Pursue Your Calling
My hair stands on the back of my neck and a chill runs down my spine. My heart beat quickens and I can sense the excitement well up in my gut as I walk up on stage and face my audience. I take a deep breath of satisfaction as I began my presentation, because I know I am doing what I was born to do. I am pursuing my calling and my spirit becomes peaceful as I connect with my audience and touch the world.
The “sweet spot” is what some call it. Others may call it something different, but it boils down to one singular idea, “calling”. Mark Twain once said, “The two greatest days of your life is the day you were born and the day you discovered why.”
“Why?” is a fundamental and critical question that every human being desires to answer in their life. There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing your path. Trust me, I’ve been there and stayed there for several years as I read hundreds of books, attended countless conferences, and listened to hours of self-help audio courses. In the end, my calling began to reveal itself when I clarified three major areas within my life. Once YOU discover your calling, everything in your life will begin to make sense and you will gain tremendous momentum and your path will become crystal clear and peace will become you.
I once heard New York Times bestselling author, Michael Hyatt, speak on this topic. Here are the three areas that will help you discover your calling, based on my own experiences and excerpts from Michael Hyatt’s advice.
- Passion – What excites you, I mean really gets you jazzed about life. What dominates your thoughts throughout the day? You often fall asleep with this thought and you find your mind drifting to this area of your life on a continual basis. For me, I used to visualize what it would feel like to get up in front of a live audience and deliver a powerful message. I would imagine the individual faces of my audience as they would laugh at my jokes, tear up because of an emotional story I would tell. I would study other speakers and think of how I could deliver their message in a more powerful way. I could not deny it, I had a deep passion for public speaking and over a period time, it made sense for me to pursue this passion. How about you? What keeps you up at night? What makes you smile? What ignites a fire deep in your gut that is undeniable and cannot be ignored?
- Purpose – Purpose is nothing more than validation. Your passion becomes a purpose when a few things occur:
- What others are saying. Honestly the first time I truly considered pursuing a career in public speaking came after I presented on a topic for a small breakout session at a municipal utility conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. One of the attendees came up to me after the session, “So when are you going to start doing this full time?” It was the first time anyone ever said that to me and planted a seed of possibility in my soul that grew for a few years until I began to believe that I could pursue public speaking.
- When do you feel God’s pleasure? This is that “voice” deep within your soul that whispers to you when you are on the right path. You’ve felt it in the past, when was it? What were you doing? It’s a clue to your calling.
- You get paid to do it and it becomes profitable. One morning I received a call. There was a gentleman on the other end that identified himself and the reason for his call. A mutual friend recommended me to him. The gentleman needed a speaker for his event, and so he asked me how much I charged. It was the first time anyone ever asked me that question, so I quoted him a a random price, plus expenses. “Sounds good!” He responded without hesitation and in that moment I became a “professional speaker”! It was a huge thrill and a moment that altered my path forever. You may have a passion for something and you may even be good at it, but if it is not profitable and cannot sustain you, then I consider it a hobby and maybe not a true calling.
- Action – Your desires will remain a distance dream unless you are willing to act on them. If you are not willing to act and if fear dominates your world and remains an obstacle in your path, then I believe it is a strong indicator that you may be onto something and should be something for you to explore. Fear is a powerful form of resistance and usually appears when you are onto something. However, you will need to take action, in spite of fear. Sadly, many never discover their calling because fear holds them back. If you have a passion, and believe you discovered your purpose, but are going nowhere due to inaction, then ask “why?” If you simply cannot take a step of faith then it may be time to reassess your desires and search your heart for your true passion and purpose or simply take a step of faith and allow the rest to take care of itself.
If fear is an issue for you then I highly recommend Stephen Prescott’s powerful book, The War of Art. His book directly addresses how to overcome the resistance and fear.
What is your calling? Start with your passions, explore your purpose, then take a step of faith and you will be on your way to pursuing what you were created to be in life.