen, you will experience it. There will be a sparkle in your eyes, there will be passion in your voice, and people will be drawn to you because of the energy you will radiate.
I can say for certain because I have experienced it. I am doing the work of my life, and backing down is not an option, no matter how much adversity we may have to face. And we have overcome seemingly impossible situations. We have survived situations that were supposed to destroy us. It could happen only because our nerves were hardened with single-minded purpose, and nourished by conviction and passion.
Here are some signals you need to watch out for in order to discover what you should be doing in your life:
What gives you joy?
There is a theory that you should determine what you should do with your life based on what gives you joy. Is there something you just love to do? You can spend hours doing that thing and not feel tired? Is there something which if you do not do in a day then the day feels empty?
Sometimes you may mistake this thing for a hobby. For example, I used to think that writing is a hobby for me. Now I know that it is a calling. Writing fulfils me. I love to write. I spend hours everyday writing. It is one of the best things I can do for LawSikho.
Also when you start doing something that is truly your calling, you will begin to make rapid progress in your level of skills. Success may take time to come, but the change in the quality of your work, at least to you and other immediate beneficiaries, will be very evident.
Do not underestimate anything. There is a woman in the USA who loved looking after abandoned cats. Now she has managed to open a large non-profit which spends over 1.6 million dollars a year on looking after thousands of cats, and it runs on donation!
If you truly love something and give your life to it, if something gives you immense joy, seriously consider pursuing that as your career, no matter how ridiculous it seems at first.
Watch out for pain
To discover your true calling, you have to leave behind all the things that are not. For 5 years I wanted to be a corporate lawyer, doing large deals. When I actually got it, I didn’t like it at all. Within a few months, I was depressed. I felt like running away.
I still continued grinding away at that job. Then I fell sick physically. I had to be hospitalised. I did not understand at the time, but my body was rebelling.
Listen to what your body says. Do not numb the pain with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs. You need to act on your pain, as soon as possible, or things will become worse over time.
Getting away from the things that do not suit you will push you towards what you are truly meant to do in life.
Meet & spend time with people who inspire you
A lot of times we discover what we really want to do and not want to do by looking at other people. Are there people who inspire you? Does their work inspire you? There is a chance that you may find your life’s calling there as well. It is a very important sign.
If you can’t meet inspiring people, read books written by them. I derive so much energy, ideas and inspiration from reading good books.
And in some way, exposure to wise actions and wise words will open up new horizons for you, and you will derive more clarity.
Try and learn new skills
It may take a while for you to find your calling and passion. No problem, do not sit idle till then. See what fascinates you, and pursue those things, even if just as a beginner trying out your hand at it. Even if they seem unconnected, disparate and unplanned. Do what fascinates you. Just keep trying out your hand at new things.
I have a friend who was a lawyer and then turned a filmmaker. He is doing amazing work in Mumbai. When he was doing amateur filmmaking in school and college he never thought it could be a career. He was just trying out random, fun things.
When Steve Jobs learned calligraphy, he had no idea how much it will help him while building beautiful fonts for Macintosh computer.
Keep learning new skills, work with exciting people and have your mind open to possibilities while you look out to find your one true passion. However, never sit idly and wait for it to happen. That is just a horrible idea and the biggest reasons most people in the world never discover their passion.
Keep running around till you find your compass, there is no scope for sitting still.
Here are some courses that can help you to learn a lot of amazing and important legal skills that can potentially change your life.
Executive Certificate Courses