We all face transitions in life. In my first post, Three signs that you’re entering a new chapter in your life, I discussed the sudden call; those times when God prompts you to do something extraordinary–something that might seem foolish to others.
Sudden calls are unusual, however. More often, we experience an increasing level of discontent in what we are doing. My second post in this series discussed how Healthy discontent may signal the start of a new chapter in your life.
In this post, I suggest a third sign that may suggest you’re about to enter a new chapter in your life: an unexpected and unquenchable interest.
Most of the time we accumulate knowledge about an area rather slowly. And we add new areas of interest slowly too. But every so often we might stumble upon something that causes us to take special notice. It piques our interest, so we explore it further and before we know it, we’re captivated.
When my daughter was first learning to write, she struggled with reversing words and letters. As a concerned mom, Anna researched as much as she could about our daughter’s challenges, writing friends and following up on every lead she received. Several friends pointed her to a field of complimentary health care that provided effective help to our daughter’s learning challenges.
Having found the solution, most of us would move on with the other activities in our lives. Anna’s pursuit, however, deeply affected her. She was unexpectedly and unquenchably captivated by the complementary health care field.
A new chapter in Anna’s life was being written. Night after night she spent hours researching and learning everything she could. She began attending conferences and gained certifications in multiple approaches. Shortly thereafter she began applying what she learned—first me, then family, then friends. Now she operates a highly successful practice seeing hundreds of clients a year.
I had a front row seat to observe her new chapter unfold and learned three things from it:
- Think unconventionally. When an idea captivates you in this way, resist the temptation to fit it into your conventional way of thinking. As a stay-at-home mother and homeschooler, Anna didn’t have time to pursue another degree. But she didn’t let a conventional way of thinking keep her from turning her newfound passion into a business. Never has there been a greater variety of ways in which an idea can come to life. Ask yourself, “Is the reason I’m thinking this can’t be done really true?”
- Engage differently. In novels new chapters often introduce new characters to advance the story. So it is in life as well. When an unquenchable interest arises, pursuing new relationships can accelerate your learning and keep you from making costly mistakes. Attending workshops, conferences, online discussion groups or meet-ups are great ways to meet people with the same interests.
- Derivate immediately. Any new skill or knowledge is greatly reinforced by immediate application. Begin by taking notes from what you read or people you interact with. Summarize what you’ve learned to friends and family. Put on a mini-workshop. Or build a prototype. Or draw a concept. Anything that causes you to create a derivative of what you’ve learned will greatly accelerate your learning and may open the door to your own unique way of embracing your passion.
You never know when a latent interest might come alive. When it does, embrace it. It could be the beginning of an exciting new chapter.
What other ways have you found to embrace an unquenchable interest?