Each of us has unique talents and interests. These differences are the foundation for finding what you love to do. Discovering our life missions, calling, or career/job takes allowing yourself to be with you in peaceful spaces. Don’t use your brain or your mind to try to “figure” it out. Instead allow yourself to explore yourself and your talents and interests.
Steve Jobs in the commencement address he gave in 2005 to Stanford University told three stories in what he called connecting the dots. The name of the address was: “You’ve got to find what you love.” The dots included the choices he made that later led to some of his amazing career development.
The choices were:
(1) He dropped out of college formally but stayed at the school for another 1 ½ years to take the courses he liked. One of those courses was calligraphy which later became the fonts for our personal computers.
(2) He was fired from Apple but started Pixar and NeXT during his readjustment period. Pixar created the first computer animated feature film, Toy Story. Apple bought Pixar and rehired Jobs.
(3) In 1994, he was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. His type of cancer was curable with surgery. But the lesson he learned from this experience is that death is life’s main change agent.
Our time here is limited so his message is to enjoy it and find what we love to do in life.
Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life
From the introduction:
“In many traditions, calls—in the form of sounds—precede prayer, rites of initation, spiritual healings, and major life events. The purpose of calls is to summon adherents away from their daily grinds to a new level of awareness, into a sacred frame of mind, into communicatin with that which is bigger than themselves. The calls may come from bull-roares, trumpets, rattles, wooden clackers, songs, and bells.”
(Calls may also be “still messages and/or thoughts, songs, etc.)
“Primarily this force announces the need for change, and the response for which calls is an awakening of some kind. A call is only a monologue. A return call, a response, creates a dialogue. Our own unfolding requires that we be in constant dialogue with whatever is calling us. The call and one’s response to it are also a central metaphor for the spiritual life.”
“They may be calls to do something (become self-employed, go back to school leave or start a relationship, move to the country, change careers, have a child) or calls to be something (more creative, less judgmental, more loving, less fearful). They may be calls toward something or away from something; calls to change something, review our commitment to it, or come back to it in an entirely new way; calls toward whatever we’ve dared and double-dared ourselves to do for as long as we can remember.”
“Saying yes to the calls tend to place you on a path that half of yourself thinks doesn’t make a bit of sense, but the other half knows that your life won’t make sense without.”
“We find that we must act on this imperative despite temptations—to back down and run for cover—that will divide even the most grimly resolve against themselves. We must persist with the sort of hope about which playwright and former Czechoslavakian president Vaclav Havel spoke when he said, “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
The main body of the book is divided into 5 sections:
1) Part 1 The call to attention
2) Part 2 Receiving calls
3) Part 3 Invoking calls
4) Part 4 Saying no to calls
5) Part 5 Saying yes to calls
An excerpt from Saying Yes to Calls:
“Much of the pain associated with callings comes from avoiding them, from not surrendering to them. However much sacrifice may be involved, much of the pain we feel in surrendering to callings actually comes from our anticipation of the pain and not from the actual capitulation. Once we do surrender, we often feel a sense of great relief, and just as often we are bewildered about why we didn’t do it years ago.”
“We mistakenly equate surrender with defeat and sacrifice with annihilation. We bring to our renunciations the same oanic and anxiety—“Oh God, I can’t give that up”—that we often bring to our deliberations about intimacy, the fears of beng devoured and overpowered, of giving our lives away. Granted, parts of us are broken into smithereens in the process of following our calls and experience real compromise and real suffering, but this is not defeat any more than a flower suffers defeat by going to seed. Futhermore, say theologian Frederich Buechner, “What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarely fill a cup.”