make the shift

During the Middle Ages, one time a passerby came across three craftsmen as they were working. He took a pause and asked them one by one what they were doing. The first man said he was laying bricks, the second one shared that he was building a wall. And the third replied with a great sense of joy and pride that he was creating a magnificent cathedral. 

Some of us are simply doing our jobs. Other people are working towards building their careers. And then there are the third kind who have found their callings by virtue of happenstance or luck that they created for themselves. They have found a cause that is greater than themselves and are pursuing it wholeheartedly, much like the third man in the anecdote above. 

As Presbyterian author and minister Frederick Buechner writes in his book Wishful Thinking, “They have found a place where their deep gladness intersects with one of the world’s deep needs.”

So, why not work towards discovering a calling and living a richer and more meaningful life? Why not live a life of joy, clarity, satisfaction and purpose?

When we better understand what a calling is, we put ourselves in a better position to find our own. A calling should mainly fulfill the following two criteria:

  1. It matches who you are, and
  2. It is something that you are passionate about.

So ask yourself: What is the one thing that reflects who you are, that you are passionate about and can do for hours on end, that you won’t mind doing for the rest of your life, and that makes a positive difference to the lives of other people? If you know what it is, then there’s a great chance that it might just be your calling.

A calling transcends our personal interests. Unlike a career or a job, a calling gives our life a higher purpose. The significance of a life that is centered around a calling transpires from giving, thinking about others and serving beyond ourselves. 

When we live our life without a calling, we feel a nagging worry that we’re not living a life of meaning and purpose. But once we find our calling and live in accordance with it, we experience satisfaction and profound joy. Make the shift from career to calling, and you’ll be on your way to living a truly successful and fulfilled life.