I will answer the question: How To Find Your Calling? When I speak of calling, I mean any activity of your life. It can be your profession, but not necessarily.
I cannot offer you a ready method, which will help any of you discover the life purpose in just 10 seconds, but I will give you a few tips, which can indicate the right direction in this search.
All articles on this topic, which I found on the Internet, describe the ways in which one can understand what a calling is. Some authors of the articles offer tests that can reveal your hidden talents. Someone advises to make some kind of a brainstorming by writing on a piece of paper everything that comes to your mind, concerning your life goal. I do not presume to argue about the effectiveness of these methods, since I did not use them.
But, when I read these articles, I cannot agree with the fact that the search of your own calling is a kind of human desire a priori. Many people have no doubt that there must be a life activity to which they will devote themselves and will spend all their energy on it. Such activities, according to many, will form the basis of personal existence. Without this activity, one’s life allegedly does not make much sense.
This presupposition concludes the need for finding your own calling, which will correspond to individual’s talents and aspirations and, in addition, will provide a comfortable existence of the person. But not everyone finds such activity. Someone seemed to find it, but after a while he felt satiation and discontent. Someone tried a lot of different occupations, but did not find “his own”.
We Cannot Understand, What Is Our Purpose, Since We Ask Our Life The Wrong Questions
What’s the problem? Does it consist of the fact that the person is not lucky yet and hasn’t found the activity, which meets his talents and desires? No, I think that the problem is of another kind. The problem lies in the initial presupposition. Who said that we should look for our purpose in some profession? Why do we do it?
People usually don’t ask such questions. The need of searching one’s purpose is accepted as an axiom. Many of us believe that we certainly need to become someone: a doctor, businessman, politician, sales manager, artist or musician, to devote ourselves to this activity all our lives and this activity should correspond to our calling! Namely because of the belief that finding our calling is the main purpose of life, we fail to do it! I know it sounds a little bit strange, but let me explain it.
People cannot find their calling, because they formulate the main question incorrectly. They ask: “Which of the social roles correspond to my talents and capabilities most of all? What role can I perform best of all? What role shall I play to be able to realize myself as a personality?” Not everyone finds the answer. This is the first reason, why some people cannot find their calling.
The correct formulation of the question should be this one: “What do I want from my life in general? What should I do to satisfy this desire? Is there any social role, which will allow me to achieve my life goals? If there is such one, then, what is the role? If there is not, how else can I achieve my goal?”
This is the right question! This is what you should ask! As you see, we do not put the performance of social roles in the foundation of our existence, because we submit it to our life goals, or get rid of it at a pinch.
My Ideal Job
To make this situation more clearly, hold up me as an example. I already understood what I want from my life. I want at least some relative freedom and independence for myself. I like to live, I like to learn new things and to develop. I just want to live and enjoy life! I want to travel, I enjoy learning about the world around me, and I like to communicate with people. I want to make this world a little bit better, and make people a little bit happier.
These are my life tasks. Now, let us reason of what I should do to achieve this goal. What should I have been? A teacher? A programmer? A manager? Which of these professions meet my life needs? It is difficult to say at the moment. Let us come up with an ideal profession, which should correspond to my needs. What should this ideal profession be?
My ideal job should not take much time. When I have children, I want to see them more often, than only in the evenings and weekends. I want to bring them up and to spend more time with them, than the time that I will be able to devote to them, while working at a regular job. Also, I would like to devote time to my numerous hobbies: music, sports, reading various books, poker, chess, travel, entertainments, reflections, this website and communicating with friends.
I do not want to be attached to the need of going somewhere every day, to sit 9 hours in one place, to get tired and have only one miserable month of vacation per year. My ideal job should allow me to relax more often, to travel more and enjoy life the way I want. My source of income should be autonomous and remote. But I do not regard freedom and independence as of paramount importance.
I am willing to devote to some activity all my time and effort, only if it inspires me and brings great benefit to others. This activity should be mine. In all other cases, my work can be whatever (within reasonable framework), if only it saves me the desired freedom.
I think that the attentive reader may have noticed that I am talking only about the working conditions, saying almost nothing about its contents! Who am I to be? A freelance translator or a free entrepreneur? The main thing is that my work should give me freedom and necessary means for existence. And it doesn’t matter what I am doing.
You may ask: What about the desire to help people?
Who said that I should do this as my job? If I get my ideal job, I will have more free time and I will be able to devote this time to helping people.
Of course, the main source of finance should preferably meet this goal as well, but this is not necessary. For example, I can profit by this website, by means of which I help people, and make it the main income. But I can do something else. For example, I can wholesale Chinese shoes. I can organize this business in such a way that it will not take away all my free time, and during the leisure time I can be engaged in this website and help people!
Your Calling Should Serve Your Life Goals
This is the fundamental point. I want to say that your work should not correspond to your talents and your calling, but it should contribute to the achievement of your life goals. For example, I cannot say that I am a born trader of Chinese shoes, but if such activity would allow me to realize my life needs, then I would hypothetically do it. Each person needs a source of income to live on, and there’s no way around it.
I would not be excited about this business, but what can I do? If it let me work a little and get plenty of rest, then why not?!
Of course, if you work for 9 hours per day with days off once a week, then you want to have a work that would bring you pleasure, since it takes you so much time and effort. But it’s not my choice, although I have to work that way now. I try to organize my life in such a way that I will not need to sit at work continuously.
I like some professions, and I dislike the other ones. Perhaps, I would like to be a teacher more than a manager, but if I have to work a full day, then, there is no great difference. Maybe, that’s why many people find it difficult to find their calling?
Imagine that you are trying to make a theater actor career. First, you have played a dramatic role and you understood that it does not suit you. Then goes the comedy role. It does not suit you as well. Then you tried the avant-garde theater. Wrong. You began to despair – what if you will never find your calling in the theater?
Who said that you have to look for it namely in the theater? Perhaps, theater does not suit you at all. You do not like to be a play actor and you have an aversion for the theater audience! And what is the difference whom you should play – Hamlet or Onegin? Perhaps, you should try something else, except theater.
Is there a big difference between being a sales manager or designer at a hired work? Of course, some of these professions you would like more, but in both cases you will have to come to work every day, sit in the office until the end of the day, get stuck in traffic jams and experience all the office work “charm”. Maybe, this is not your cup of tea? Instead of choosing between different forms of the same thing, maybe you should look for a totally different thing?
People see the choice, where it is essentially not present. This is the second reason why they cannot find their calling.
Who Said That Your Calling Should Be Only One Thing?
When some people supposedly find their calling, it becomes their verdict, not their happiness. If you find for yourself an activity, which will require all your time, then you will be unable to do something else more seriously! Your calling will only limit your preferences. Profession is not always able to settle the personality and fulfill its full potential.
This is the third reason why many people have not found their calling. Why should it consist of one thing? People want and can do a lot of things! When someone tells you: “You are a marketing expert, you are a programmer, you are a manager and will always be,” then you may feel as if that someone has announced your verdict. After all, a personality is much wider, than any profession frameworks!
Perhaps, you want to do something useful, to get food for the brain, to travel, to make money and to learn. Why should you choose only one thing, abandoning all the rest?
It Is Difficult To Find A Calling For Life
Any work, no matter what it is and no matter how much creative it can be – has a routine component. Sooner or later you get tired because of any work. It is difficult to find a permanent job that will always bring you fun. If you are experiencing a lot of enthusiasm about your new business at the moment, it does not mean that you will experience it until the retirement.
I want to say that it is very difficult to find a calling for life. Man wants to change his activity and it is natural: people change and they have new habits and new desires. And this is the fourth reason why people cannot find their purpose.
Once again: Stop trying to drive yourself into the framework of some social role, thinking that it and only it is your calling and the meaning of your life! Find an activity, which will meet your life goals and do everything you want to do.
Difficulties In Searching Your Life Goal
Of course, what I said may sound good, but there is one difficulty. Not every person will find it easy to define his life goal and to understand what kind of activity would meet this goal.
Saying that every person strives to be happy and, perhaps, to make other people happy – may sound not as an exaggeration. This is the man’s universal purpose in life. I think that everyone agrees with it. But not everyone agrees with the way by which this happiness may be achieved.
In my article – “How to Find Happiness”, I said that happiness is largely dependent on your internal state, than on external things. Happiness lies in the harmony between your spirit and your body, in the clarity of your perception of things, and not in the possession of some material valuables or social status.
If you have not found happiness inside you, then no money, no women, no houses and cars will make you happy. You will experience a pitiful semblance of happiness, when you aspire to these things. But, having reached these goals, you will realize that it does not make you happy and the search will begin again…
Thus, I am trying to say that is not quite right to see your life goal in the achievement of some social benefits. First of all, you have to find happiness inside you, and then you will understand what are your life goal and your purpose!
I consider that, for some people, the search of calling turns into crash, because they did not find happiness inside them. They think: “Earn more money, become a businessman, a major manager, musician, politician, and this will be your calling by means of which you will find happiness.” Having tried one social role and not finding joy in it, they switch to another one, considering that it’s not about themselves, it’s about namely that role, which did not suit them!
The fact is that these people could not find the source of happiness inside them; therefore, no role can meet their preferences. This is the fifth reason why people cannot find their calling.
In this case, it is necessary to stop these searches, look inside you and think: “Why am I unhappy? Perhaps, this is the issue about my outlooks on life? Perhaps, I am looking for happiness where it isn’t present?”
Not all my life desires were fulfilled: I still have not found my ideal job and I have not reached my financial goals, however, I consider myself a happy person.
I want to say that your happiness should not depend heavily on achieving your life goals. If you think that when you find your purpose, you will find harmony and happiness, which you do not have at the moment, then you are likely mistaken.
Any activity can help you escape from your problems and experiences, find a rich sense of helpfulness and get away from yourself for some time. But do not confuse it with happiness. If any activity helps you relax and think less about your problems, it does not mean that this activity is your calling. Start the searches of your life goal with yourself!
Of course, when you implement your life plans, find a profession to which you have always aspired and this will be a new source of happiness for you. Only in case you have learned to be happy here and now, and solved your internal problems.
When I Found My Calling…
At the very beginning, I said that this article is not the guideline to follow. This post, unlike my other posts, is less specific. It has practically no specific recommendations. It is possible to say that this article contains only arguments of some specific subject. I told you about my personal experience of how I perceive my purpose in life. Perhaps, it will help someone think in the right direction, get rid of misconceptions and ask the world the right questions.
I have not talked about how to choose the most appropriate job. If you need to read about it, you will find a lot of information on this topic on other websites. I devoted this article to the problem of finding your calling and I tried to reason why many people cannot find it. I tried to go beyond the standard question formulation of how to choose your social role and I turned to the very problem of this choice existence.
Why do we have to choose only one thing out of many? Why should we certainly be someone and perform some function? Why cannot we simply enjoy the fact that we live and breathe by subordinating everything else to this happiness?
Once, I realized that I already have everything I need for the happiness, which I found inside me. And all I want to do in my life – is to enjoy this happiness, to make other people happy, and to awaken people’s consciousness. I realized that my goal is to experience this life fully, to achieve my potential fully, and to enjoy every moment of my existence, instead of dissolving my personality into any single social role and sacrificing many opportunities for the sake of this role.
I’m not saying that everyone should adopt my way of thinking. I held up it as an example of how to think about in order to understand what YOU need. Someone thinks that people should devote themselves wholly to one thing. I have nothing against it, if this calling to which you give all your energy profits you and people around, does not harm anyone, makes you happy, fully reveals your opportunities, does not suck all your power, but, on the contrary, charges you with enthusiasm.
You still have to look for such a calling. It is difficult to find your purpose in life, because of the narrow specialization of the offered social roles. The problem is not only in the point that you cannot reveal your talents and find a job that will suit these talents. It (problem) also lies in the fact that the existing professions are too specific to meet fully the personality’s needs for development and become the basis of the whole life.
It seems to me that it is not so difficult to understand what profession will suit you more. If you are interested in computers, then working as a programmer will be more suitable for you; if you have a good command of languages, then you can make a successful career as a translator or an interpreter. But this does not mean that when you become a programmer or interpreter, you will be able to reach your capabilities fully.
If any profession suits you more than other ones, it does not mean that this is your calling.
Therefore, before you think about your calling, find your life goal and understand what you want from life in general. Get rid of illusions and learn to enjoy what you have. I guess that my whole blog is devoted to the answer of how to learn it, in particular the article – “How to Become a Happy Person” (slightly above, I have already included the link to this article).
Have you already found your purpose? Are you happy with your choice in life? How many professions have you already changed? Do you feel that you have found something of your own?
I would be glad, if you answer to these questions in the comments below.