Finding Your Calling
Ego Science is all about self-knowledge. When it comes to self-knowledge, understanding where you’re going in this life is a pretty important issue. One’s “calling” goes straight to the core of knowing the purpose of your journey through this life. Because of this it’s important for you to understand what a calling is and how to find your calling. Creating a personal vision statement may also help you uncover your calling.
What is a “Calling”?
Robert Greene, in his book Mastery, discusses the concept of a calling. In short a calling is a kind of force or voice or sense of destiny that guides you in life. The mystics named this voice a daemon. Christians identify this voice as the Holy Spirit. This is an inner voice that can be so impactful on you that it feels as if it comes from a source apart from you. It can feel like an inspiration coming from outside and breathing into us. This is a destiny that is unique to you but it is not a destiny that will automatically happen to you. You have to follow that calling and bring it into being.
The cost of not following your calling could lead you to choose a career that’s not right for you. If this happens it’ll drain your desire and interest in your work. You’ll see the enjoyment of life as something that happens outside of work. It will lead to a mediocre career and possibly numerous job changes.
Even if this has already happened to you it’s not too late. You can still realize your destiny by finding your inner voice and deciphering the path in life it has for you. If you’ve already chosen the wrong career path you need to seriously consider redirecting yourself. If you are not living your life’s calling at work a substantial chunk of the short time you have to live is being tragically wasted. There may be several stages in your career you need to take before you reach the culmination of your calling. It’s important to understand what the first step is toward reaching that goal but understand that your journey may be a meandering path so it’s important to trust that your inner voice will let you know what turns to make to get you there.
How to Find Your Calling?
Green lists six strategies for finding your calling but I will only examine three here. These three strategies should cover the majority of situations for most people. The first strategy is to think back to your childhood to find what interested you the most. The second is to recognize what outer influences from parents or culture led you to the path you’re on, separate those influences from your own intrinsic desires, and reject the influence that does not match your natural inclinations. The third is if you are already in a career that you have invested too much in to just start over again, you should find a niche that taps into your internal talent.
Your calling will inevitably be something you love doing to the point of having an intimate or religious connection to it. This interest of yours likely made itself known in your childhood. When engaged in this activity you may have felt a heightened sense of awareness or deep wonder, a feeling of power or even sensual pleasure. This interest of yours may have compelled you to repeat an activity that you never got tired of. This interest of yours was not tainted by your desire to please your parents or other authority figures. The influence of parental or other authority figures will only have a superficial connection with you but your calling will surface from the depths of your core identity. If you can find these inclinations you will discover your unique calling which can point you in the direction of your life’s path.
Sometimes we choose jobs for wrong reasons like money, fame, or attention. These reasons may stem from feelings of lack rather than from positive interest in a line of work. Because we choose these lines of work for the wrong reasons we will never find fulfillment in them. If your work is not fulfilling your output and productivity will eventually suffer for it and you’ll find yourself in a miserable situation. Find the root causes of these feelings of lack. It is important that you fill this lack internally instead of seeking out external sources that can never truly fill you. These feelings of lack are taking you away from your true path. Reject them, whether they come from your parents or from past experiences. In their place, establish your own sense of identity and purpose. The correct order for a vocation is not to find out how to make money and then try to enjoy doing it, but to know what you love doing and then find out how to make money doing it.
However, if you’ve invested years in going to college and working your way up a particular career field and now you realize that you’re miserable but it wouldn’t be practical to start over again and you’re not called to be an entrepreneur, there are other strategies that you can utilize to use your calling in your particular field. One important strategy is to move your career toward a niche within your field. There are two ways to accomplish this. You can look for side paths in your field that you find more attractive. You make your move to this narrower field once it’s possible. You continue finding narrower but interesting side paths until you come across an unoccupied niche. It is easier to excel in a field that lacks competition but corresponds to your uniqueness than to remain in a field that you don’t enjoy but has a lot of competition. Another way to find your niche is to look for other subjects or skills that interest you and that you can master in your own time if necessary. You can combine these skills to your current field, perhaps creating a new field or at least enhancing the skills you use in your current position. Continue this process until you create a field uniquely tailored to you.
Personal Vision Statement
If the three strategies above do not help you recognize your calling, a personal vision statement might. Steve Bohler of The Oxford Program has developed several exercises that will help you flesh out a personal career vision statement using the form below. The links embedded in the form will take you to the exercises that help you complete the form. Once you have completed the form you can prepare your vision statement. Feel free to post your vision statement as a comment below.
My mission in life is to (Mission Exercise).
I will accomplish this through my role in life as a (Your Natural Vocation Role from CareerFitNow Test).
I will (3 motivated skills) in an environment involving one of my interests for (one or more of your top interests) incorporating my knowledge about and interest in (one or more of your knowledge areas) where I will feel a strong sense of (2 work values).
Your completed personal vision statement should end up looking something like mine. If your statement doesn’t flow well, be sure to adapt it to make the most sense to you. Here’s my personal vision statement:
My mission in life is to persuade, enlighten, and advance personal growth in others.
I will accomplish this through my role in life as a thinker.
I will write nonfiction critical writing, research by gathering information, and organize information, projects, and events in an environment involving one of my interests for higher education, personal finance, and leadership/entrepreneurship incorporating my knowledge about and interest in philosophy, business, and psychology where I will feel a strong sense of achievement and independence.