I’ve gotta admit, I’m a sucker for a good “journey of self-discovery” story. One of my favorites is Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, in which a newly divorced woman rejects social convention and travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia to rediscover herself. Closer to home, I was beside myself with excitement to hear that Beyond the Gray friend and dream chaser, Alexis Grant – who followed her passion on a solo voyage to Africa – recently landed a literary agent to represent her travel memoir (congrats, Lexi, can’t wait to read your book!). So it’s not surprising that this month’s Legends Book Club pick, Sean Aiken’s The One-Week Job Project – which is about a recent college graduate who worked 52 jobs in one year in order to discover a career he’s passionate about – strikes a chord with me.
I’m about half way through the book and I’m finding Sean’s journey to be relevant to people of all ages, not just recent college grads, because so many of us are floating along in the “gray”, wondering what our passion is. Sean, too, felt lost and unfulfilled in the years following graduation, which inspired him to launch this project and proactively figure it out.
I think this is where so many of us go wrong; we wait for this great “AHA!” moment to strike without actually putting forth the effort required for such a discovery. Scientists don’t discover new medicines without a great deal of trial and error. Inventors don’t create game-changing technologies without thousands of failed prototypes first. So why should discovering one’s passion be pursued any less vigorously?
If you’re not sure what your passion is, take a proactive approach and find out. This doesn’t mean that you have to travel half way around the world like Elizabeth Gilbert or Alexis Grant, you can step out of your comfort zone and experience new things right from the very comfort of your home. It can be as simple as signing up for a cake-baking class or taking piano lessons, joining a friend for yoga or a mountain biking trip.
Whatever it is, Gilbert’s, Grant’s, and Aiken’s journeys prove that when you open yourself to new experiences, you’re allowing an unknown aspect of yourself to emerge and thrive.
Tell me, what new things are you opening yourself up to?