Is the search for a life’s calling a “luxury problem”?
Is your yacht in the shop, again? Seriously? I hate that. I also can’t stand it when I can’t decide which of my cars to drive, or whether I should go to Hawaii or Italy for vacation. Isn’t life so hard?
Ok. I have no yacht, I drive a (messy) mini-van, and I’ve never been to Hawaii OR Italy. Seriously though, people have a lot of misconceptions about life callings, and one of them is that the search for a life calling is a “luxury problem” like those above. To most people, what is more realistic is what I someone told me at a networking event: “Life calling? I can’t even pay my rent. I’ll worry about that when I’ve got a couple of million dollars to keep me warm.” Well, yes, you could wait that long, but then how much of your life will have you wasted doing things you don’t love?
A life calling is not a “luxury” problem just for those who have nothing better to worry about. Neither is it a metaphysical issue (see Life Callings for the Mainstream). A life calling is quite simply a statement of what your life is about and what you are here to do. Think of it like a business mission statement. This statement is a way for a business to describe why they are in existence. Wikipedia defines a business mission statment like this:
“A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_statement
In the same way, your life calling is your mission statement. It describes your purpose, guides your actions, spells out your goals, provides your path and helps guide your decision making. We use these ideas all the time when it comes to business – and we agree they are essential. But when it comes to our lives, we feel that strategic planning is for many reasons, not something we should be doing. Businesses that only spend their time resolving day-to-day crises don’t end up where they envision themselves, and we don’t end up with meaningful and happy lives unless we can spend the time it takes defining what is meaningful to us.
“OK, I’m convinced. But how the heck do you find your life calling?” you ask. I’m not going to lie: it takes soul searching. It requires the ability to work on this issue which, though essential, is all too easily ignored. And it requires a good dose of faith in yourself.
Here’s the crash course:
1. Listen to yourself. Not the part of you that’s afraid, that tries to people-please, or who believes you can’t. Listen to your True Self.
2. Identify your Passions. What makes you feel alive?
3. Think about your skills. What you’re great at, both learned and natural talents.
4. What do you love to give to others?
5. What is your essence? Who are you really?
6. Understand your life experiences. What has life been trying to teach you?
Call it whatever you’d like: A life’s calling, a personal mission statement, your purpose, or something else. Taking the time to find the life that fits for you is not a luxury. It is essential to helping you define and create the life you want so you live with no regrets.
For more help getting started, get my FREE article “Find Your Life Calling.”