I've written about this concept before in my post Are You Driving Your Life or Is Your Life Driving You?, but today I have a bit of a different message for you.
Do you feel like you are answering your calling in life?
This is a big question, I realize that.
But here's the thing: your calling doesn't need to mean some final, end-all-be-all career or type of work that you're doing. It can be a “for now” or a circumstantial thing. It can be an interim, on-your-way, getting you to that next stage thing. The journey – or the path you take to fulfilling what it is that you are called to do – that's what I'm talking about.
Do you awaken in the morning with a burning passion to do whatever it is you have lined up for the day?
Yes? Great! That means you're on the right track. Perhaps you are building a business, taking care of your kids, work at a job where you are excited and motivated every single day to achieve more, help more people, etc. Whatever this looks like for you – fantastic – keep doing it!
No? Hold up… why not? What is it that keeps you from acknowledging that this is it. This is your life – your shot to do what you want to do, day in and day out, and love it.
I know there are things that come up, tasks, responsibilities, etcetera, that we can't avoid. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about making a conscious effort to choose what it is you will be doing every day.
Choose to do something that you feel is like a force of gravity pulling you into it – and you can't deny the force.
I was making a six-figure salary at the last job I had before I decided to quit, make $0 and pursue my calling. I knew I needed to help people to learn how to be healthier, but the first time I tried it was with a meal delivery business, and it wasn't the path for me. It wasn't my calling to be doing the work for others. I simply wasn't thinking big enough.
I am a teacher. I am a leader. And I have a burning desire to help others to live healthier lives by making better choices every day.
I could not deny that I was waking up every day with this passion but I was punching a clock at a job where I was pushing pixels around on a screen, surrounded by people who did not share my passion for health and wellness at all. I didn't want to choose that environment or that career any longer.
I have a feeling a lot of folks out there are living a life that's expected of them.
Perhaps its parental expectation – to become something or fulfill some requirements they have of you of becoming an adult. Many people are expected to move through life in an order, and without that order, that checklist of completed life-rituals, success isn't there. You graduate college, get a job, move out, get married, buy a house, have kids, a dog, perhaps even a white picket fence?
Or maybe it's that the people you are surrounded by are all doing what you're doing – and maybe you even all complain about it to one another?
Maybe you just never considered an alternative? Maybe that thing you have this inner excitement about – or think you might be really good at if you tried – it just seems too scary to pursue. It seems like it should be a hobby, not a career, because you (and everyone around you) think it's sort of crazy to be someone who does that (gasp!) for a living!
There is absolutely a risk involved when you step even one toe off of the beaten path, explore the unexpected, or create a life that scares not only yourself, but others around you.
Fear is a terribly demotivating force. I've seen so many people become paralyzed simply by thinking about all of the things at which they might fail in trying to take a risk, make a change, and live a different life.
Don't get me wrong, what I'm asking you to do isn't easy. It can be the scariest thing in the world to come face to face with the reality of hard work – and the demands that come with answering your calling.
But guess what? It's the most rewarding thing in the world – spiritually, emotionally, and, eventually, financially. This doesn't mean that every person who follows his or her calling makes tons of money – but it means that the success and satisfaction you find in the daily life you've created begins to add up to more than any dollar amount ever could.
What good is a big paycheck when you hate what you need to do every day to get it?
If you spend 40+ hours a week to earn this money, then what? You live for the weekends when you get to finally do what you want to do? I just can't fathom this life. If this is you right now – stop and make a plan. It doesn't mean you need to quit your job, but you sure as heck had better evaluate what it is you want to be doing.
I tend to think living up to expectations others set for us leads to a life that is paradoxically successful.
So many people think that somehow things will improve, their feelings of success or joy or fulfillment will increase if they simply stay the course and continue to achieve and reap financial rewards of this path.
But if an alternate path is never considered, how do you know? I have no questions or doubts for those who are on whatever path they're on if they say “I'm happy, content, and I feel I'm doing what it is I'm here to do in this world – in this life – to the best of my ability.” If you don't feel this way – a chance in choice is necessary.
Do it now.
I wrote about creating a hedgehog here. Read that post if you feel you have a calling, but are not quite sure what to do about it. There are some clear cut action steps to take. I realize that many folks think to themselves “sure, I have a passion for this thing I think I should do, but I can't just up and drop all of my responsibilities to pursue it.”
I'm not saying to stop paying your mortgage in order to pursue your calling in life.
What I am saying that you sure as heck should be making a plan for how to pay your mortgage while pursing it. You have to.
Have you taken a risk and answered your calling?
Tell me about it in the comments below.