Leading a meaningful, satisfying life is all about finding your calling. As great as this may seem in theory, finding your purpose in life is easier said than done. Busy and overworked, we often let go of our dreams and simply exist on a day by day basis. Dreaming big and finding something meaningful to live for get pushed in the background.
There’s no need to give up on your calling, however. Figuring out why it’s worth living will require just a few days and a conscious effort on your behalf. Here’s how to do in seven days.
Identify Your Barriers
Use a day or two to figure out what’s holding you back. Most of us are so burdened by our everyday existence that we forget about the more important things in life.
Are you stuck in a job that doesn’t fulfill you but that you stick with because of necessity? Are you stuck in a relationship with a person who isn’t right for you because you’re afraid of ending up alone? Most of us are guilty of making such compromises. While they may start feeling comfortable with the passage of time, such compromises with values and beliefs will inevitably lead to a mediocre existence. To realize your full potential, you need to have a really good idea about what you want to accomplish and what’s holding you back.
What Captivates You, What are You Passionate about?
After identifying the barriers that you’ll have to overcome, it’s time to think about your passions. You have certain values, beliefs and a legacy that you want to live behind. Taking some time to think consciously about those will make it easier to identify your calling.
Journaling and recording your past experiences and attempts to identify your calling will come in handy. There may be things that you were passionate about for a certain period of time. After the passion subsides, however, you find out that they don’t provide the genuine fulfillment you’re looking for.
Apart from doing journaling, you may also take a day to carry out a brainstorming session.
Sit down and try to answer the question “what’s my calling?” Don’t think about it – just write down everything that comes to mind. You may be surprised by some of the concepts and the passions that will come to the surface through such a brainstorming session. It’s even possible to realize something that has been sitting in the back of your mind but that has never manifested itself as a complete idea.
Learn to Say YES
We are so set in our ways that saying “no” to new opportunities becomes an almost automatic response.
When you’re used to your comfortable, everyday existence, you stop challenging yourself. If you don’t push yourself outside of your comfort zone, chances are that you’ll never figure out what your calling in life is.
Instead of simply dismissing anything alien and scary, force yourself to say yes to opportunities. By accepting something that you would otherwise have turned down, chances are that you’ll identify new passions and things in life worth living for.
Find a Mission that Resonates with You
To feel satisfied and fulfilled, we need to know that we’re making a difference. This is the main reason why volunteering, doing fundraising or participating in charities gives people so much happiness.
Identify a mission that resonates with you and stick with it. You may start with something simple like launching a blog about wildlife preservation or ending animal cruelty. You may want to attempt collecting clothes or making money for people in need. You may even travel to a third world country as a volunteer. The size of the project doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re doing something that you believe in. Sooner or later, you’ll see yourself making the difference that you’ve always dreamed about.
Finding your calling doesn’t have to be about helping others or being a volunteer. It could also be quitting your day job and starting a business of your own. It could involve turning your favorite hobby in a full-time occupation. As long as you’re passionate about the mission you’ve embraced, jumping into a brand new world isn’t going to feel scary – it will be motivating.
To accomplish these steps within a short period of time, you may want to give yourself a vacation. Spending some time away from work, even away from the people that you live will help you find clarity. Travel to a serene place and dedicate some quality time to connecting with your own self. Opening the inner lines of communication and allowing yourself to dream big can lead to self-awareness that you never would have expected. After all, allowing yourself to dream and explore your desires isn’t scary. If you let your mind and your creativity wonder, chances are that you’ll come out with something amazing at the end of the process.
Alicia Honeycutt is a digital strategist and a beginning writer at essay. She adores travelling and writing about her adventures.