How to Discover Your Calling and Get it Right (the first time)

Weird topic for a (copy)writing site, right?

As weird as it may sound / read, knowing your CALLING also perceived in some quarters as GIFT and in some as PASSION might just be the key to unlocking the many potentials lying dormant on the inside.

Maybe we can start by looking at what those three often interchangeable words really imply.

A ‘Gift’ is that special ability or natural talent you possess which the next person may not have,

Passion’ is (a strong feeling for) that thing or things that ‘consume’ you which you simply cannot bear to NOT think about or NOT do,
‘Calling’ is a particular way of life or ‘vocation’ (sometimes borne out of your gifts and passion).

It might sound cliche but there is hardly any human being without a special ‘something’ deposited in them. At least, I am yet to see one.

Sometimes, we do not see these ‘special somethings’ as gifts but that is what they are.

Let me give you an instance.

I have a friend who talks too much. If you happen to see him anywhere, please do not tell him I mentioned him on this Blog. 

He is a talker. Naturally. 
No better example have I seen of a ‘born that way’ specie.

And for non-talkers aka melt-into-the-background individuals like me, I say that is a gift, a natural talent. A calling.

You ever seen anyone whose calling it is to talk?
I am glad to announce to you that I have one in my friend.

Talking is indeed a gift- a special ability, especially when you are able to beautifully weave words together to keep an audience enraptured for more than the time it takes to wolf down a 3-layered sandwich.

For people born that way, there are one thousand and one things to do with that special ability other than discussing the woes that just befell Louis Van Gaal or analyzing why the cost of Tomatoes is on the rise in Nigeria. 

Now those are very legitimate, thought provoking subjects to dabble into but your guess is as good as mine.

Goes without saying that being in possession of a gift in itself is not of much use if nothing is made out of the gift.

How To Discover Your Calling… 

There are diverse school of thoughts on how to find one’s calling in life.

The most popular school of thought is about finding your passion and then pursuing it vigorously and unrelentingly with all you’ve got. Pretty legitimate but it simply is not enough. Not anymore.

Another school of thought urges as many as are willing to look around and fix their gazes on opportunities around them- opportunities cloaked as NEEDS, then develop / position themselves to meet those needs. 

Fill them whether we are passionate about it or not and that might just turn out to be our calling.

Also grossly inadequate if we are to focus on exploring our passion, gifts and calling in order to make the most out of it / them and enjoy ourselves while at it.

I had seen / heard people talk about living their dreams and how their jobs are so enjoyable they do not feel like they are actually ‘working’.

More often than not, those are the wise virgins who succeeded in turning their hobbies into money spinners. You can get there too if you desire.

And we also see (too often) people in paid employment who are simply putting in appearances, enduring instead of enjoying their jobs because of lack of better things to do with themselves. They are stuck in jobs they do not love and are very unhappy. Too bad.

…and Get it Right (the first / second / third time)

It does not matter how many times you have tried to find your calling or pursue your passion. Neither does it matter whether you have never given it a thought.

Remember the saying about the best time to plant a tree being yesterday and the next best time being NOW?

So, let us get to it by firstly carrying out some ‘litmus tests’ here.

Can you take a deep breath, get a pen and piece of paper and try to answer the questions below as honestly as possible? Thank you.

1. If you were to be stranded on an island for 1 year with the option to have just two items with you, what would those items be?

For me, I’d ask for three things. A Bible, Pen and a Notebook.
Pardon me for disobeying the rules, will you?

That goes to explain why I am not a good successful Event Planner (even though I tried once and even went as far as paying to get myself trained).

For you, what are those things you cannot do without for one year if you were to be alone on an Island with no access to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TV, Computer, etc? Pretty hard, huh?

2. What are the most frequent compliments you receive from other people about?

Those might just be the things you do so well to attract other people’s attention. They are the things you are skillful at (formal or informal), the stuffs you have mastered doing with or without training.

3. What do you enjoy doing most when you are free and nobody is looking?

Watching Game of Thrones or Telemundo does not count here, sorry.  

What gets you so excited about life that you just cannot wait to get up and start going every morning? What gets the adrenaline pumping through you that you cannot wait to close the door on your last visitor to get started?
What gets the blood coursing faster through your veins?

4. What are the needs evident in your (immediate) environment?

Open your eyes wide and look around you, think of the need(s)  -evident or not that you can easily or uneasily step in to meet.

Taking the trouble to find your special abilities / gifts would be an exercise in futility if nothing can be achieved or done with it to serve God and humanity.

What you do with your gift / calling / passion is as important as finding it. Take time to highlight the needs, real and perceived in your environment and ponder on how your gifts can help in meeting those needs.

5. Now get a pot, throw in all the ingredients / answers you listed above and mix them thoroughly. 

Melt them.

Find an intersection or meeting point(s) and that is the best place to start seeking the answers to your true CALLING (if the answers are still elusive at this point).

You may want to view it this way: 

Skill sets / competencies (that make people compliment what you do or how you do what you do often)
what you enjoy doing most and cannot do without doing 
the needs around you 
= Your leap-board to dive into your Sea of Calling

It does not matter whether (or not) there is a ready market for your calling or ability, markets can be created where there are none. 

*The friend mentioned earlier in this post is PASSIONate about a vocation that enables him to use his GIFT effectively and is now fully living his CALLING by providing key solutions in line with his passion / gifts*

That goes to show that it can be done.