This title was posted on a church’s sign for an upcoming sermon. It got me thinking about my own journey to answer my calling.
I used to think only special individuals had callings; you know–ministers, doctors and scientists, etc. It’s only recently when I recognized that even regular people like me have them as well.
I wonder if all of us have a “calling” seed planted inside of them–ready to be water and nourished? It would be awfully sad then to think how few of us are able to find ours–let alone pursue it. But I know first-hand how difficult it can be to recognize it.
I started out my career as a teacher. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed playing the piano and guitar with the kids, finding creative ways to teach kids and sharing my passion for reading–with them. When I got married and moved out of state, I couldn’t find a teaching job and ended up as a clerk in a manufacturing plant. It was a tough period, because I had no clue what else I could do that would give me the same joy that teaching had.
Several years later, I found myself in human resources and I was happy again; well, at least I was happy enough. Eventually, I began developing management training programs and I thought I had come full circle by teaching again. Only I found out in the last few years, it was only 180 degrees. Looking back I see the themes of when “time stood still” for me–it all had to do with helping people be the best they can be.
It seems so obvious now, but took me almost a lifetime to figure out–no wonder people over-look their calling. The answers lie in being mindful of what brings you happiness. My daughters would always tease me when I would be reading yet another “self-help” book. My thirst for personal development was always evident. Then there were the hints when I put together training. I loved digesting the information and then find ways to communicate it to managers or employees. Yes, it was all a consistent theme in my life, but I didn’t see it.
I get clients who are so anxious to get to figure out what “it” is–they aren’t willing to take the time to put the pieces together. They search job title after job title hoping something jumps up and taps them on the shoulder. Many times, though, it’s the individual components of a job that give us the most clues.
It’s not too late to find the calling seed buried within you. What are your hobbies, topics you like to read about, things you do when you don’t notice what time it is? Become more conscious and have fun with the discovery process.
Oh yeah–one more thing. You need to take the steps necessary to make your calling a reality.
Most of my clients come to me and say something like “I feel like there’s something more, but I don’t know what that is.” I always answer, “If you feel there’s something more, then there’s something more.”
There are a lot of people that are happy the way their life is. They are content or at least, accept things as they are. So I am convinced that feeling needs to be addressed.
I have buried my desires and dreams several times in my life–during a bad marriage and a difficult job situation. You numb your feelings to get through it. While this may buy you some time — eventually, it will come bubbling back up until you meet it square in the face.
The trick is to un-numb yourself. It takes a bit of time and faith. It’s something you can’t think your way through. The best thing to start doing is to warm up your joy meter. Look around you and identify what brings you joy. Start feeling again!