Recently The Wish Group had our annual Winter Kick Off in Niagara Falls. The theme was centered on Top Gun and specifically around one of The Groups values of Discipline. My interpretation of the Top Gun theme beyond the integrity, energy and ambition that it takes to be one is understanding what your true calling and destiny in life is, similar to Tom Cruise’s character in the movie.
I’ve been rereading Steven Pressfield’s newest book Turning Pro which is a follow up to his amazing book The War of Art. In this book Pressfield talks about “shadow” careers. That is to say, things we do that are not our true calling because we are afraid to or fall victim to resistance. Resistance, or the bad voice in your head, is what inhibits us from doing our work, from being a professional versus an amateur in our lives. We get a lot of certainty out of our shadow careers, but not true fulfillment. Imagine the actor who chose to be a server in a restaurant instead or the entrepreneur who took the 9 to 5 because it was a more certain path. The shadow career is a false expression of who we really are, it’s what I’ll call our fate or the way our life will turn out based on the circumstances of our life. Fate is letting your life be defined by your conditions and by fear. Fate is not destiny, destiny is something you create which has a calling to it. As Anthony Robbins says, growth equals happiness and in regards to our job in life – if we want to be happy we need to step into our destiny, into our calling.
For a long time in my life I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, a grade 8 teacher along with my father’s guidance helped me come to that conclusion. I focused much of my attention from that age until my mid-twenties pursuing that objective but it never felt right for some reason. That being said I think I would have been a good litigator and would have thrived as many living their shadow careers do. However something happened when I started my first entrepreneurial venture at the age of 28, it was like the universe hit me with a burst of energy and what became clear to me was that my true calling in life was being an entrepreneur and the result of that revelation changed my life so profoundly that my life’s purpose now is having others live their calling and expressing it with passion.
I’ve been on my destiny path for a few years now. At first I wasn’t even aware that it was my destiny and it started out terrifying and although it’s often still scary, I keep reminding myself that part of living your destiny and not your shadow career is being able to live with and even embrace uncertainty. It’s about declaring that you love how your life is currently unfolding regarding of whether you’re currently dealing with a breakdown or breakthrough. It’s about trusting that God or the universe always has your back and realizing you have a gift and your job is to give that gift to the world. It’s about doing what’s right, rather than what’s easy. It’s about turning pro and showing up to do your work- whether you are inspired to or not.
Are you living in your shadow career? Are you bound by fate or creating your destiny? Take the leap like I did years ago and you will be surprised at how graceful the transition will be and how joyful your life will become.