As a kid, I always used to think that the people who are born with some innate talent are so lucky. They know what to do with their lives; they have a purpose and are aware of their identities. Whereas people like me who are a little good in studies, little in dancing, singing and good with everything are actually good at nothing.
This thought has been with me for the longest period of my life. Little did I realise that we are all born with some special quality. I know this has been said and written about a zillion times and is a hollow statement until someone gives you tools to find the answer to exactly what that special trait is.
Before writing this article, I was surfing the internet to see if this question has been appropriately addressed earlier. There were a few ways like these repeatedly highlighted-
- Try and do different stuff, explore by doing and see what you love!
I found this one highly irrelevant as in Indian circumstances it is very difficult to go and try different things due to scarcity of resources, and exposure
- Next, I came across was keeping track of your likes and dislikes. This one is also not very effective because isn’t this the question after all, “how to find what you love”
So after long sessions of brainstorming here are few practical tools to know oneself better.
1.See closely where you spend your time
Your answer to this would be social media. Okay! Accepted! Now, look closer. What is there on these social media platforms that you enjoy? What Instagram handles you follow? What kind of pictures do you like to see? What are the posts that you share in a blink of seconds? Which ones have your thumbs up and which are the ones for which you pray there was a dislike button?
Because these all are your subconscious reactions to external stimuli, it will give you a better view of yourself!
Let me explain this a little more. My brother once scrolled down my Instagram feed and was perplexed to see there was so much text there. when he told me that I had so much data on an app known for sharing pictures, only then I realised I was unknowingly driven towards literature and entrepreneurial pieces of advice.
When I scrolled his feed it had all the artists and their artworks he liked. J
Maybe that is why I am a blogger and he is an artist.
Use these platforms for yourself. I have a friend who follows engineers on Instagram. Only after she shared a few videos I realised I did not enjoy engineering as much she does. This technique helped me a lot to choose my path ahead.
2.Differentiate between hobby and passion
Though there is a tough debate out there on this topic. Some people say passion is the key, others argue that it is a fancy word used by those who get through tough times and are rich today.
Well if you will ask me there is an extremely simple solution to this problem of finding out if some activity is your passion or hobby.
Increase the difficulty level and see if you can survive. It is as simple as that. If you are passionate about making music, mix some tracks on your laptop and see how that goes.
I have a lot of people coming to me, explaining how passionate they are for writing but have never written even a postcard.
If you are passionate about writing, start a blog and write daily. See, if you can manage! Observe if you feel unsettling till you finalise a post even if means waking up till 3 am in the morning.
3.Observe your recurring actions
Do you keep watching one same movie over and over again? Did you ever try to answer this question for yourself “Why this movie”?
You will say what kind of silly question is that “I watch it because I like it “. Yes, you like it but let us look closer. What is that you like in the movie? Is there a character that makes you watch this movie? If yes, how is that character? Do you mimic it sometimes…What is about this character you like?
Let me tell you about my experience with this technique.
I have watched Rang de Basanti several times. I am crazy for ‘Su’ in that movie, sometimes I even mimic her Hindi accent. I loved how passionate she was to get her work done that she befriends lazy guys of Delhi University and even get them working. The way she did not compromise on casting the guy her newfound group held grudges against was terrific.
It was one person’s perspective and passion that changed the entire bunch of lazy lads.
After all this analysis I realised I liked this assessment method so much that I did it with other novels, movie and TV series characters I liked to completely know what are the qualities I like and to what extent I needed to improve.
4.Read Read Read and Read!
No substitute for this one. Why most people choose to become an engineer after taking PCM in their 10+2 is that they don’t know any other career option. They are not clear if what they want to study further should be applied science or absolute science.
Reading is the only way mankind could evolve. Do you ever see a book as a gem? Whatever someone learnt in an entire lifetime is readily available for you to read in few hours or days.
In this era where our attention span has decreased so much, there is an on-going need to wake up masses and this can only be done via books.
Start reading as soon as possible. Read everything you get your hands on and you will find yourself a step closer to yourself.
Patience has been considered the key to learning. The biggest wisdom is to know you. You will have to develop patience. There is no alternative to this if you want to find out what you love.
Before teaching any move to martial arts students, they are asked to sweep a floor area covered with tiny sand particles. They have to do it until they successfully clean that area, the sand keeps on flying here and there and it takes a lot of patience to finally get the task done. This is their first lesson.
Patience is the first lesson in learning anything new. It will sail you through difficult times, you will inevitably face.
It is a myth that if you will discover what you love, every step further will be a cakewalk. You will have to work day and night then also. There will be exhausting times; there will be setbacks and failures. The only difference knowing yourself will create is that in this robotic lifestyle you will be more human. You will have a purpose of existence and this fact will keep you happy. You will think of leaving your mark behind on your work and not of getting paycheques at a fixed date of the month.
There are so many kids in our country with so much talent but no direction, this has to change and so here at ‘know your nods’ we are trying to let you know your nods and understand ours also.