Today’s writing is more a blog list than a post. With every click, another piece of inspiration showed up that I wanted to share. I couldn’t narrow “our calling” down to a story, so I decided to include it all – quotes, links, and insights, especially since working our calling is the essence of what I blog about. It’s our way of getting our own lives. (#GettingYourOwnLife)
Compelling Quotes about Our Calling
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
“Live bravely enough to follow the calling in your heart.” Melanie Moushigian Koulouris
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” Bishop T. D. Jakes
“God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.” Unknown
“The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.” Fabienne Fredrickson
Work Put Into Perspective
Here’s what Michael Hyatt says about saying “no” to retirement in his blog post, “Why Retirement Is A Dirty Word.”
“In fact, the more I think about the purpose and meaning of work, the more I’m convinced that nothing destroys our sense of purpose and health more than the modern notion of retirement. It’s detrimental to us individually and collectively,” said Hyatt.
In the same blog post and under his subtitle “How To Murder Your Heart,” Hyatt wrote, “The effect (of retirement) is that we’ve now raised a few generations to look for fulfillment in the pasture, not their work. Satisfaction is a future thing, not a present possibility. Joy is for later. Meaning and significance comes from checking out down the road.”
He winds down the article with a story about Duke Ellington. When Ellington was asked why he didn’t retire since he was obviously financially secure, Ellington said, “Retire to what?”
Hyatt said about Ellington’s answer, “It wasn’t that home was so empty. It was that his work was so full. He lived his art. Retiring would have been like turning off his own soul.”
“If you’re doing meaningful work you enjoy, why would you ever want to quit?” said Hyatt.
The Significance of Our Calling
No surprise that Sunday’s sermon was on the topic of our calling since I’ve been inundated with it. The message was delivered by Dr. Allen C. Hughes who said, “We were wired from the beginning to do meaningful work whether it’s preaching, construction, or landscaping, and we will never be content until we get clarity on what that is and do it.”
He said when people tell him what they plan to do later on or during retirement, things that include working their passion, he asks, “Why not do it now?”
His talk reminded me of Marsha Sinetar’s book, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood. It was published in 1989, which is around the time I read it, only to return to my unfulfilling job. However, I couldn’t unread her words, hence the search for my calling began a long, long, long time ago.
“Our Call to Work,” an article that appeared on the site of U.S. News & World Report, opened with this quote, “Producing and innovating is doing God’s work.”
The writer, Nicholas Leone, stated statistics from a recent Gallup poll that showed 55 percent of Americans derive identity from their work, yet 70 percent of them are disconnected from that same work. Amy Wrzesniewski, professor at Yale University School of Management, believes work orientation has something to do with it. “According to her research, job orientated individuals view their work as a means to an end. Career oriented individuals focus on success. Individuals with a calling view their work as part of their identity and are happier,” said Leone.
Another interesting point from the article, “The word for work in the scriptures is translated as both work and worship. Our work and worship are one and the same.”
Distraction From Our Calling
Also from Sunday’s sermon, Dr. Hughes listed three things that distract us from working our calling.
- Believing work is a bad thing, therefore we try to get out of it in lieu of doing what we were put here to do. We end up lazy and miserable instead of productive and gratified.
- Doing the wrong work. We decide we’ll seek out our right livelihood later, after we’ve made enough money, worked a job with benefits, or sacrificed enough to possibly retire early.
- Busying ourselves with too much work in an attempt to be important, successful, or fulfilled. The truth is, “right work” is the only thing that satisfies.
How to Search For or Stumble Onto Our Calling
Forbes.com published an article titled “20 Ways to Find Your Calling.” The writer’s advice is spot on when it comes to finding the work we love or having it find us, like my writing found me. My personal favorites from her list include spend time before money and find a problem to solve. My problem’s been #GettingYourOwnLife #WhileLovingthePeopleInIt.
I would add …
- Dedicate attention and time to what you love. If you want to turn your passion into a career, figure out how to make money doing it. I believe there’s always a way.
- Listen to people, to music, to quotes, to movies, to life. You never know what may point you towards your calling.
- Listen to God and to yourself. His guidance and your heart are key places to go for direction.
- Ask questions like …
What are people saying I’m good at?
What job would I work for free?
What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?
Stay tuned next week for more about our calling unless I’m on overload and running away from mine. Please add your two cents. It’s worth a million dollars to me and our readers.
In This Together,