We’ve all been told that we have a life purpose or calling. How many of us really know what that is? I’ve spent much of my life on my journey of discovery, but it wasn’t until after I retired from my vocation that I finally discovered my calling. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned along my path.
Our calling may or may not be our vocation or what we do to earn our living. If you found a match, then you are rare and truly blessed. For the remainder of us, our vocation is something that we do, and our calling is who we are. If our true calling is, for example, teaching, then our values, morals, faith, personality, skills, and abilities must align with how, where, and why we teach.
I spent the majority of my career working in the field of human resources. It was my skills and abilities and some aspects of my personality that led me to this field and to rise up the corporate ladder. The more I reached and climbed toward the next promotion, the more I realized how my values, morals and faith were misaligned.
I struggled working in environments where there was a culture of fierce competition, back stabbing, game playing, lack of compassion and dishonesty. When I tried new roles and organizations, as I often did, I still rarely felt that my values, morals, and faith were a fit. I did not enjoy managing problems all day long.
While working for an organization that I knew was a misfit, I developed a serious case of pneumonia. I also became extremely ill while working for an organization where my direct manager was a non-compassionate leader. The universe was sending me very strong messages about my misfits, but for a long time I ignored my values.
It took many trials, and even a long hiatus from work, before I could define the kind of organization and leadership I wanted to work for. It wasn’t until the end of my career that I finally could answer the question of where – I needed to work for an organization that provided valued community services to people in need and was led by compassionate leaders.
There is often the element of service that is instrumental to both successful vocations and callings.
As a result of my extensive work history and experiences, including learning from the many errors that I made along the way, I had grown into a more resourceful and compassionate human resources manager and I could now answer the question of how.
However, I still could not answer the question of why. I was not passionate about the field of human resources. When I finally got the courage to retire from my vocation, I felt that I left it on a high, knowing that I was finishing my career at my best and happiest, but I was still searching for my true calling.
You may not know what your calling is, or your journey of discovery may have been a long and windy one, like mine. My first step after retiring was taking a deep dive and looking into my past to rediscover and reconnect with my interests and passions.
I asked myself a series questions: What can I not do? What have I done in my past where I didn’t notice time, and hours would go by without checking time? What made me feel so fulfilled while doing it, that I didn’t want to stop?
I also focused my thoughts on what came naturally to me and on what I loved to do. Many spiritual gurus tell us that our passions will lead us to our purpose.
I have always enjoyed writing. I will share with you a secret from my early vocational years that should have confirmed to me back then that I was in the wrong job and wasn’t fulfilling my calling.
I worked for one organization where the culture was in such contrast to my values, morals, faith, and personality, that on my worst days, I would close my office door and write non-fiction stories. Creating stories and writing became my sanctuary and my way of enduring my misalignment.
While writing, my days flew by, and I often forgot to eat lunch. I also wrote in the evenings and weekends, and any spare time I could find, but my busy work and family life often took precedence until retirement.
I have always been enthusiastic about travel. I enjoy researching travel as much as I enjoy travelling around the world. I have been fortunate to travel to many countries throughout my life. After spending my working years planning and booking travel for my family and friends, after I retired, it was a natural path for me to become a certified travel consultant.
Retirement is that time to do what we really love to do as we may no longer need full time paid work. It is probably the most crucial period in our lives when we require a life purpose. We have the ability to review our past in order to understand our passions and what has brought us joy and our path to our life calling.
I love working from my comfy home writing my joyful life blog, and I wrote and published a book during Covid with the purpose of helping others. I also love researching and booking cost saving travel for the many friends and clients that I have accumulated over the years, and I travel to new cities and countries, whenever I can.
I now know I am fulfilling my purpose because my values, morals, faith, personality, skills, and abilities perfectly align, and I can answer how, where, and why I have become a writer and travel consultant. I also love helping people and my calling provides me the opportunity to serve others.
Have you discovered your life calling? What is it? Did it overlap with your career? Did you rediscover a passion long lost?
Tags Finding Happiness
Hi Denise. I would be interested in a fall trip to Italy for two people. Is this something you can assist with? Thank you.
I would love to JUST KNOW my calling.
I was co-owner of a business for 23 years when I finally retired. I am great with finances and managing a company and employees but I was not passionate or fulfilled. I was lucky enough to retire at 59. I have always been passionate about medicine, nutrition and health. I began filling my days with online classes, research and master classes. It has been the most fulfilling time of my life. I advocate for people, teach how to eat healthy, the proper supplements for health, have reversed multiple chronic diseases, and educated people So they can live a better life. I do not charge for my help; their gratitude and excitement is payment enough. I am blessed and full of gratitude for the last 8 years of this new purpose.
I have often thought about just what you are doing. I am very interested in nutrition and would love to help others as well. How did you get started and do you need any specific certifications in order to work as an advocate for others? Any info is appreciated as I don’t know where to begin.