Is your work sapping the life out of you? It is time to reassess your life and your goal. Discover and pursue your true calling. From the book Business: The Ultimate Resource here are ways to find your calling and live your passion:
Begin by assessing your skills and talents. Make a list of all the things you have been good at. On this same piece of paper, make three columns. The first one is labeled “Current Job.” In this column, put a check to all the skills and talents that you are currently using. The second column is labeled “Joy and Meaning.” Here put a check next to any skill that brings you joy and a sense of meaning when you are using it. This includes skills that you may not be currently using in your job. The third column is labeled “Dream Job.” In this column put a check next to any skills that you would like to use in a “Dream Job.” As you are doing this exercise, you may think of other skills and you can add them to the list. After completing the checklists, make some notes for yourself about any thoughts and ideas that came up about what a dream job might be.
Think about the dream you may have buried because it wasn’t practical. Dreams can come true, but you have to be willing to believe in them. Read stories about people who have made their dreams come true. The source of a “calling” often comes from difficult or painful experiences that we have experienced or overcome. It becomes our calling, then, to help other people with similar difficulties.
Be of Service
Focus on the principle of service. All vocational callings have a strong element of service in them. Whom do you serve? How can you use your gifts and talents to serve them? What issues in the community, in business, or in society do you care about? Have you ever wished you could make a difference. These are clues to your calling.
Do What Brings You Joy
In order to be of service to others, we first have to do what brings us joy. So do what pleases you, and you will probably find that you are acquiring knowledge and skills that will help you to be of service to others in the future. And sometimes it is enough just to know that if you do what brings you joy, even if it is not of service to anyone else, the world is a better place. The world could certainly do with a little more joy
Make it Real
Make your dream real in some concrete way. Write down a description of your dream job. Write in your journal about what “calls” to you. Tell other people about your dream job. You will find that as you get more and more detailed about what you are looking for, opportunities will “coincidentally” appear. Make sure you are paying attention to these opportunities.
Talk to Others
Don’t be afraid to tell others about your calling. The more you tell others about your dreams, the more real they become, and the more likely you are to notice opportunities that will help you fulfill you dreams. Also, by telling others about the job you would love to have, you are increasing the chances of finding someone who has just the right piece of information, or just the right connection for you.
Learn to Fly
Remember the rule of the bumblebee. According to the laws of mathematics and aerodynamics, it is physically impossible for bumblebees to fly. Fortunately, no one ever explained that to a bumblebee. Keep in mind that the most successful business people and entrepreneurs were frequently told that what they wanted to do was “impossible.”
In order to follow your calling, there are always necessary sacrifices that must be made. Before you make the move to another job or starting your own business, spend some time thinking about what are absolute necessities in your life and work. Is it essential that you have high earnings, or are you willing to earn less money to do work that is more meaningful? Is it essential that you have a steady paycheck, or are you excited about the risk and potential in working for a small start-up organization? Is it essential that you work with people, or are you content to work alone? What things are absolutely necessary to you in your work, and what can you do without? Make a list of five things that are necessary and five things that you are willing to do without.
Look in Your Own Backyard
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” This can apply to your job, too. Many people cannot easily leave their current job. The challenge, then, is how to see your current work as your calling. Once again, the principle of “Service” can be very helpful. If you need to stay with your current job, write yourself a brief reminder about how the work you do is of service to others, and keep it somewhere nearby.
Excerpted from the book Business: The Ultimate Resourceby Daniel Goleman (Publisher: Basic Books; 1st edition August 16, 2002)