Your calling is that activity that you’re most passionate about. An activity or a craft that you are able to sustain for many hours, into the night, skipping meals and forgetting about the world and its time. As opposed to most other activities, it does not deplete you, it makes you feel energized and invigorated instead.
It can be anything from any type of art to having a green thumb, being good at maths or managing stock exchanges. There is no limit to how big or small your passion can be.
Our calling usually shows up sometime during our childhood, when we’re especially attracted to a particular activity. Our talents and innate wants are usually shaped to enable us to carry it out.
Your calling is different to your life purpose. It is often used to accomplish your life purpose but it’s not always necessary to be a part of it. The purpose of your life is something you want, while the calling is something that stems from an innate desire that you’re born with.
The most obvious thing that keeps us from finding our calling is ‘I Have To Do’.
- “I feel like painting this beautiful landscape I’m thinking of but I have to tidy my desk first.”
- “I feel inspired to write a story but I have to work on building a website instead. It’s more important because the website will eventually yield money and the story won’t.”
- “I feel like I’d want to spend my days being a horse trainer but I have to work in this cubicle for my boss instead because it’s risky to search for another job.”
How to find your calling:
The key here is to always do what you feel like doing.
This is easier said than done. First, you must be able to perceive what you really feel like doing.
Gaming and procrastinating addictions stand in the way. If you find yourself in a digital detox or keeping away from any addiction, there’s a craving period that your body and your psyche need to surpass. The craving will grow, it will reach a peak and then fade away with less and less reminders.
Being unable to feel your own emotions or treating them superficially and dismissive is counterproductive. And then there’s a vast array of fears and traumas that can make us stray off our path. You can see how it’s difficult to become a wood sculpture if you’re afraid of splinters, sharp objects or you hate the idea of making a mess in your living space.
That’s why the first step is to do Emotional Vipassana. This will allow you to reconnect with deeper levels of emotions, express & validate them, eliminate traumas, etc. During your search, you’ll likely encounter blockages like apathy, lack of motivation or even bursts of rage for certain subjects. These are blockages that prohibit our advance. Emotional Vipassana and The Completion Process are, in my experience, the best two methods of removing these blockages.
In spite of the numbness to our emotions, some feelings still come through.
Sudden sparks of inspiration still happen and when it does, make sure you capitalize on it. Drop everything! You have only 5 seconds to decide! If you don’t start within the 5 seconds mark, you’ll lose the passion, the energy, the ‘hype’.
Ask yourself “What do I feel like doing?” the answer needs to come from within. In most cases it’s faint but the deeper you go into your emotions the more you’ll be able to sense.
The things that you feel like doing may include washing dishes, watering plants, going on a random walk outside to a place you don’t necessarily care about, starting a novel or painting even though you never painted or written before, etc. Don’t judge the feeling, allow it to be expressed no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be.
Don’t be afraid to start doing things you’re not passionate about. Similar to how remembering dreams works, the more attention and effort you put into the small things, the more obvious that whole layer of yourself will become.
Reject ‘Have-To‘s. We distract ourselves with things we think are more important. This is a folly. It’s also an addictive habitual behaviour and it’s hard to dispose of. There’s no limit to how many things we think we should do instead. We also tend to put our needs and wants aside, believing that there are more important or useful things we should attend to.’ Have-To’s are probably the biggest detriment to our search for our calling. This is when responsibility gets in the way of our individual happiness. Stop putting yourself aside,
If you can’t sense what you really feel like doing, you can start something that you don’t want to do. If you remember being in school or doing homework, whenever you’d be in the middle of that activity it would be easy to determine how many other things you’d rather be doing.
Sometimes what you feel like doing seems so scary and out of the ordinary, you’ll likely avoid it completely. You don’t need to undertake that frightening activity, no matter how small or big it is but if you do, you’ll have the biggest and most revealing epiphanies. This situation shows up for us to attempt a huge leap into breaking our habits and to step into a new and better life. Sometimes this is too frightening so you can postpone it and take it slow by consciously heading towards breaking those bad habits.
A simple example of the above situation can be when you’ve never took a ride with your car for no real reason. This simple act of driving your car to a known or unknown area can be extremely frightening for some people. We start to mentalize the drawbacks of wasting gas money, having to leave the comfort of our house and what could be so important over in that part of town anyway? There’s no limit to how much insight you can gain during this simple adventure and I highly recommend you take it when it comes to you.
Sometimes your calling may require you to invest a bit of will power. Writing and drawing take practice and dedication. Sometimes it’s a good idea to join a community that will encourage and inspire you to partake in that activity. And if that is not it, then you’ll feel like you don’t belong or that the people there are crazy and masochistic for engaging in this tedious activity. Every item scratched off your list is a step forward to the real thing.
Don’t be fooled by physical or mental disabilities. Your calling can seem counterintuitive to your condition. Our condition is either made up or easily avoidable. There are wood sculptors that only have one finger on each hand or guitar players with no arms and they have found success despite their disability. There are amazing novel writers and painters that initially thought they were uncreative characters or it simply didn’t make sense that they would be artistic since they’re much better at maths. Your calling might just be something nobody else has ever thought of. Always keep your mind open.
Finally, have faith and patience. Your true calling might show up after you thought you’ve found it. Or it may reveal itself easily after you removed a certain trauma. Even after you found it, you may still have doubt that this is the one. That’s ok, it just means stress and fear is blocking the way.
And you can tell when something is not your calling because you end up feeling drained and sick of doing it. Tidying the room and washing the dishes will seem to become more important during this undesired activity.
If you’ve chosen to go on this search, I personally thank you from the bottom of my heart. Each and every one of us has a place in the world with a vocation that we should have been doing. Our societies suffer because people pursue activities they’re unhappy or unfulfilled with. There’s no better gain for a community than when the most talented and skilful people do what they truly love.
Imagine a world where every baker, gardener, doctor, judge, politician, mechanic and artist are doing their job because they are passionate about it. Our quality of life would improve a thousandfold when everything we see, consume or use is always the highest excellency it can possibly be.
Finding yourself is a service you provide for the world! So what do you feel like doing?