Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk.
If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.
Are you pursuing a shadow career?
Are you getting your Ph.D. in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you?
Are you living the drugs-and-booze half of the musician’s life, without actually writing the music?
Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk becoming an innovator yourself?
If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, ask yourself what your current life is a metaphor for.
That metaphor will point you toward you true calling.
Steven Pressfield, from Turning Pro.
If you seek to begin something — or to fully embrace something — that feels like your mission in life, The War of Art and Turning Pro are essential reading. Pressfield writes with short intensity, in power bursts as if through a jackhammer. Each segment is a page or two or three at the most. The above was such an example.