Creativity. How We Can All Pursue Our Calling In Life, And Do Work That Matters

Updated: Jun 26

I was delighted to chat recently with Salihah Agbaje, creative director of Spoken World Productions all about Jay Shetty and his book Think Like A Monk


It is a book that has made a great impression on Salihah. She is a professional creative who not only runs a children's theatre company but hosts the award winning Spoken World Podcast. As I also love reading this made for a really great topic to base a short online talk around.


For people who love to watch video, you can catch the full 30 minute chat here


The following is a guest blog by Salihah expanding on her thoughts from the talk.


Salihah Agbaje - Creative Director - Spoken World Productions

Think Like A Monk


Jay Shetty has a simple way of explaining the benefit in learning how to carve out a route to fulfilment.

In the book Think Like a Monk, Shetty explains that to live your life with contentment and in alignment with your innate abilities, there are two threads that need to connect.


Shetty refers to these two terms as Varna (passions and skills) and Sava (needs of the universe).

To answer your calling in life or your Dharma, (a Sanskrit term that Shetty describes as 'Not your job or an activity, rather, being in your Dharma means you feel at home, aligned and surrounded with feelings of joy')-in order to get to that space, the Varna and the Sava need to connect.


Where your passion and skills meet the needs of the universe (market/society/community) and you are able to selflessly serve others, this leads you to a route of fulfilment.


This made perfect sense to me, this a-ha moment made me pause for thought.



It's not enough for others to tell you that you're a fantastic accountant when you feel that daily drudge as you rise for work every morning, heavy with dread and feeling that you are wasting your life away in a meaningless role.


You need to feel the passion for accounting or whatever it is you dedicate your time to in order to gain the best from it.


Passion, coupled with your expertise and the appreciation that comes from those benefiting from your efforts, your purpose becomes clearer- now that's a calling worth pursuing!


Shetty explains that should we consider what the opposite might be -no skills or perhaps there are some skills yet, no passion to serve others-surely, this leads to a road of discontent and downfall.


This equation has to be balanced and when calculated correctly, the route to fulfilment will be easier to attain.


passion + expertise + usefulness =Dharma


When trying to find your Dharma, the key questions one must ask are DO I like what I do? Am I driven to improve? Does it have a purpose?


Shetty tells us that the 8-time Grand Slam Tennis winner and former number 1, Andre Agassi didn't actually like tennis!


In fact, Agassi is an example of somebody that was not living in his Dharma for a number of years.


An amazing talent combined with heartache and very little passion for playing tennis brought misery until Agassi embraced his passion for serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds through the Andre Agassi foundation.


To explore your strengths, passions and skills Shetty has a 5 minute quiz that you can take to learn more about your strongest qualities.


It is a quick analysis to discover which Varna you tend to lean towards and gives an interesting breakdown on which of the 4 Varnas align with your personality.


The 4 Varnas or sets of passions and skills are: Guide, Leader, Creator and Maker.


Each has strengths and weaknesses and considerations towards what you like most.


Interestingly enough, when I took the quiz, my result showed my passion/skills sat firmly under the umbrella of Guide which, upon reading the description, resonated so succinctly with me.


Shetty dedicated a whole chapter to understanding and discovering your calling, demonstrating how important a factor it is in life whilst trying to attain peace and contentment.


This is something that surely, we are all trying to achieve and now we have a good idea how.

Thank you to Salihah for this wonderful guest blog & thank you for reading.

Shona P.S If you would like to receive blogs like this straight to your inbox you can sign up here for my mailing list. I mail once per week on a Friday. For even more low cost marketing ideas why not buy my book? If you would like even more low cost marketing ideas I wrote a book. 100 Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners. Check it out here About Me Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Consultancy based in SE London. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.

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