What is my calling from God? Does God have a plan for me? Is there a purpose to my life and what’s the point of this life?
These are all big questions and contemplating them is important whether you are spiritual or not. We are all seeking some sort of divine guidance to help us find meaning and purpose in life.
If you are waiting for some flash of insight from God to reveal some sort of calling to you, perish the thought.
You may wait your entire life to receive some ‘Divine zap’ to awaken you to your calling from God.
There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.– Oprah Winfrey
Many religious people in particular are looking towards God for some sort of vocational guidance.
I do not believe that God cares one way or another what your vocational choices are. If God even does care what we do with our lives I believe that she would care much more about how we live our lives than what we do with it.
I’ve seen many religious people wanting to make a difference in the world and they often want to attribute this to a calling from God in some way.
The desire for ‘Divine approval’ for your own life decisions is mostly the result of your religious beliefs and your need to do ‘good’ and to do things that ‘God would approve of’.
If you believe that God has called you to do something, do it. As long as this calling is for the highest good of your Self and the world then you will find meaning in doing it.
Ultimately that is what we truly want from a calling, a vocation and a purpose in life.
Your Vocation, Your Talents and Your Calling
One of life’s big questions is “why are we here?” There are many potential answers – each of which could be equally valid, but on a more personal level your life purpose is something very unique and very special to you.
For most people the idea of living a successful and fulfilled life conjures up images of hard work, sacrifice and overcoming the odds. Although there certainly is merit in all that, on a deeper and more spiritual level, living your life on purpose is all it really takes to be fulfilled.
Each man has his vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Living your life on purpose is not meant to be a constant struggle. Living your life on purpose is to follow the path of least resistance.
It’s the easy way for the easy way is that which you are destined for.
The easy way does not mean that you do nothing to fulfill your destiny. The easy way simply refers to the way that comes natural to you.
Sometimes this road of least resistance is easy and sometimes it’s hard, but it is the path where the entire universe conspires to help and assist you.
In the quote above, Emerson gives us a great insight about following the path of least resistance: when you live your life on purpose it is that ‘direction’ in life where everything opens up for you.
You may have spent a lifetime knocking on locked doors, yet there is one door which will open up the entire world for you.
The Difference Between a Calling And a Vocation
Each and every one of us has our own unique calling. Emerson refers to the fact that each and every one of us has our vocation and a special talent that will open these doors for us.
So many people confuse vocation with ‘a job’ or what they ought to do with their life. Your calling is much beyond all that.
In its original Latin, the term vocation actually means to ‘be called’. The word vocation actually means “your calling”.
Unfortunately our modern use of the term vocation has become synonymous with your career. We get taught that we have to choose a vocation at the age of 16 and then that is what we are for the rest of our lives.
Would you trust a 16 year old with such an important decision?
The term vocation is mostly used to math someone’s aptitude to a particular career path. Aptitude tests are designed to place you into particular ‘boxes’ and rarely allows you to look beyond certain set career paths.
Your career is what you’re paid for. Your calling is what you’re made for.– Steve Harvey
While your career could be your vocation it rarely is. Most people choose a career based on whether they can ‘make a good living’ from it and that usually translates to what the paycheck will be each month.
This explains why so many people are depressed. They spend more than 50% of their waking lives doing something that they hate – or at least something they are not truly passionate about.
They feel obliged to do something that is not aligned with their higher calling.
What is it that that truly calls you in life? What is it that brings you joy? What is it that really makes you feel alive?
However faint that little voice deep down inside, until and unless you listen to it you will continue to feel unfulfilled and like you are not really living the life that you are destined to live.
The way to find your calling is to look at the way you were created. Your gifts have not emerged by accident.– Timothy Keller
When we start digging a bit deeper into the very idea of our calling, we have to start asking where does our calling come from?
What is my calling from God? Does God really call you to follow a particular life path?
That which you are naturally gifted with and that which you are effortlessly drawn to in life are usually the things you are born with.
They are usually the clues to your calling from God
The Difference Between a Calling And a Purpose
The idea of a life purpose is much more in line with having a calling than the idea of a vocation. A vocation has too many associations with ‘a job’ or ‘á career’.
Having a life purpose often gives us more freedom to look beyond what we do for money or to pay your bills.
Living your life on purpose is not so much in what you do with your life as it is the way that you are when you live your life.
It’s not some spiritual goal to reach some day. Living your life on purpose is about fulfilling and realizing your Self in ALL of life.
Your purpose acts as your guiding light – always directing and steering your life to a sense of inner peace, joy and fulfillment.
Each and every one of us has our own unique calling. It is the key to unlocking your own personal door to a life of fulfillment. All you have to do is to follow your bliss and allow your purpose to find you.
A job you can quit, a dream you can give up on, but a calling will chase you forever.– Unknown
Stay connected to all those things that bring YOU joy and listen only to your own heart – despite all the millions of opinions and demands that we all get bombarded with.
As you get more in touch with your own spirituality you will start to discover a deeper and more meaningful side to yourself.
Getting to really know and expand yourself will help you to stay connected and to live a life on purpose.
In the end it is not about demanding any particular path in life, but instead taking the path of least resistance – the path that is your very own.
Your life purpose is the path that requires no force. It does not mean there are no challenges or hard work on this path.
Your purpose aligns much more with the main question of ‘what is my calling from God’ than your vocation.
With a vocation people get too tripped up with choosing a career path. A career path is almost always a predetermined path that has been carved out by millions of people before you.
Why are you knocking on every door? Go, knock on the door of your own heart.– Rumi
You are unique and special in every way and so is your purpose in life. Accept this truth and top looking towards outside solutions that are pre-packaged as a career.
Ikigai: Your Reason For Being
In the Japanese culture there is a concept called Ikigai and I absolutely love it. It is an all-encompassing idea that embraces all these ideas of a career, a vocation and purpose.
Discovering your Ikigai is believed to be the source of true happiness and fulfilment and is the secret to living a meaningful life.
To find your Ikigai, ask yourself the following four questions:
- What do I love?
- What am I good at?
- What can I get paid for
- What does the world need?
The answer to these four questions will converge 4 main elements:
- Your Passion: What you love
- Your Mission: What the world needs
- Your Vocation/Talents: What you are good at
- Your Profession: What you can get paid for
As you can see in the diagram, it is very easy to just miss the mark. Most people never truly find their Ikigai.
Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your calling.– Aristotle
Far too many people who are looking for a calling from God miss the part of making it a profession. Many people who pursue a career miss their Ikigai because they have no purpose or mission.
This is an incredibly good framework to use to help you strike that balance between purpose, vocation and profession.
Religion and Your Calling From God
People who have strong religious convictions often obsess over this question: What is my calling from God?
They want to know why they are here, what their purpose is and most importantly what God wants them to do with their lives.
The premise is that God somehow needs you to do something to please Him (or is it Her?)
Gaining God’s favour through your actions in this life is almost always born from fear – especially the fear of God’s wrath.
The idea that God wants you do do X, Y and Z is an invention by The Church – designed to keep its subordinates in line.
Can you imagine an all powerful, all loving Divine God who is the creator of all being so needy that She wants you to live your life in a certain way?
The only calling you have from God is to live your life, to love your life and to fulfil your soul purpose.
God is not some old man sitting on a throne up there in the clouds. He is not setting there somehow monitoring every thought and action of all 9 billion people on the planet only to condemn those She loves so dearly to eternal damnation.
That is a fairy tale.
God could not give a crap about whether you are an accountant or a drug dealer.
Are you true to your soul and who you really are at the highest level.
That is ultimately all that matters what you will account for.
Every single NDE (near death experience) recounts some sort of reflection upon the life lived. No one reports any judgement or condemnation but they all report the presence of God as a peaceful and all-loving presence.
You have nothing and no One to fear in this life. You have been given this life as a gift to make and shape the way you intended to before you even showed up in this body and this life.
your only duty is to make the most of it and to live with joy.