The first session of the Quitter Conference is about figuring out what your dream really is. Why?
Because that’s the thing that stops most of us in our tracks.
We don’t know what are dreams are. We don’t have a sense of what our passions are. We feel like everyone but us knows exactly what their calling is.
Why is figuring out our passion so hard? Why is finding our life’s purpose feel like such a struggle sometimes? I think it’s because figuring out your dream is an act of recovery, not discovery. As I detailed in Quitter, we often want Eureka moments. We want to be walking across the street at 42 years of age, get hit by a lightning bolt, and suddenly say, “Eureka! I’m meant to be a beekeeper. All these years I’ve been an accountant, no wonder life has been so difficult! I’ve discovered my passion.”
But, more often than not, figuring out your calling is an act of recovery, of rescuing something from your past that you loved and you lost. Something that life got too busy for and you stopped doing, or something that someone who mattered to you told you didn’t matter.
“You think you can do that for the rest of your life?”
“How could you ever make money doing that?”
“It’s time to grow up. That idea is silly.”
The older we get, the more our dreams get chipped away by life, until eventually a passion we’ve always had gets covered up by years and years.
Finding your true passion is a reunion, not a first date. It’s an act of recovery, and recovery is not easy.
I love the way David Whyte talks about recovery in this short section from his brilliant book, The Heart Aroused. In it, he takes a modern look at life via the lens of the famous poem “Beowulf:”