Calling [kaw-ling] noun – a worthy occupation where one derives meaning; requires hunger and passion
Train [treyn] verb (used with object) – to be taught through practice and instruction; requires humility and coachability
Success [suhk-ses] noun – the progressive realization of a worthy ideal; requires persistence and grit
Aren’t we all in search of life’s holy grail, i.e. that elusive thing with miraculous powers that provides happiness, wholeness and sustenance in infinite abundance, that thing which helps us feel significant. Without it, we feel inadequate and incomplete, and we’re just going through the motions.
Many people incorrectly think their calling is something that is found. They wonder through life with a hunger to find meaning in their work, yet struggle to do work that matters. How many worthwhile things in life are found versus created? An extreme sense of ownership is needed to create your calling. It’s not accidental. Rather, it must be intentional. You must train to receive your God-given gifts.
As long as your motivation is right, whatever you do can become a calling. That means menial tasks become meaningful tasks when do them out of love for God and others. When you view what you do as serving humankind, everything you do becomes significant.
If you would have told me 30 years ago I would cultivate my calling by selling insurance, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. As an mechanical engineer graduating from a top engineering program, my ego ensured I looked down upon the sales profession and insurance industry. I was too educated for that type of job.
When I reflect on my motivational tipping point, the root cause holding me back was my ego. I was too proud, and the only thing that did was guarantee my unhappiness. It was humility that unlocked true happiness and enabled me to create my calling. I had to learn how to be humble, and I accomplished this by training my mind and heart to serve others.
I was, and still am, tested in this all the time. For example,
- When I walk outside of my office and see trash on the ground, do I pick it up or let someone else do it?
- When I walk outside the grocery store and put my bags in my car, do I take the cart back or let someone else do it?
- Do I do the household chores I despise as a way to serve my family, or do I let my kids do them?
The humble choice isn’t always the easy one, but the humble choice to serve others rather than expecting others to serve you will transform your relationships and lead to lasting happiness.
It was only by becoming humble that I discovered I was already perfectly and completely loved, liked and enjoyed by God. I learned humility was a prerequisite to have a genuine relationship with Him. Only then was my motivation right, and I was finally free to train for my calling.
Before signing off, I’d like to make a comment about success. Society defines success as the attainment of wealth, status, honors, or the like. That could not be further from the truth. Training for your calling entails re-calibrating your mind to define success as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. As long as your making progress toward your calling, then your a successful person.
Your calling is like an infinite football field, and you’re the feature running back. Focus on “moving the chains”. You have four plays to get a first down. Many plays will result in positive yardage. Some will be for a loss. Others no gain. On average, net 10 yards every 4 plays, and you’ll progressively move the chains down the field.