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personal development, your niche

Find Your Niche

Everyone questions their present situation and position in life’s journey from time to time.

If you’re young and starting out in life there are so many paths that can be taken and so many things that can interest you that most of the time to be effectively searching to find your niche is simply a process of trial and error. Personal development and increasing one’s basic substance as a person at a younger age simply takes time.

The younger years are so exciting because all of life is like a large cafeteria and there’s so many choices with so many really tasty  things to choose from.  And that’s exactly how it’s suppose to be during the early educational years.

Then if you’re somewhere between the young college years or early career and the upper middle age brackets eventually you’re going to come to a point where you continuous evaluation and reassessment of your present situation to determine if there’s something that needs to be looked at with scrutiny and adjusted. This process happens many times during this very wide and lengthy time frame and it helps us to maintain focus and equilibrium.  It makes us feel in control, somewhat at least.

And then there’s the older years where we may have time to finally get in touch with the real things that life is made of and think through as to exactly what it is we really have in fact accomplished and if it has been what we had at one time in the far past hoped we would have. Many times trying to find your niche in life has to wait until the latter years because, well there’s just so much to do.

However it doesn’t matter which phase of life you may be in right now, the general process of determining what it is that really “floats your boat” is typically the same.

The first step in this analysis is to go to yourself. Seems obvious that since it’s you that you’re concerned with, then it’s you that should be consulted first and the one that should be the most involved. Yes it’s obvious and it’s true, however many times it’s much easier said than done. Well meaning relatives, friends,  and acquaintances all will have their own ideas and perspectives, at least generally of where they feel your strengths (or lacks) and talents (or weaknesses) might lay. And their opinions aren’t to be quickly dismissed because they have known you for a while, they have observed you from the outside and their opinions should be considered, at least to a point.

But when it really comes down to it you’ll find that ultimately it’s up to you to find your niche in life, whether in the early formative years of education or during the latter years after much experience and maturation has woven its way into your life.

If a person can rationally and politely consider another’s observations about you that’s great, and it is important. And if you’re pulling life’s load with someone else then obviously their opinions, needs, aspirations and desires will help focus and temper the path that you’ll be able to take.

But that’s all practical stuff, very practical which yes, has to be dealt with. But those are categories of necessity and may or may not have much to do with trying to find your niche, with your own personal development.

I have one test for accurately assessing if someone has truly found their “place” and their “calling” in life and it’s this; What is it that if all else were gone, what is it that no matter what the circumstances, what is that one thing that you must do or think about, no matter what? That place and area of which you have absolutely no choice over thinking about and considering even if only from time to time. What is that one area, thing, cause or activity that if the situation arises you would always drop what you’re doing and go do?

Everyone has this area, this niche whether they’ve actually found it or not. There’s one area, talent, skill or interest that if a call is made to you, whether literally or figuratively, you’d change paths immediately and go tackle the issue if circumstances dictate. This my friend is your life’s desire, whether you’re accomplishing it or not, this is your niche.

And everybody has one.

There are three classes of motivating circumstances that we find in life’s journey. The first is the required class. Those are the involvements that are necessary to physically, emotionally and spiritually sustain oneself and families or close ones. There’s not much option insofar as engaging in these activities, at least to some level, because to not do so means to not have the requisite “food, shelter and clothing” needs met.

The second class of priorities are the one’s that are more ego, emotional and intellectually driven. These are activities and pursuits that assist us in accommodating more cerebral, spiritual or human person needs.  Now, a library could be written on the hidden dynamics of why these are necessary and either pursued or neglected, which ones are chosen by the person, which one by obsessive needs, and on and on. But in general that’s the second class of chosen behaviors.

The third class however is the one I desire to focus on because whether we clearly see it or not, it’s the one that is always following us. This idea, thought, desire, this niche is a reluctant but relentless suitor that will, if not taken by the hand, will quietly follow us into eternity faithfully to die with us, unrequited or not. It is that ultimate soul mate that life prepared for us and for which we were designed and built. It is that which completes us.

Sometimes in the middle of the night a thought of grandeur, a “what if” scenario comes into our minds and we think of what we would do if unbridled by the most common and inelegant necessities, requirements and schedules of life that always are binding us to other less noble and fulfilling pursuits.

Some of us think of how we would march into a world of selfless devotion and assistance to others. Another might think of the world of artistic camaraderie that they long to be a part of. Those free souls that throw caution to the wind and live life on the terms it serves up. And for those that haven’t been completely desensitized by the world and it’s ideas of success and fulfillment, we long for that which we wish we could attain to if only we could live a life just slightly more unfettered.

That “thing” that in those twilight times of reflection keeps coming back and embracing our fantasies of what could be, that is what our niche is.

And if that idealistic and most romantic of thoughts continues its quiet pursuit of us, eventually and with finality we will face the decision of what to do about it. How can it be accommodated at least to some degree so that we can at least start the journey into that world we only dream of when we’re alone. Or we gaze into its eyes at is slowly fades further and further into the distance until one day we may not even remember what it was that so engaged us during those prior times when everything was possible and nothing outside our reach.

And if you have long since put aside such immature pursuits as imagination and dreaming, always remember that the world and someone in it will be poorer and have much less depth and texture to their life for your not pursuing those dreams that you once embraced.

Or maybe, just maybe you can resurrect the dream, today.

Author: Tony Hensley

 

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