Stop Looking For “Your Calling”, Start Doing
This post was inspired by Tara Mohr's brilliant book, Playing Big.
“How do I find my calling in life?”
It’s the million dollar question. The ultimate source of confusion and existential crises everywhere. And, in my work as a millennial career coach, a recurring theme.
Yep. Callings. Ambitious people are fixated on them.
I mean, I get it. We’re asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” before we can barely speak. Our parents, although well-intentioned, tell us they “just want us to be happy”, leaving us wondering what happiness is meant to look like. There are countless questions and even more uncertainties. It’s overwhelming. Exhausting, even.
But I’m calling bullshit on ‘the calling’.
Because there’s no such thing as one, singular, grand ‘calling’.
The truth is: you will have many callings over the course of your life. They’ll begin and they’ll end. They’ll evolve and they’ll adjust. They’ll surprise you and teach you. They’ll grow as you do.
Many of us get stuck looking for our one big ‘calling’, our raison d’être, our purpose. We wait and wait and wait for the answer, and it never comes. Or we get stuck thinking we have to choose between two callings. Or, we think something is ‘it’ and then our passion fades, and we’re left feeling lost and disappointed.
But if you approach your life as one of multiple callings, evolving day by day, that’s when things get exciting.
Your calling may be a community calling, where you feel the need to give something back on that particular day. Your calling might be to launch your first business or start a new side hustle this year. Your calling may be to start a blog or website, or paint a picture that afternoon.
Hell, many of your future callings are things, hobbies and jobs that don’t yet exist.
Instead of being paralysed by what your ‘calling’ is, start trying things. One foot in front of the other. 24 hours at a time.
Instead of trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, think about the kind of person you want to be.
Instead of looking for a ‘sign’ or an ‘answer’, focus on the little projects because they’re your callings. Every single one of them.
Instead of asking ‘what’s my purpose?’, ask yourself ‘what calling or callings are showing up in my life right now?’.
Instead of worrying about ‘your calling’, start doing.
You’re not a mess or lost or unambitious if you don’t have a specific calling. You’re human.
After all, if you figured it all out today, what would be the point of tomorrow? Enjoy the process of being a work in progress.
Embrace your many callings as they appear. Pay attention to what you pay attention to, wherever it may take you. And know that if you approach your life with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you can never go wrong.