This past Friday, I had the privilege of joining Ben Merens on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss Finding Your Calling with Ben and his At Issue with Ben Merens listeners. While Ben is a professional, and so gifted as a talk show host, I am a newbie so my learning was great! I’d like to share it with you as it lands in me. For starters, the title we selected, Finding Your Calling, was HUGE! And given how the discussion evolved, I realized I hadn’t looked up the definition of “calling” and wondered now what I’d find:
calling: a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence
Okay, that’s what I thought! Here’s what transpired. Calling and Purpose and Passion were used interchangeably by us – and our callers. And at one point, the question of “Does a calling/purpose/passion have to bring joy?” was raised. Realizing I may not have addressed that question thoroughly, I’d like to revisit it here.
Passion – living on purpose – connection to our calling in this lifetime and taking actions in service of that calling … No, it probably doesn’t always elicit the joy response:
joy: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires … delight
So why would someone answer a calling that didn’t bring joy? OMG! Because the feeling of being on purpose – of acting in service of inner conviction – is SO ENERGIZING! Yes, really! For me, it relates to a recent sharing, For the Sake of What?, a talk I delivered at Unity of Appleton. When the vision or purpose is so clear and important to me, to my soul, I can’t help but take action! And that action might actually be “hard work”. But the inner drive, focus, intention that accompanies purpose (perhaps this inner state is the calling) is powerful and irresistible to me.
How about you? What so engages your inner being that you can’t help yourself? Now I realize the answer to that could be an addiction! And without diving into another HUGE topic, what if finding your calling and acting in service of that calling, freed you from a harmful addiction? Just a thought!