Discovering your calling is not an easy thing to do. There aren’t any obvious signposts that clearly guide the way to the kind of life and work that you find uniquely satisfying and compelling.
In an article on Entrepreneur.com, Tor Constantino interviews Jeff Goins about his latest book The Art of Work. In it, Goins shares three tips that anybody can use to discover their true life purpose. Here they are in summary:
1. Listen to Your Life: “Purpose discovery” tends to be forward-looking. It’s based on imagining the kind of work that you think you will enjoy. This approach, Goins argues, isn’t always the most fruitful one. Instead, it’s by looking at your past that you can often gain a real idea of the kind of work that you find truly satisfying.
What achievements have you had that you genuinely felt proud of? What activities were you naturally drawn towards? Similarly, consider the things that you didn’t like doing as potential guides for what to avoid in the future.
2. Seek out Mentorship: Mentors, when they appear, can often be a sign that you’re pursuing your calling. Goins argues that community and “apprenticeship” are vital aspects of fully developing a skill or talent. He also believes that the idea isn’t necessarily to seek these people out, but rather to be open to them if they become available to you.
3. Be Ready (and Willing) for Pain: There is a commonly-shared idea that once you’ve found your calling, it’s all going to be plain sailing. It’s not. To achieve mastery you have to be willing to face hard work, setbacks and often lots of self-doubt too. The silver lining, however, is that when this pursuit of mastery is done in the context of your calling it is often deeply invigorating.
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