Many of us don’t have our dream job, are not working in our desired field, or are just not where we want to be in life. Last week I shared some tips on how to manage and prosper despite disliking our current job/situation. This week I want to talk about dreams and calling.
Now, dreams are what we want to do, and calling is what we’re meant to do. Both are important yet difficult to achieve. Maybe you already know what your dream and/or calling is, maybe you don’t. Maybe you think you know, but looking back you realize you’ve changed your mind several times in the past and so aren’t sure anymore. Let’s take a look at both dreams and calling to get a better grip on a way forward.
Whether you already have a dream, or are struggling to find out what it is, keep this helpful acronym in mind: HOPE.
Healthy – Your dream should be healthy, not just for you but for the people around you. Living an unhealthy lifestyle in the pursuit of a goal is not only unwise, it’s bad stewardship of the life you’ve been given. The end does not justify the means, and your journey is just as important as your destination.
Obtainable – Is your dream a wild fancy? Or is it something you can plan out step by step how you can achieve it? Don’t waste a single day in your short life dreaming about something you never can, or never should achieve. Don’t be afraid to dream big, just don’t dream stupid.
Principled – make sure what you want to achieve is a good thing, a thing that makes you, your neighbors, and the world a better place. Working for a goal that is harmful, or for a good thing for the wrong reason, will only hurt you down the line.
Eternal – our lives are short, but what we do during our lives can have eternal impact: the lives we touch, the change we make, the achievements we leave behind. Always consider is what you’re pouring your heart and soul into something that would make your descendents proud? Does it help other people? Does it make you a better person?
This one is trickier. It’s usually easy to know what we want, but do we find out what we were meant to do? What does it even mean to be meant to do something?
Some call it destiny, some call it fate, some don’t believe in it at all. Whether you choose to “buy into” the idea of calling or not, we all have that built in desire, that niggling instinct that we were made for something greater. There is, of course, our higher calling, but that’s a post for another day. Here I want to talk about our earthly calling. Nobody but you can find your calling, but hopefully these insights can help you get on the right track.
1. A calling is innately selfless. It’s something you do for others. Dreams and callings can and often are contained in the same thing. But your dream to be a famous singer isn’t a calling. Becoming a famous singer that serves as a roll model for young men/women, and who sings about things that matter, changing lives and the culture around you, THAT is a calling. Doing what we were meant to do is often difficult and uncomfortable. But the rewards – those lives we touch, those souls we help, that legacy we leave behind, is why we do it.
2. A person can have multiple callings. Life has seasons. There is the season of childhood, of adolescence, of adulthood. What we are called to do in each season may be different. A cause we put our heart into now we may need to pass to other hands as we move on to a different calling. Sometimes we even have multiple callings at once.
3. A calling isn’t always flashy. Being a mother or father, husband or wife, are the most un-flashy callings out there, yet they are the most important. Completely aside from personal happiness and responsibility, society is built on family, and if the family falls, society falls. Your day in day out commitment to your family is the most important thing you’ll ever do. So do it well.
4. It’s okay to get it wrong. Sometimes we feel useless. Like whatever we’re doing, wherever we are, doesn’t matter. We feel like we won’t ever find our calling, or worse, we think we know our calling but can never do it because of the demands of work/family/life. The important thing in these situations is to never give up hope. Not only does what you do now matter, but you have the ability to make a difference no matter where you are, whether in an office or a ditch, driving a truck or pushing a baby stroller. Don’t give up on your dreams and calling, but don’t waste a single day not being the best person you can be just because you aren’t “there” yet.
So hopefully this post can help you get a better grip on what your dreams and calling are. But once you know them, how can you achieve them? What are the nuts and bolts of getting from where you are now, unhappy and overworked, to your dream where everything is perfect? Well, first of all, life will never be perfect. But, if you stick around, next week I’ll share some concrete steps to set yourself up to achieve your dream and calling. Thanks for reading!