Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Seeking Inspiration

I am a bookworm. At an early age I began turning to books for solace and advice. As I have gotten older, this strategy has continued to prove effective. While I mainly read fiction, I occasionally browse the self-improvement section. The picture below is the cover of a book I am reading as part of a careers class I'm taking. (If you're interested in reading it, you can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble's websites).

"Smart Moves" is full of personal stories of people who have found careers they love. Mostly my reaction to the book has been, to quote Austin Powers, "Whooptie-do, Basil." In my search for meaning, I catch myself slipping into the roll of the angry cynic from time to time. I read their success stories and can't help feeling a little bitter about their confidence and direction. 

However, when I am able to push away my negative thoughts and objectively evaluate the choices these people have made, I admit that it can be helpful. One idea that resonated with me while I read tonight was this, "Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you can't be good at something else."

I struggle with the idea of "talent" a lot in my career soul-searching. I'm a good singer, I know this because people of all walks of life have told me so. I have been told by complete strangers that it would be a sin to neglect my talent and pursue anything other than music. Glazing over the religious implications here (I don't want to debate theology...tackling my career journey is quite enough without embarking on a spiritual journey too), this statement upsets me.

It is hard to justify leaving music performance behind when everyone I know tells me that I have what it takes to make it in music. "If you just put some effort in, you could be great!" But the thing is, I don't want to put some effort in. Yes, I'm a good singer, but I don't want to be a musician. That just doesn't feel like my passion. At times it does, those shining moments when I'm actually on stage and basking in the glow the spotlight. But as soon as I step out of the lime-light I remember how much I dislike the business of being a musician. And I know that isn't my passion.

So it is encouraging to read those words. Yes, I'm a talented vocalist, but that doesn't mean I can't have other talents. Being a good singer does not limit me to being a musician. I can pursue any avenue I like and who knows what else I may find I am good at!?

I titled this entry "Seeking Inspiration" because in absence of passion, I am putting my energy into finding passion. To do so, I think it is important to be open to inspiration. A book assigned for class or the words of a stranger can provide tips to finding the path I'm looking for. I encourage you to do the same! Be receptive to the lessons around you and actively seek inspiration!

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