Comedian Paula Poundstone jokes, “Why do adults ask children what they want to be when they grow up? They are looking for ideas.”
Dharma is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as one’s natural duty.
Some people have always known what they want to be. They’ve answered this question the same way since they were first asked it in kindergarten. For lack of a better word, these people are “lucky.” There are some that have issues with the word “luck,” thinking it diminishes the hard work that those people do. I am not “some” people.
We’ve all heard the cliches that people should follow their passion. We are told to pursue our dream, to find a way of doing what we would do if money weren’t an issue.
What if nothing comes up? What happens when you’ve never had a solid answer for those curious adults? If money weren’t an issue, you’d act like Peter Gibbons from Office Space: stay in bed all day, and do nothing.
For the first 26 years of my life, I never had a real answer for the “adults”. It was only in the last four months that, all of a sudden, the cliches started to make sense. I know exactly where I’d be if I didn’t have to work. I know exactly what I want to be doing, and am doing what I can to get myself into a position to do exactly that. In other words, I got lucky. I had just a slight interest in a topic, checked out a training program, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The best advice that I can give to you on finding your Dharma is to put yourself in a place to get lucky. Follow your interests. No matter how “small” the interests are, check them out. Volunteer at an organization that you are interested in. Go with your friend to their dance class. Join that book club. Check out the cooking class you’ve been curious about. It’s amazing how much time you realize you have when you spend it doing something you love. None of this exploration is time wasted. Knowing what you don’t want to do can be just as valuable as knowing what you want to do.
Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks wrote an article about following your effort, not your passion. He’s half right. My experience with Dharma has been finding something I put a lot of work into, only to realize it doesn’t feel like effort. It just feels right.
If you are lost, don’t sweat it, I’ve been there too. Go out and get lucky. I don’t know a better feeling.
By the way, Yoga Vida’s next teacher training is in June. I’m just saying…