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Have you found your true calling?

Seriously, have you?

I know this question can come off sounding corny…

After all, “finding a calling” sounds like something only hippies and hipsters (cousin of hippy) have time to ponder (over cups of latte or green juice, I’m sure).

For the rest of us who are trying to make a living, a calling is just another “nice idea” that won’t put bread on the table…

Or maybe not.

Maybe when we fully understand what a calling is – a deeply ingrained, virtuous drive to make ourselves and this life better…

And we recognize the people who have truly, fully lived their calling (people like Mother Theresa, C.S. Lewis, Michael Collins, and so many others)…

Maybe then we can fully grasp that this “nice idea we can safely ignore” is anything but.

Maybe then we’ll realize that any time we spend outside of pursuing our calling…

That thing we were meant to do….

That we were BORN to do…

Is just us hiding in fear and shadows.

And perhaps then we’ll realize a life lived as merely a shadow of our true self is the source of the greatest misery in the world.

(and no doubt what inspired Thoreau’s famous words: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”)

So back to the question:

Have you found your calling?

If the answer is “no” or “not yet,” that’s fine.

Life has a funny way of making us work for the things that matter.

That said, finding your calling doesn’t have to make you feel like you’re running around in circles, chasing your own tail.

There are three things you must do to find your calling:

1. Determine that thing you were meant to do. Not Joe Schmoe or Jill Whocares – you. And yes, it requires a choice (usually a hard one). The good news is: you already know exactly what it is…

2. Shift your mindset so that it’s not a pipe dream, but something instantly, palpably attainable.

3. Take action to do and become this thing for which you were created.

Of course, that last part is tricky.

It means diving head first into that terrible place of fear, uncertainty, and potential failure…that dreadful “no mans land” between our deepest aspirations and our greatest potential.

This is not easy…

And it is not without sacrifice…

But you can take comfort in knowing life isn’t lived in a vacuum, and you are not alone.

There are thousands if not millions of others on this quest, just like you, who yearn, seek, and strive daily to find and live their calling…

And believe it or not: many of them have.

Here’s why this is important:

Because it is through these success stories that you’ll find the energy, direction, and encouragement you need to become what you must and to do what you were born to do.

So if you have not yet found your calling, I implore you to do three things:

1. Start today seeking out the people who have done the things you aspire to do (and more importantly: have the depth of character you ultimately desire in yourself).

2. Start today learning from them, soaking up whatever knowledge you can to use for your personal journey (remember: every great master was once an apprentice).

3. Start today to become the person you were born to be.

Life is much too precious and you’re much too smart to wait until it’s too late.

Whatever you do: start today.

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  • Beautiful Tom.
    Just last night I gave a workshop and made my first ever offer to a group of women for positive body image mindset coaching.
    It was terrifying.
    But it felt amazing to be stepping up into something I deeply believe in.
    And 2 people said yes!
    Thanks Tom. Keep putting out great stuff! -Lizzie

    • What a great story Lizzie – I love it. Trust me when I say – if you keep going, your success will compound.

      Keep me posted on how everything develops for you!

  • Great post. I’m a bit of a dreamer and I find the positive in almost everything. I have finally decided to step into that with my art and use what comes naturally to me, to help others. It feels really good because it’s not all about me, I can focus on helping others and that never feels bad.

  • Your blog makes me rethink C.S. Lewis’ essay, “The Weight of Glory.” Thank you for bringing so much energy to the table and inspiring others.

    May we all live with purpose…

  • Thanks for bringing my attention to this book. I really enjoyed it. Not sure you are entirely right about number 1 though, I really don’t know exactly what it is. I’ve been looking for that answer for some time now!

    • I think your amazing poetry may have something to do with it Stephanie…I also suppose I should have made a caveat…while those people referenced did live their calling, I don’t think it was easy for any of them, and I have no doubt they all second guessed their path at some point because that’s the nature of life…but deep down, I think we all have something that intrinsically that drives us. Just need to let it speak up and lead us.

  • I agree that finding your calling is important. I am very lucky, I found mine, “Creating Awareness”, over forty years ago! A consultant working in ICI took me through “Core Process”. It’s a way to capture your purpose and unique talent in just two words. You look back at the times of your life when you felt most fulfilled and alive, tell the stories, create some words and distil them down to your calling. It’s all open source and free to use. There are full instructions here http://nickheap.co.uk/articles_by_cat.asp?ART_CAT_ID=43. Have fun!

  • Love that you said, “Shift your mindset so that it’s not a pipe dream.” This is a HUGE component of not just finding your calling, but taking action on it. Because who cares if you find it if you do nothing about it, right? Great post! -Laurel

  • Tom,
    first time on your blog. Boum.
    Thanks for the simple depth of your post.
    I am starting a new journey in parallel to my full time job (that I really like but… no future in corporate life) and have a goal to switch to another life in 2 years from now.
    I do believe that whatever you CHOOSE is not destiny anymore. So there, I can choose; and I am doing it.
    I will keep on following you.
    Again, thanks for the great post.

  • Hell yes! Calling is what invigorates and enlivens us. Your three step process to find a calling is simple and doable. I suggest adding ‘reflect on past success’ to your first step, as within the things we think we’ve done well in the past often lie the nucleus of our calling.


  • Hello, nice try with the article, though the real question has not been answered. Everyone of us in our forties we know how to get things done, from zero if needed, we have been through this many times in life. But the real help needed is with how do we discover, how do we “remember” what our true calling is – if – conditioned by false beliefs etc etc – in fact – we have never done what really inspires us in all life!! How would we remember what we would really like doing if we have never done that? The only thing that you write is this :
    “1. Determine that thing you were meant to do. Not Joe Schmoe or Jill Whocares – you. And yes, it requires a choice (usually a hard one). ” WHICH CHOICE??? So I guess the article was not about how to find that inner calling. Moreover – many of us cannot just leave the current “horrible and unsatisfying” job because we have a nice habit of eating every day and paying the bills.. Sorry, to say, the article was not helpful. But it was nicely written though.

    • Laura…I appreciate the comment and I think you’re right – it would be great if there were a way to have someone else show you what you were meant to do.

      I think what’s fascinating is that, those who have found and lived their calling chose it. And many of the most important people gave it all up to do so (Mother Theresa, for example).

      I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not even saying finding your calling is lucrative – it probably isn’t. But it most certainly means you making the choice (self reflection, meditiation, prayer etc. is a good place to start…and then shift outward: where is there need? who needs help? who is helpless right now that you could save / protect / care for?)

      I hope that helps even a little bit.

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