As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, " One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself". Understanding yourself helps you to identify your direction and purpose in life. Many people go through life just like they are sleepwalking. They are just following the crowd. They disconnect from their inner voice and lose motivation. Ask yourself a few questions. What did I want to pursue if I had enough money? What makes me tick? What others always comment on my strengths? Discovering yourself is like solving a puzzle. There are a few tools that can help you solve this puzzle.
Psychology: One of these powerful tools in self-discovery is psychology. Sigmund Freud is the pioneering psychologist that promoted the concept of conscious vs unconscious mind. He defined three concepts called id, ego, and superego. There are constant struggles between these three mental entities. The id is the combination of unfiltered animal instincts and our desires. The superego is the moral entity that advises us what is right and what is wrong. The ego is the mediator between id and superego that constantly checks reality to create a balance between id desires and superego moral justifications. Understanding psychology can serve you to better understand yourself.
Personality tests: There are different classifications for personality traits. In one of these classifications, 16 main personality types are considered. These types include Architect, Logician, Commander, Debater, Advocate, Mediator, Protagonist, Campaigner, Logistician, Defender, Executive, Consul, Virtuoso, Adventurer, Entrepreneur, and Entertainer. For more information related to these personality characteristics, refer to here. There is another personality model called the OCEAN model. This model considers five personality factors. These five factors include Openness (O), Conscientiousness (C), Extraversion (E), Agreeableness (A), and Neuroticism (N). Each of these factors includes a combination of more specific traits that are related to each other. For more information related to these traits, refer to here.
Intrapersonal intelligence: Howard Gardner, the author of "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences", is one of the pioneers in advocating this type of intelligence. The ability to look inward to understand your own feelings, emotions, and intentions is called intrapersonal intelligence. This is a skill that can be developed by reflective thinking to better serve you in understanding your calling. People gifted with this intelligence are usually introverted, intuitive, self-aware, and philosophical. Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud are a few examples of famous people with this intelligence.
Understanding biodiversity: Each human is unique in a way that their connectome (wiring of their neurons) is unique. Biodiversity is the result of evolutionary forces in nature to increase the resilience of the system towards change. It increases the chances of survival of species. Therefore, it is an advantage of the system. We need to celebrate our uniqueness and discover it. It is better to be yourself than a copy of another person. A few unique characteristics of the mind are mentioned in the following.
A theoretical mind vs an experimental mind: Some people are more interested in abstract thinking and inductive reasoning, while others are interested in experimental work.
A philosopher mind vs a scientist mind: Some people are more interested in answering "how" of life, while others are interested in answering "why" of life. There is a famous quote by Friedrich Nietzsche that says, "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."
A generalist mind vs a specialist mind: Some people are generalists (also known as polymath), while others are specialists. Generalists are more interested in knowing many different topics. However, specialists enjoy having a laser focus on a niche topic.
Journaling: Journaling is another tool that can help you to find your calling. By analyzing your notes over a long period of time, you can find patterns that are related to your key characteristics. Key characteristics are the main personality traits of a person. These key traits root from your genes and your experiences in life (nature and nurture).
Book and mentor: The biggest investment in life is educating yourself. There are many books helpful for understanding your inner call. One of them is called "Mastery", written by Robert Greene. Robert Greene goes through a step to step process of how to be a master in a field or profession. Mentors are the only shortcuts in life. They can help you to find your calling by providing helpful feedback about you.