There will never be another you. The world has never seen anyone quite like you before, nor will it ever find another just like you again. You are one of a kind and you have something to contribute to this life that the world needs from you. In fact, my definition of a calling is the intersection where your unique passion meets a deep hunger in the world.
Each of us is born with a unique set of skills and a unique human potential. The mission of life is to live out that full potential. How do you do that? The great writer and philosopher Joseph Campbell famously advised that you must “follow your bliss.” Writer and physician Bernie Siegel, M.D. encouraged readers to “Allow that wonderful inner intelligence to speak through you…be what you want to be. Don’t climb the ladder of success only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall.”
Finding your purpose in life, and doing the work you are meant to do, is a journey not for the impatient, nor the faint of heart. It takes time to learn about yourself, your skills, and your special gifts, and it takes courage. The temptation is always there to just get a job, rather than to find your right livelihood. Settling for less will inevitably bring with it a dissatisfaction that won’t go away and a yearning for work that makes you feel alive and fulfilled.
Creating work that makes your heart sing does not begin where you think it might – in a job search. It begins, instead, with discovering who you are. Answering questions that include:
- What kind of people do you enjoy being around?
- What are the values, goals and purposes that are important to you?
- In what kind of working conditions do you do your best work?
- What cause or issue do you want your life to serve while you are here on earth?
All of these questions are important but that last one – answering how you want your life to serve the world – is the most important. After all, your life is your creation, a work of art that you will leave behind as your legacy when your journey here is done. There are many worthwhile causes in the world, many problems that need solutions; it’s a matter of finding the one you care most passionately about that will bring with it a life that has purpose and meaning to you.
Be assured that you will gain lasting security only as you become self-reliant, creatively resourceful and fully engaged with your career: these all come from within you. For no matter how much money you make, subjectively you’ll be “rich” when you are true to your vocation and “poor” when you betray it, or ignore it. Consider this: the work of adulthood is to become your own best friend; to gain strength, to develop endurance, and self-renewal in order to grow as fully as you can into a healthy human being utilizing the full array of your talents in the service of something greater than you. When you think about it, is there any alternative?