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5 Important Things Nobody Tells You About Finding Your Calling

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Self-development books and personal growth blogs will scream at you to find your calling. “Do what you love,” they say. “Do what you’re passionate about,” they shout. “Follow your purpose,” they write.

They tell you to do what you love and what brings you joy. They tell you to find work that brings you alive. They ask you to do work that doesn’t feel like work – jump out bed every day – love your Mondays.

Yet, much of this advice stems from unrealistic thinking without concrete steps to guide you. Quitting your job and following your passion is a one-way ticket back home to your parents’ penthouse suite – or the basement, whatever the case may be.

Here’s 5 things the bloggers, career coaches and experts don’t tell you:

1. You don’t have to quit your job to find your calling

You can discover your calling while you’re in a job. More than likely, you’ll run into your calling when you’re doing work for a paycheck. In your day-to-day work, different interests will pull at you. You’ll stumble upon creative challenges and discover work you’re passionate about.

Spend your time focused on your job and you’ll either stumble into your passion or take inspiration from something that will lead to your calling. If you discover your calling, you can work on it before work, during lunch and over the weekends.

“To me, the American Dream is being able to follow your own personal calling. To be able to do what you want to do is incredible freedom.” – Maya Lin

2. You find your calling by taking action

You can’t sit back and theorize about what your calling is in the world. You find your calling by doing something: taking classes, talking to mentors and trying out a variety of jobs.

If you think something is your calling, the only way to do it is to try it. Don’t hypothesize and theorize about whether you were meant to do it. Start doing it and see where it takes you.

 

3. Not knowing what you want in your calling is critical to finding your calling

When you try new things and hate them, you still win. If you have no idea what your calling is, write down a list of everything you’ve done that’s NOT your calling.

Knowing what your calling isn’t is just as helpful as knowing what your calling is. You can eliminate, narrow down and see what’s on the table. Move away from what isn’t your calling and you’ll find yourself nearing your calling every day.

 

4. Your life’s pains and trials carry the seeds of your calling

Think back to your life’s biggest pains and struggles. For me, that’s an easy one: my divorce. For you, it may be a breakup, a business failure or the passing of a loved one. A seed of your calling planted itself in each defeat you’ve encountered in your life.

During your most difficult hours, you had a glimpse into your soul and the deepest life questions. During this time, you likely discovered – or found inspiration to reflect on – your calling.

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” –  Lucius Annaeus Seneca

5. Your calling in life will require that you use your gifts

Do you know what your gift in life is? We each have a gift. You have one too, no matter what you think. You simply refuse to admit that your talent, ability or ease in doing something is a gift. Talking to people is a gift, helping people is a gift, your great smile is a gift.

Acknowledge your gift and know that your calling will require you to use your gift. If you can’t figure out your calling, figure out what your gift is. Then see how you could use your gift to make a bigger impact on the world.

Have you found out your calling? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Ram Vijay

    May 19, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Good article Vishnu. I always thought of leaving my job to start follow my calling. And still I am stumbling on whats my calling without taking action. Here on I will follow your advice to take action on my calling to narraw down whats fit for me

  2. Rayon Whittaker

    May 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Vishnu,

    Very good advice indeed. I did find that I loved helping people through having a 9-5, it was from there that I decided I wanted to do something greater.
    Now, the second point I would say is the most important and the realest, I had to take action and in taking action and analyzing whether or not the outcome rests positively with me then I know what the next phase of the process will/should be.

    Thanks much for the reminder.

    Rayon

    • Vishnu

      May 14, 2016 at 4:10 am

      Hey Rayon, thanks for the comment. You’re doing the most important part of it all in taking action. Most people stoop at this part so glad you’re on the next phase. Best wishes to you.

  3. Shawn

    May 13, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Hey Vishnu, this is truly an amazing article. Different from what other bloggers suggested. Good job.

    You are right about taking action to discover our action. We can’t predict the future and who knows where we might end up. So taking action is the only find to figure out our calling.

    • Vishnu

      May 14, 2016 at 4:29 am

      You got it Shawn. Action will help us get there and figure out what’s right and not right for us. I’m glad you liked the article and thank you for commenting.

  4. Tim Denning

    May 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Vishnu thank you for your advice. The first point resonated with me because I believe if you are working a job you need to spend every waking hour outside of work finding your calling. I think I have found mine but I’m not quite living it 100% just yet.

    • Vishnu

      May 14, 2016 at 4:30 am

      THanks Tim! Looks like you’re on the way there. Action is where most people stop so you’re ahead of the game.

  5. Andrea Hibbitt

    May 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    I found this very useful. I believe I’ve found my calling so my goal is to do as you stated and “take action.”

    • Vishnu

      May 14, 2016 at 3:58 am

      Wonderful news. Knowing your calling is the hard part but glad you’ve done that. Now, it’s just how to turn the calling into a reality.

  6. Charlene Rhinehart

    May 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Great advice! “Your calling in life will require you to use your gifts”. Thanks for sharing!

    • Vishnu

      May 14, 2016 at 3:56 am

      Thanks for the feedback Charlene! And yes, we all have a gift : )

  7. Alberto R. Mayol

    May 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I love your words and they’re just what I need in this moment of my life. Thank you.

    • Vishnu

      May 14, 2016 at 3:55 am

      Thanks Alberto – glad it helped!

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