This may be just stereotype gendered-color schemes for babies or children, but it still applies when someone thinks my father is a carpenter, I too, must become a carpenter.
Or I was born and grew up in this town. I will do the same as what others before me have done, including grow old and die in the same place.
Worst, when someone charts his path to success or destiny merely by believing what others say about him. If your boss says: "You're not good enough. You can never get a job else where. Lucky you, we still let you keep the job here!" You believe it -- even listen to it like a lullaby. And, like a puppy obeying its master, you keep doing what you're doing until one day you're about to retire, suddenly your eyes open, silently you regret it and say -- "I wish I had quit the job long ago". Sounds like an unhappy career ending, doesn't it?
How can you fulfil your potential if you dare not to venture further, let alone disrupt your comfort zone?
"Love and do what you want"
Lives and careers can go up and down, or around in circles like a merry-go-round, yet they deserve true discernment -- true calling.
St. Augustine, one of the great saints from the fourth century B.C, advises: "Love and do what you want"
Never let fears hold you back. The only way to past them is to ask yourselves a question: What you love most not what you do best, for what you do best may not what you love. Never mind others saying: "You can never make it. You're not good enough; not clever enough, or not creative enough."
One thing we shall never forget is, that the other precious gift God gives us, apart from life, is the gift of learning. Having this gift of learning, we can learn almost anything in order to develop our skills and talents needed to do what we love.
Fixed mindset and growth mindset
DR Carol S. Dweck, a professor of psychology at Columbia University, in her book Mindset, explains that with the right mindset we can reach our goals -- both personal and professional. She discovers that there are two types of mindset -- a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
In the HBR IdeaCast interview with Harvard Business Review, DR Dweck explains: "A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, their intelligence, their talents, their abilities, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount, and that's that. But other people have a growth mindset. They believe that even basic talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience, mentorship, and so on. And these are the people who go for it. They're not always worried about how smart they are, how they'll look, what a mistake will mean. They challenge themselves and grow."
If DR Dweck motivates through her discovery of growth mindset, St. Augustine challenges through his message -- "love and do what you want", in other words he encourages us to follow our heart; to embrace our passions.
From law school to shoes design. And, a chemist to a pope.
Manolo Blahnik, one of the world's most successful shoe designers, was raised in a banana plantation in the Canary Islands. His father wanted him to be an international lawyer; he studied law and languages in Geneva. But he knew becoming an international lawyer wasn't his true vocation. His passions were doing something creative with his hands, so he went to art school. Why shoes? In an interview with Harvard Business Review (December 2010), he commented: "Because they have a life for themselves ... I also love the way you see people walking in shoes, how they decorate feet. They bring refreshment to people's lives." He opened his first London boutique in 1973. It took him 10 years to learn the craft. Now, his shoes are available in 20 countries, decorate the feet of many incredible women: princesses, actresses, ladies everywhere.
Another vivid example is an Argentinian man by the name of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He let go of his career as a chemist to become a priest -- a real major disruption; he was then ordained on 13 December 1969. What becomes of him now? Effective 13 March 2013, he is Pope Francis!
So, find what you love. Pursue it. Let go of your fears. Never mind stepping back -- if you have to; never mind disruption -- whether minor or major, they are better than silent regret later. Doing what you love is very meaningful -- not only for yourself but also for people around you, and furthermore its rewarding joy is beyond bound!
Note: Image is contributed by Melissa Mu Photography of Sydney.