Ask a person about his or her calling, and I have a hunch he or she will look at you like you’re crazy, or smile and start talking. For most people, hopefully it’s the latter. Unfortunately, we don’t ask that question often, and I want to explore why. Is it because a calling is so personal and undefined? Maybe fear and uncertainty prevent hefty topics. “What do you do?” is much easier to answer than “What’s important to you?” or “What’s your passion?” What a shame. Let’s challenge ourselves to ask (and answer) difficult questions.
To pursue my calling, I ask myself what feels right. In college, I sought opportunities because they seemed meaningful, important, and fun. Each experience shaped my future, but at the time, I had no expectation of how. Can one frown upon a decision to chase fun in life, while being successful? Isn’t that what we all want?
A few years ago, I told my boss that I was unsure what I sought career-wise. Not in an “I’m young, naive, and unprepared” way, but in an honest, “that’s a loaded question and I’m unsure of my life’s purpose at 23 years old” way. But, I shared what I knew. I loved marketing, and was good at it. Writing and brands proved passions of mine as well. Combining creativity, business strategy, marketing, branding, and developing a plan and course of action from the ground up – that’s what I wanted to do. No job description came from that conversation, but those honest words got me to where I am today.
Have I found my calling? To be determined. But I keep trying by spending time considering what’s important. At some point, it’s impossible to avoid these questions. What should I be doing? What do I love? What can I create and bring to the table? Maybe more people would reflect on and discover their callings if we encouraged open discussion on the topic.
Feeling overwhelmed at finding and pursuing one’s calling can be paralyzing. It sounds so ambiguous, so unattainable. But we all know it exists. It feels like something special, a treasure. Personal reflection and honesty defined my path thus far. Hopefully, these take me all the way to an answer.