Finding a Hot Track in the NYTimes

Spent the weekend finishing up the kitchen cabinets.  (They turned out beautiful, too.  Pictures tomorrow, promise!) And on Sunday rewarded myself with a luscious “Day of Sloth” with the Sunday NY Times.

I haven’t been getting the Times lately because I was finding it hard to finish one before the next Sunday rolled around and then there were 2 papers half read.  And for $6 a pop, well…

But then last week at the grocery store I picked up the latest issue of O (Oprah’s mag) because the cover caught me.  It said:  “What’s Your True Calling?” and that is a subject near and dear to my heart.  I have spent my whole life, it seems, asking myself that exact question.

Inside there was an article by Martha Beck called The Right Track in which she described a technique for tracking down your life’s work.  She said try to look for “hot tracks” in your life just like you’d do if you were tracking a wild animal.  A “hot track” is a time when you were “utterly, happily absorbed in an activity, no matter how odd.”

So I started to think about it (and man! it took me awhile and I’m still ruminating on it) but the first thing that came to mind was sitting like a pig in mud, up to my neck in all the sections of the Sunday NY Times, with all of the time in the world to read it, and do the crossword puzzle, too!

Now my job is to follow this “hot track” to my calling.

But I already know my calling, so all this is just a game, and a fun exercise. But there was a time, and not too long ago either, that this whole “Finding Your Calling” shtick was the major hemorrhoid of my life.

Now the philosophy I subscribe to is to stop asking yourself what you want to be when you grow up, or “What’s the meaning of life?” and instead just go out and live it!  Find your all your hot tracks and follow them till they turn cold.

With one small proviso: Do it consciously, with awareness and see if you can help somebody else along the way.   I believe if you live your life this way, you’ll be doing what you were put on this earth to do.

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