The age old question! I suspect it’s going to vary from person to person, but, in general, what stops time for you? To make my own long story short, I worked with kids a lot when I was a teenager. I loved it! Senior year of HS my English teacher was horrified when she found out I wasn’t going to college. “You have to!” she said. “You need to be a teacher!”
That’s the refusal of the call, right there.
Well, off I went to work at a bank, department store, did this, did that until one day I realized I was wasting my time and went to college and majored in English (another passion). Senior year I was chatting with a grad student about how I didn’t know what to do after graduation. She told me her fiance was the asst principle of a private special ed school that needed assistant teachers. (meeting with the mentor/guide)
So I did that. And there was that “loving working with kids” thing again. Started a grad degree in education, became a spec ed teacher which filed my sails for 20 years. In the meantime, I’d had my transcript evaluated and found I had enough English credits to be certified in English. Became an English teacher and spent the last 7 years of my career teaching a college prep course for seniors that I designed, centered on the hero’s journey. Never worked so hard or loved my job so much. I taught for 32 years and during much of that, time stopped in a feeling of overwhelming fulfillment.
So, for me, bliss revealed itself when I was an adolescent, and it took a bit of time to realize that. I do suspect that this probably works for many people. It is interesting though, that as soon as I decided to go back to school, doors started opening for me along the way, guiding me to where I was meant to go. I met people who said the right thing at exactly the right time for me to shift course in the right direction.
That’s how it worked for me. But we have to be mindful of our opportunities as they arise and be willing to take a risk.