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true calling

Chasing your true calling

“A man’s calling is written on his true heart, and he discovers it when he enters the frontier of his deep desires,” writes John Eldredge in his book Wild at Heart. For someone searching for their true calling, the words of the bestselling author can show where one has to look—inside. But contemplation alone is not the answer to understand what our heart desires. One can spend a lifetime searching for their life’s purpose, and still end up empty-handed. Finding one’s passion requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It is a test of time, after all, that many fail to withstand, as they either give up midway or decide to settle with what little life has to offer.

Imagine if we were born with a manual where our passions and desires were written, along with the instructions on how to achieve them. Life would have been much simpler, and we, a lot happier. Sadly, that’s not how life works, but it doesn’t mean we can’t find our true calling. It is a journey with unexpected dead ends, detours, trenches, but no short cuts. One needs clarity and courage to take this road less travelled. Soulveda brings you the story of four such troopers who pursued their true calling despite the odds and uncertainties—by taking tough decisions and making choices they do not regret.

Murali Rx, Head Coach, Mysuru Warriors

When I was in seventh grade, I saw a first-class cricket match between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. As a child, that was when I fell in love with the sport. I wasn’t very good at studies, but I was good at cricket—I invariably scored more runs than others in school matches. Hence, I decided to become a full-time cricketer. But when the coveted first-class tag eluded me, I took to coaching. I completed the relevant courses and acquired enough knowledge to coach elite players. As with any profession, coaching opportunities were quite inconsistent—one very good contract would be followed by none. And so, I quit coaching in 2007 and went back to a business that I had started in 2004.

The business was doing well, and I was making money. But I was not at peace. So, in 2009, when I got a call to coach a team in the Karnataka Premier League, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Winning the inaugural KPL tournament with the team rekindled my passion for cricket. I eventually decided to start my own cricket academy. What I’ve realised is that when you do what you love the most, every day becomes a joyful experience; life is full of energy. Of course, there will be ups and downs like in any other career. But your passion will keep you motivated to overcome all the obstacles.

Tony Pius, Physician and Bharatanatyam Dancer

In my opinion, true calling is not a destination but a journey; wherein we discover who we are every day. As of now, I have a list of things I want to accomplish in life, and I am fighting against all odds to achieve them. Meanwhile, I am also learning more about myself every day. I’m following my passion for dance which could quintessentially be described as ‘out-of-the-box’, but I would say that I am yet to decipher my life’s purpose.

To be honest, following my passion feels great on some days, but extremely frustrating on others. Frustrating because life as an artiste isn’t easy. It involves a lot of struggle. I have struggled in the past, I am struggling now, and I will struggle in the future as well. So, I don’t know whether the struggles will ever end. But whenever I see the fruit of my hard work, especially after I’ve put in a lot of effort, I feel euphoric. In those moments, I realise that I should keep moving forward in pursuit of my dreams, without looking back.

The motivation to push myself beyond boundaries came from the animals I met at CARE. Each one of them has a story of courage under fire.


Sudha Narayanan, Founder, Charlies Animal Rescue Centre

I have always loved animals and wanted to do something more for them than merely expressing sympathy. The opportunity came in 1994 when I met Crystal Rogers, the founder of CUPA. She was everything that I dreamt of being and from her I learnt what animal welfare is all about. For 17 years, I worked with CUPA as a trustee, living my dream.

In 2012, I felt the need to carve my own path. After specialising in trauma-care and sheltering, I founded Charlies Animal Rescue Centre (CARE)—dedicated to Charlie, a therapy dog with whom I had done six years of animal-assisted therapy. The initial years were tough. We had three sheds out of where we worked day and night helping animals in trauma. A major chunk of my salary would go towards CARE leaving me with not too much for myself. I even sold my apartment to protect the land we were on, but it did not matter. The thought of helping animals, the pure joy of seeing them recover and their spirit kept me going.

The motivation to push myself beyond boundaries came from the animals I met at CARE. Each one of them has a story of courage under fire. To protect them and ensure their wellbeing is my true calling, and I am adamant to walk this road despite the obstacles. Since I love what I am doing, I have no regrets quitting a well-paying government job. The work is tough both physically and mentally, but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

Sandeep Pandit, Founder and Well-Being Coach at Soul in Harmony

In retrospect, I realise that I’ve always been good at guiding people through difficult situations. But I didn’t think of it as my true calling until I came across a few situations wherein I had to play the role of a counsellor and guide. That is when I reviewed my own life, worked on myself and connected the dots.

The initial days were tumultuous. To break away from the corporate world after 15 years was not easy. It was especially difficult to convince my family, friends, and colleagues of my decision. But I asked myself one question before I decided to embark on this journey: will I be able to do this work till I die without getting tired? The answer helped me take the leap of faith.

Today, it feels like my journey has just begun. The feeling of pursuing my true calling is heavenly, especially when I realise how my services are making a difference in people’s lives and relationships. This realisation has deepened my purpose even further to make others happy in life. I am motivated by the impact I am able to make on society and that’s what keeps me going.

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