5 Tips You Can Use NOW to Find Your Calling in Life and Feel Fulfilled
Finding a life path that feels fulfilling, purposeful, and tailor-made for your skills and interests is easier said than done. And in my experience, true callings shine less like guiding beacons and more like subtle, flickering lights. You have to slow down and really pay attention in order to find them. Today, I’m sharing with you 5 tips you can use to find your true calling in life and feel fulfilled.
The process of discovering your calling in life is not easy, but it is always there, ready to be uncovered at any point in your life.
Many of us wonder whether we can contribute something to the world that’s unique and can make a lasting impression — something with value and purpose. People are often unsure about whether they’re capable of doing something that really matters — something that helps them leave a lasting mark on the world. Something significant.
Ever wonder what your reason is for getting up every day?
Some of us go through each day searching for our calling — the purpose of our existence. Some stumble in their searches, while others make successful discoveries. There are also those who have successfully identified their calling but still veer onto different paths, diverted by other pursuits.
Many of us doubt this seemingly too-good-to-be-true promise because we think that if we’re meant to do some type of work, it should be obvious by now.
But that’s not the way the world works, especially these days. In a culture that encourages us to disconnect from who we are and what we most deeply want, the work that calls us isn’t written across the sky. Instead, it shows itself in scattered bits and pieces that require interpretation and are easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them.
If you want to succeed in life, finding your calling is a step you have to take.
Perhaps you’ve been led to this article because, like many others, you’re searching for your own calling in life. Here are the 5 key elements that separate those who find their calling in life from those who get a lifelong dial-tone.
Tip #1: Buck The Trend
Do you remember the movie “Yes man”, in which Jim Carrey, as the main character, challenges himself to say “yes” to every proposal the entire year? That is a great trick to get out of your comfort zone and to add some adventures to your life.
Never let your calling and how to find your true calling in life be defined by others. They’re not you: you’re you.
And at the end of the day, you’re going to have to live with yourself and your career decisions for the rest of your life. If you just go along with the status quo and wait for others to validate and accept you you’re going to end up sorely disappointed — and you’ll likely be waiting around for a long time.
Callings come to us in hints and traces, steeped in possibility and uncertainty.
Callings are funny things. We seek them because we crave meaning and certainty. We want to know why we’re here and what our lives are supposed to be all about, and sometimes we start down a path just to get rid of the agony of limbo. But I don’t know of any calling that showed up fully formed, complete with an action plan and due dates. Thus, when possibility presents itself, don’t rush into action right away. Stay open. Let it simmer long enough to show you what could be.
Life has its own plan for you. So do not worry if you get off track. Eventually, it’s an imaginary one.
Too often we get stuck in a pattern of linear thinking. We know what we need to do and have a routine worked out ahead of time. We cease to use our creativity and life starts to seem unoriginal. Practice divergent thinking by being more playful and expressive with your ideas. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope at work or when solving problems. Consider how you use items differently or apply ideas in a different way today?
A sure way to miss the joy in life is to focus on what we don’t have and how we wish we were different.
Living from a state of competition with others leads to greed and envy. When you feel an urge to compare yourself to someone else focus on total acceptance of the person you are. Recognize the significance in the relationships you have, the work you do, and the experiences you have had. Embrace your uniqueness and be grateful that you are you.
Tip #2: Focus On What Feels Good
For many of us, our calling expressed itself much more naturally when we were kids. In addition, you might need to interpret your childhood joys. For example, if you liked to explore the woods behind your house, get curious about what exactly it was that you loved: Discovering new paths? Learning about the wider world? Moving your body? Making up stories about what you saw? Sharing your discoveries with others?
Joy is a powerful, illuminating, transformative emotion. Whatever brings you joy, do more of it.
What matters isn’t so much what you do, but what about it touch your heart and soul, your sense of possibility, or your experience of who you are. Find opportunities to cultivate joy at work, at home, in your whole life. I don’t exactly know why, but wherever we experience joy, callings have a way of showing up, too.
Understanding what reinvigorates you versus what makes you feel drained is key to charting a new course.
The value of focusing on the things that energize you is that you’re inspired, empowered and thinking creatively. When you’re energized, you’re open to attracting new purpose-driven opportunities. Put your worries on hold and calm your mind before heading into the imagination zone. You will make better decisions when you are thinking clearly. Spend time in nature, meditate, travel or do whatever brings you joy and sparks creativity.
Think back to the activities you did that made you forget about the passage of time.
You have probably heard people say, “Time flies when you are having fun!” Moments like this are what psychologists call the “flow,” and what spirituals call connecting with the divine. Whatever is the case for you, these activities are where your passions are. You are fulfilling your purpose when you are doing something that energizes you rather than something that drains your energy and leaves you feeling exhausted.
Flow is most likely to occur when the task we’re performing is something that both meets our desires and draws on our gifts.
In other words, we get “into the flow” when we’re doing something we both value and feel capable of doing. As adults, we often believe that we should only do things that we are somehow rewarded for. The transactional nature of our society often leaves us disconnected from doing the things that we truly love. A joyful life is the best existence we can hope to achieve. It’s the kind of life that produces positive vibes and feel-good energy, and encourages us to look to the future with high hopes. Pure joy might seem like a fleeting emotion, but even if you only feel it for a moment in time, you can hold onto it. You can relish in it.
Tip #3: Try New Things
The process of finding joy isn’t passive, and a more fulfilling life won’t appear in a puff of smoke. Oftentimes, knowing what’s right for you will require trying out a lot of things that are wrong. Once you start to listen to your inner voice and reflect on what made you happy during childhood, question how you can start to bring those things to life in your current reality.
Thinking is the thing that prevents people from acting.
While thinking too much, you are creating lots of blocks in your mind. Remember, until you start the engine the machine will not move, so the more activities you try, the bigger is the chance to find the one for you. It’s easy to hope things will change and simply wait…wait…wait until something comes our way. But, inaction will only strip you of power. Don’t passively watch your life go by. Empowerment comes from knowing you have a choice to act and taking responsibility for the circumstances in your life.
Enumerate the things for which you would be willing to go the extra mile.
These are the things that, regardless of failure or setbacks, you’ll still make an effort to do — and get up and learn from your previous mistakes. A lot of people don’t understand that fulfillment is a result of action rather than the cause of it. You won’t find your passion by being complacent. It is a trial-and-error process. If you aren’t willing to go out of your way to do something, then you aren’t truly passionate about it.
To find your calling, try new things, lots of them. Look at things differently. Experience things like it’s your first time.
We act like we’re going to live forever, yet it’s the impending reality of our death that makes the gift of life so valuable. We can choose to live in a mindset of fear and doom & gloom, or we can treat this life as an opportunity to try as many things as we can and win the game of life before we’re done. That’s what you must choose.
One of the most reliable and overlooked keys to happiness is cultivating and exercising our innate sense of curiosity.
That’s because curiosity — a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something — creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight. With practice, you can harness the power of curiosity to transform everyday tasks into interesting and enjoyable experiences. You can also use curiosity to intentionally create wonder, intrigue and play out of almost any situation or interaction you encounter.
Tip #4: Know You're Special
When you look at yourself up close you just see … you. But when you’re able to zoom back to a big picture perspective you can sometimes notice a role and talent you have that previously didn’t seem remarkable. The three ingredients of your true calling are finding what you’re best at that also leads to appreciation from others and improves the lives and situations of those around you.
Having self-awareness is great. However, doing something that will benefit others more than yourself is amazing.
In fact, research has shown that people who have a sense of purpose and are grateful for the life they are living often contribute more to the world beyond themselves than those who do not have this sense of gratitude. This might be because, if someone can see how others benefit their life, that person will be more motivated to give back to humanity.
Is it a specific talent that you have? Are you a sounding board for your friends’ concerns?
What do people thank you for? Appreciation from other people can help fuel your work. You may not be able to see your strengths like others do because they come naturally to you. Look for common themes in reasons behind why people reach out to you in times of need. If you ask your friends directly what they believe your strengths to be, they might say something like, “You are great at being proactive in solving problems, rather than being reactive once a problem occurs.” You can tie these strengths into your “calling.”
We all follow our own unique culture. Everyone has their own dreams and their own ways of pursuing them. Show off that funky style of yours!
There are so many people who believe they aren’t enough. They hate that they’re different from the everyday crowd, and try so hard to be someone they’re not. However, being unique is something truly wonderful. No one can be quite like you, and that’s such a great feeling. You’re a likable person, whether you realize it or not!
Each and every one of us is born with unique traits and characteristics that help us shine and find our true calling.
Learning to love ourselves for who/what we are is a big challenge, and when people persistently avoid us for being ourselves, it makes it that much harder to embrace our uniqueness. I implore you to continue being the best version of yourself you can possibly be. You already know you’re unique. You’ve always known. You are an amazing, rad, totally stellar person! Everyone has their quirks; some are good, some are not so good. If you embrace yourself for the good and the bad, you can become an even more likeable person. Don’t go with the crowd! It’s the path less-traveled by where all the hidden treasures lie.
Tip #5: Keep Looking
Hardship and struggle can hone your skills and determination. I know that in the gym there’s a common saying: no pain, no gain. If you coast through everything you’re not going to get the necessary friction and experiences that will propel you to the next level. You’re going to get comfortable, complacent, and possibly even depressed.
The best thing you can do if you’re wondering how to find your true calling is to embrace your struggles and learn to dive into the suffering you’re experiencing.
Think about something in your life that’s set you back and that you’ve wished had a better solution. Then think about how you can be a part of providing that solution and put your plan into action. If you’ve been faced with a major challenge and been confused or upset about how to address it chances are someone else has as well. And chances are you’re eventually going to be able to make money and gain immense fulfillment by providing that problem-solving product or service.
Stop kicking or congratulating yourself over the choices you made that seem to have gone poorly or well for you.
Many of the major choices we make in life are made largely in ignorance, some of them when we are too young to know ourselves or know the implications of what we are choosing. Choices matter, but so does luck! And yet, there is a current guiding your life along the course it inherently wants to follow. You subconsciously submit to that current in some cases when the best way for you is unclear. I am not referring to something mystical, just suggesting that your ignorant choices might have had an unseen direction to them, even an unseen wisdom. Where have they brought you?
We all know the famed maxim: It’s ok to fail. What’s important is to get up and keep trying.
Yet, many are stuck in the same rut, the same job for the past 10 years, the same habits, environment, circle of people. Fortune favors the bold. You cannot find your true calling unless you take a risk of exploring uncharted arenas where you have never been and finding if your heart and soul sails through the conscious choices you make. The will to take risks to branch away from the mundane and make unique choices that are in-sync with your beliefs, principles and the taste is a starting point of finding your true calling.
Whether you’re 18 or 47, age is just a number.
You can be a bit on the older or younger end of the spectrum and still be looking for your true calling, and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s not about age. It’s about passion and inner drive and pleasant surprises that can hit you even when you’re 70. You must also be prepared for your youthful dreams and callings to fade or change: there’s nothing wrong with that and sometimes people go through a number of phases before finding their true calling. It’s all part of the process and, as the saying goes, the journey is the destination.
While it may take some intention and effort, figuring out what your calling is — how you can live a life that’s in the highest service to yourself and others — is well worth it.
To be honest, it’s not easy. It may even feel like you are not moving at all or going backwards at times.
But remember, while the quest for your own P-square — passion and purpose — is by no means an effortless undertaking, it’s still movement, evolution, progress, growth. Better than stagnation. And when you still have doubts if you should even try, think about the rut — is this how you envisage the rest of your life to be?
Finding your life’s calling is a lot like discovering breadcrumbs in the forest.
Finding this new route may feel as if you’re driving in circles without a navigation system. You have to follow each crumb, inkling and inspirational drop that is revealed to you. And as you take more steps and nourish the nudges of inspiration that come to you, it will become more clear.
Finding your calling is important not only for success in your professional and personal life, but also for your well-being and longevity.
You need to look within, discover the things that you are passionate about, and pursue them — regardless of other people’s doubts or the setbacks you’ll meet. Your own purpose will point the way to your success. Become who you are by learning who you are.
Whatever your method, you need to implement something if you want the results. Your calling won’t find you, you have to actively pursue it.
I hope that you too can find something that’s worth doing no matter how it turns out. Even better, I hope that you give yourself permission to actually do it. The greater tragedy would be not to follow a calling at all… because you never know where it might lead you.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.