Find the Clues to Your Future in the Crumbs of Your Past

via pinmarklet on Pinterest. the original's from joannapallaris.com.

 

An old friend recently contacted me. {If you’re reading dear friend, thanks for connecting.} He asked me if I remembered telling him 7 years ago that he needed to be more present, more mindful of this moment.

I laughed when I heard that. That sounded so “me-in-my-twenties.” I was so sure of myself then. But at the time my self-concept rested thinly on what I thought I knew about life-all twenty-something years of it. What I know now is that I don’t know anything for sure and knew even less then.

But it was also pertinent for another reason. He reminded me that I’ve always been kind of self-help-ish and new-agey. My favorite section of a bookstore was the self-help psychology section. I used to unashamedly sit my bottom down on the worn carpet peering into books on self-growth. I hardly cared if anyone saw me reading them. My passion was improving myself. And I was on a mission.

I used to keep a journal filled entirely with quotes from books I read. In fits of inspiration, I would read my thoughts, poems, and inspiring quotes to my co-worker. Stuck in a two-person office including me, he was forced to be my sole audience.

 

I Was a Wild Child

But then I went even further back in my memory. I thought about being my rebellious 10 year old self. I was a little wild child with a knack for coming up with “brilliant” stories that I made up on impulse, annoying friends and family with them.

When the school bell rang, I would run through the grass until my legs were covered with welts from the brush rubbing against my skin. I would lay down flat then and stare up at the sky. Those were the moments I released my imagination and let it free.

I was such a creator as a child. I made Christmas ornaments out of felt, created my first children’s story hand-drawn pictures and all, got my poem published in our news bulletin and won an award for my science project. I was an average student, but when it came to anything that involved creativity, my heart soared. It was a glorious feeling!

The funny thing is I never once thought about any of these memories when I was stressed out in my 20s trying to figure out my dreams.

 

I Used My Left-Brain to Decide My Life and Failed

I spent hour after hour researching jobs. I took an extra year getting my BA because I changed my major several times (Business, Environmental Studies) before I settled on an English major with a Ethnic Studies minor. Even at that age I was conflicted between wanting to follow my dreams and feeling the pressure to make money.

 

Life Lessons

These experiences taught me a few things about figuring out what you’re meant to do in life. I learned that if I had just spent more time analyzing my past, I would have had the clues I needed to find my future.

What I needed to do was work on the psychological factors that were preventing me from seeing them. This meant dealing with my fear of rejection as being a creative person, altering my belief that I couldn’t write for a living and facing all the negative baggage that I had accumulated about who I was and what I could do. It was a long way from that little girl who used to watch billowing clouds float in the limitless sky. But had I known she had the secret key to unlocking my dreams, I would have gone to her sooner.

Lost about your own purpose in life?

Follow the crumbs of your past. Think about what you spent all your time doing, what your strengths were, what activities you got most lost in. When you go in search of your childhood passion, you find your future.

 

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