In the book “A Life at Work” by Thomas Moore the idea of a polycentric life is discussed. It is explained that we can approach life and our life’s work as polycentric, or with many important and central themes. The analytical definition of the term polycentrism from dictionary.com states, “Having many centers, especially of authority or control.” This idea relates to the many multi-talented people in the world, and the many disperse interests that inspire people to innovate and create. It is easy to get bogged down in the practicality of life. Where we begin to search for just one main specialization that we dedicate our life to, or the feeling that stretching from our comfortable interior would be too risky. Stretching ourselves and getting out of our comfort zone is exactly what is needed for growth. I feel that if someone wants to own a business, help the community, become a musician, and grow as a writer, then why not strive to do all four, and enjoy learning through the process. There are ways to follow all our callings and live an abundant and fruitful life in the process. We don’t have to live in poverty in order to follow our dreams or live an unconventional life.
The lofty Renaissance ideal
A main diverging point would be that if we have our focus dispersed between too many activities and ideas, we will only ever reach a mediocre level of attainment between each one. Without direct and intense focus on our main desire we can lose ground, or the process of achieving each goal will at least take a longer time. I think that this is practical though limiting point. If you are able to strictly pinpoint your passion for one overall subject or occupation that is wonderful, but many people have a hard time delineating a vast interest in different topics and disciplines. We may not be able to become an expert in everything, but we can certainly follow our desire for growth in many areas of interest. Consider for example the cultural movement of the Renaissance, or more specifically the ideal approach to living that encouraged growth, self-expression, and self-understanding. There has been many times where an expansive surge in the understanding of humanity, art, and the destiny of “man” has occurred. What were the means by which this Renaissance type ideal blossomed? Was it purely the zeitgeist of the times, or is this capability more of a fundamental principle that can be attained? For me, the key is simply following passion, establishing prioritizes, and managing time.
Making time and charting a path
By setting prioritize and using time-management principles, people can follow the internal drive that engages them in a breadth of occupations and responsibilities, with each role being as important and complimentary to the essence and nature of that person. After we believe in our potential, setting goals that allow us to use time as efficiently as possible is the primary means to get to where we want to be. These sub-goals are the essence of solving problems and making headway toward our calling. Each day use your time as wisely as possible, and continually cultivate and amass the necessary resources that you will need for your journey. You may not become be an expert on running your own business overnight, but that does not mean you should put off your calling until the “ideal” situation comes around. It is not any easy process to transcend a social norm presented to us as children expressing that “ordinarily” we should decide what we want to do, major in that subject in college, and then concurrently head in that direction by getting a job,…oh yeah, but make sure to pick just one thing. I would love to take a poll, (and I just might when it becomes a significant priority), on how many people utilize their college education in a specific manner, or how many people just happened to fall into a random career opportunity where they are now flourishing. There will undoubtedly be much soul searching and self-development along the way to discovering a calling. It was difficult for me to realize that my calling would not simply appear before me. I needed to examine what caused a spark in my passions and emotions and begin exploring that avenue. To be frank though, I’m still highly uncertain, but am feeling more and more passionate about education and public speaking, or more specifically a mission to inspire and motivate others. Regardless, everyone has something they are primarily passionate about, and if they don’t know what this is, it can be discovered through continual self-growth and wisdom.
Stuck in a rut
People may express feeling they are stuck in a role that no longer provides growth and meaning. At this point it is possible, if we have served our purpose well, that we learned our fill from what a certain “job” may provide us, and at this point, it may be time to move on and forge a new path. This decision can be a major turning point. We can listen to our soul and intuition telling us to follow our calling. I feel people have more than one calling, and just because our identity has developed around a particular occupation for an extended period of time does not necessarily mean this is all we can be or should do. This is how people can be a parent, student, employee, artist, and athlete all in one. Each role is just as meaningful as the next, though many people will inevitably find there essence within one activity more than another. Many people will probably perceive their profession or career to be a calling, as they spend such as significant amount of time engaged in this activity. A career is an important and time-consuming part of many peoples’ lives, and thus an important area for consideration and reflection. Just remember you do not have to stay at a job you despise. Why not begin analyzing your values and conviction in order to begin charting a path that is congruent with your passions and interests. Strive to experience growth each day until your calling becomes a realization. If thought about comprehensively, there really is a career opportunity within every conceivable interest, and as long as this interest is not completely self-serving or harmful to others, why not make it happen? If you take the challenge to learn the ropes and put in the effort, you may find the support and capability needed start coming your way. It may not be easy, but with resilient effort your calling will begin to become your livelihood.