You’re starting to learn more about calling and purpose. You’re even starting to believe you’ve been given one, and that it’s bigger than you. So what next?
You need to ask yourself a question. Not a list of questions; that comes later. You need to ask yourself just one very important question before moving on:
Are you willing to endure the pain of pursuing your calling?
It sounds simple enough, but couldn’t be more complicated. There’s a false notion that finding your calling will be exhilarating, exciting, and just plain fun. While you will certainly feel those emotions at different points in the journey, it’s just not wise to think that’s all there is to it.
The pain of giving something up
When you pursue your calling, you will find there are things about your old life you will have to give up, regardless of whether you like them or not. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but living a purposeful live is about living a live that’s focused. Because of this, you might not be able to do the same job you do now, have the same friends, or even live in the same place. Or you may not have to give up any of those things.
But you will have to give up something, and it will be painful.
In my own life, I’m working on giving up what other people think about me in order to move past crippling self-doubt. It’s incredibly painful because it means not apologizing for being myself, something I’ve practiced for far too long now. It means staring down those things that make my heart pound and my palms sweat.
The journey to find your calling is a journey of self-abandonment, not self-discovery. You are called to something bigger than yourself, which is good news if you ask me. Self-discovery is the result of self-abandonment. Once you’ve shed your narcissistic tendencies you’ll begin to learn more about yourself and your calling.
Again, that’s a painful journey. Realizing it’s not about you is a humbling and often heart-breaking thing. But it’s necessary. And it’s part of your journey regardless of who you are.
Answering the question
Once you’ve asked yourself the question, you need to answer it. This is the really hard part, because only one answer will do if you’re going to embark on the journey to find your calling. And that’s a resounding “yes.”
Unless you’re willing to endure the pain of pursuing your calling you won’t be able to continue. You have to decide you’ve had enough of the life the world offered, that it’s not good enough and it never will be. You have to get angry about the banality of consumerism and start focusing on a life that exists to make eternal waves.
So, what’s your answer? Are you willing to endure the pain of pursuing your calling? Tell me.
Photo courtesy: Chad Macy Photography