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Are You Doing What You Are Here to Do?



A friend recently asked, with the holiday season reaching a fever pitch and this year rapidly ending, “What is mine to do this upcoming year?” She noted that many of her colleagues were asking themselves similar questions. They want to know if they are following their true calling in life.


When we hear the word calling, it conjures up the thought that our calling must be spiritual or religious. But many kinds of calls come to us in various ways. Often, our calls are work-related. But there are also relationship, moral decision-related, or lifestyle calls.


Callings are different depending on where we are in life. The ones we have in our 20s will differ from those in our 40s and 50s. Different still in our 70s and later.


A calling, whether in work or personal life, is when we find and follow our authentic selves, which results in a sense of alignment and aliveness. It may be to leave a job altogether or come to it differently. It means taking a new role or letting go of an old one, or making a creative leap or launching a new venture. Maybe it’s simply making a course correction in life or work so that we will make our life "come alive."


Usually, the central question is, "Am I doing what God put me here to do?” I recall contemplating that question at a critical point in my life. I reached a point where I had to make a change. I only changed to leave what was familiar and comfortable when I reached the point where the pain of not doing so exceeded the fear of answering my call. Answering our call is simply a matter of remembering who we are.


During the week before Christmas, a father was interacting with his seven-year-old daughter. She asked him, “What do you do at work?” He told her that he worked at the college, and his job was to teach people how to draw. He said she looked back at him, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"


Our calling is hardwired. However, we may have temporarily forgotten, or we push it aside because we may have accepted what society tells us is the priority.


We can always resurrect our callings. They are deep inside our lives and appear as urgings and inner promptings. They point us to our true north and come in dreams, intuitions, passions, books that mysteriously make their way to our night table, or positive feelings in our bodies when we are around people or events that remind us of our calling.


One of the challenges when we answer our calls is the resistance from seemingly outside forces. Sometimes, just saying yes will throw opposing energies into our lives. When those seemingly opposing energies show up, one part wants to follow the call; the other wants to run like hell. Courage travels alongside anxiety.


But we can look at the resistance from a different perspective. The movie, The Right Stuff, helps us out here. There is a scene in which the pilot, Chuck Yeager, attempts to break the sound barrier for the first time. Just before he hits that point of breaking the threshold (750 miles per hour) the plane starts shaking and shuddering and threatening to break apart. Then suddenly, when he breaks the sound barrier, he breaks through and experiences a glorious silence and a perfectly smooth ride.


There is a similar experience in our lives whenever we seek to attempt a breakthrough to our calling. There is resistance, shaking, and shuddering. However, it's not opposed to the breakthrough; it's part of it. But we must be resilient in moving forward since resistance is likely to show up as soon as we follow our call and say yes to the passion of our being.


Without the shuddering, there is no genuine growth. The capacity to be “shaken up" is often, ironically, the key to the evolution of any system — whether at the molecular level or the chemical, physical, social, psychological, or spiritual. Whatever we protect from disturbance is also protected from change and becomes stagnant.


When answering your call, courage is often required to stay the course during the shaking and shuddering, and this is what is meant by "character." It's part of the process. When you answer that call, there is not only that sense of personal “aliveness," but you also encourage others to do the same.


Peace and blessings,

James

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