During a recent coffee date, a friend congratulated me on this blog. She said it’s wonderful for me to share the content that I do, and that I am fortunate to have found a way to contribute to the world that is meaningful to me. I felt honored by the compliment. Then she told me she was happy with her life, but that she feels she is not pursuing her calling. Furthermore, she has no idea what her calling is.
I love personal reflection and looking to more deeply know myself. The idea of finding my calling has been on my mind since my late twenties. I have read a plethora of articles and books on this very topic. Below is a series of questions I feel helped me find some answers. I advise people to consider them if they also want more clarity on how to align with their life’s purpose.
- How do you use your spare time? Moving toward your calling is natural. It’s a path of least resistance and feels good. With that in mind, you may already be active in that space. Look at how you spend your time when you’re not “earning a living.” Are there any patterns? I know a person who couldn’t wait to leave work so that he could go to Cross Fit. Before long he was leading work out sessions, which grew into him becoming a coach. Today he has quit his “day job” to help run a gym while working with clients to find discipline and strength through fitness.
- What is the focus of your book or video libraries? For years I wondered what my calling was, then I was advised to look at my personal library. The majority of my books were non-fiction and held subject matter about developing self-awareness, intuition and compassion. Then came books on personal finance and organization. Lastly, I had a few fiction books which were predominantly about leaders working against all odds to help people experience a better life. It’s no wonder that I love to keep this blog and coach people through better organization of their goals, homes and finances.
- As a child what did you say you wanted to be when you grow up and/or what was your favorite pastime? Children are in tune with who they really are. They haven’t yet grown to think that their dreams and responsibilities can’t co-exist. Exploring what you loved as a child can give you great insight into your calling. For example, my childhood pastimes will probably not surprise anyone. I loved organizing things. I put every book and video in alphabetical order. I regularly organized my dresser drawers and closet by storing my clothes according to color, thickness and length of sleeve. I once created “birth certificates” for each of my stuffed animals providing each a name, birth date and birth place…these were stored alphabetically too.
- What role do you play in your personal relationships? We attract to us the people we are surrounded by, so for this question you should have awareness that every relationship – whether with a friend, colleague, or lover – is drawn to us for a reason. If we often take on a similar role in multiple relationships, it may be because we have a lesson to learn, but it could also mean that we are acting out our calling. For example, another friend calls it like she sees it, which usually means she calls people out for acting stupidly. She’s able to see multiple perspectives easily without getting emotionally invested. I recently suggested to her that she could be a mediator. She has tact but also is not uncomfortable with confrontation.
- What excites you in conversations with others? When I was studying astrophysics, the vastness and beauty of our universe filled me with wonder. People would ask me what I studied expecting a simple reply, but instead I gave them an animated explanation of solar system formation, black holes, relativity or some other topic we discussed in class. This still happens. Though the topics have changed, there are recurring themes such as the beauty of our world, oneness and feeling abundant. I can go on and on about these topics and usually do. What does this to you? Sports, fashion, technology, books or travel? If you can isolate what gets your juices flowing, you can find ways to transition into that field.
- When you have an absolutely great day at your current workplace, what made it that way? Many people have a job for a paycheck and they expect work to be simply that – work. I get it, my dad often said that if work was meant to be fun, it wouldn’t be called work. However, even when you have a job you don’t love, you have to admit that some days are better than others, and some days are great. What happens on the great days? What made them standout? Even if the answer doesn’t tell you your life’s calling, it can give you hints or ideas on what to look for in your next job.
As many spiritual leaders have stated throughout history, “Ask and it is given.” If you feel the answers to these questions don’t offer the guidance you are looking for, try praying for direction. Spend time alone in nature and watch your thoughts for inspiration during moments of stillness. When I make such prayers, I add “in accordance with divine right.” By adding this, I acknowledge that God knows what’s best. I may willfully set my sights on a certain job/relationship/desire that is not really for my (or the world’s) best interest.
If you’ve found your calling and you are willing to share your story, please comment below. We would all love to hear about it.