A few Sunday’s ago I was sitting outside of a church waiting for my ride to visit another service. I was flown from the north to the centre of the island by private car. I did not have time to indulge in experimenting with my makeup. As I sat staring at my reflection in the miniscule visor mirror, powder brush poised like a famous artist ready to create a masterpiece, a parishioner took that inopportune time to greet me. Thankfully, I had not reached the stage of no return in my ‘beautification process’ so I cheerily returned his greeting.
We were talking about life and jobs and the subject of career changes came up. He remarked that experts believe that about every seven years people tend to make a career change. As I did a quick calculation, I discovered that I had unknowingly fallen into that category, which meant I was on the precipice of another move, if we agree that the experts are correct.
As he walked away, a torrent of questions flooded my mind. Did I make the correct choice for my career? Do I truly love my job? Was it time for me to change jobs and if so what would I do? Would I be able to fulfil my financial commitments and still help others? I quickly erected a dam in my mind to still the category four storm that was brewing in my head.
I then thought about all those persons who were simply in jobs for the sake of working. Square pegs in round holes – persons in positions for which they are not well-suited. When we reach different stages of our lives, look back and audit the years, how many of us can say that we have fulfilled our calling?
There lies within each of us that innate desire to fulfil that calling of destiny, to live out that purpose for which we were created. However, there also is buried within us that primal need for survival and in my opinion that is one of the most compelling reasons to remain in ‘the wrong job’.
An even more constricting, controlling and compulsive factor for the vocational misfit is fear. The ‘what-if’s’ take the spotlight on the centre-stage of our minds and we stagnate in safety. Our creativity is stifled and the brilliance and ingenuity that once shone blazingly from our eyes dulls to a mere flicker.
On the other end of the spectrum are persons who remain in the wrong place for another reason. It is not fear or the need to eat that keeps them stuck. These persons are good at doing several things and are blessed with the ability to excel at whatever they try. For such, it must be almost impossible to find out where he or she should be stationed in life. I use the term ‘stationed’ very cautiously because life is not static and we all know that ‘the only constant in life is change’.
These musings then beg the question, ‘How can I determine my destiny?’ There is no easy answer, no magic wand that can be waved and the answer immediately appear. I can, however, suggest five things that could guide us to that seemingly elusive spot.
1) Pray. Whilst not everyone subscribes to a higher authority, I have found answers to many questions in my own life via this medium.
2) Write a ‘pros and cons’ list and base the decision not on the number of the items but on the weight they carry.
3) Audit your feelings and try to assess what makes you the most happy. What is that thing that sets your nerve endings into high gear and makes you irresistible to others?
4) Ask those persons in your life who will give you honest answers about your strengths and weaknesses and in which areas they believe you would shine.
5) Try. Nothing beats a failure but a try. And what if you were wrong? Well then you were wrong! But you can’t stay there, you must try again.
Destiny… Elusive? Yes. Impossible? No. American preacher Tony Evans said that if you have reached your destiny and find that you are alone, then you have not reached your destiny. I am on the path to greatness and looking forward to meeting those I must on the way to my destiny. Our paths do differ but our goal of affecting positive change in as many lives as possible is the same. Shall we go for a walk?
(Renee Boyce is a medical doctor, a wife, a mother and a Christian, who is committed to Barbados’ development. Email:[email protected])