I’ve been involved in a really interesting online conversation recently about what role your ‘calling’ plays in the work you do. I’ve been clear about my calling for a while, but when I had to articulate how I knew what it was, I had to stop and think about it. Having had a little think, I’ve identified the two ways I know that what I do, is my calling. I hope they resonate with you and I hope they’ll help you think about your calling too. Let me know what you think.
Firstly, it’s not something I can ever see myself retiring from. It really doesn’t feel like work to me, in the way that other gigs have. I used to sit opposite a man, who would greet me every morning, with the exact number of days he had left, before he retired. He had obviously lost his passion and zest for the job and was really just marking time until he could leave. Unfortunately, he died before he could retire and I felt a little sad that he seemed not to have really been living before he died. As a violence against women activist, a coach and a trainer, I’m excited at the thought of continuing my life’s work, anytime and anywhere that I can. Does your 9-5 excite you or are you just marking time? Are you counting down the days until retirement or planning how to keep on adding value, wherever you go?
Secondly, I can always see opportunities to live out my calling. One of the most memorable lines from the film, The Sixth Sense’ is “I see dead people”. The character, who said that line, was referring to the fact that he saw dead people, everywhere he went. That’s pretty much my approach. I remember an incident where my now 11 year old niece laughed and said “men don’t go into the kitchen, only women do”. I was just gearing up to give her a lecture, before my sister chased me off, saying “she’s too young for your women’s lib lectures!” Wherever I go, whatever I read and whatever I hear, I’m always looking out for the gender angle. How does this work for women and men? Are women going to be disadvantaged by this approach? I can’t think of any area, where gender is irrelevant and that’s why I do the work that I do.
Knowing your calling or your purpose is essential, because it gives you direction. There are a lot of good things that need to be done, but they don’t all need to be done by you. Find your purpose, live out your calling, live life on purpose.
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Until next week, go well.