Follow Your Calling

I am reminded of two lessons from the Bible:

  1. The children of Israel was a nation poised to be an enduring world super-power. They had everything going for them. They had all the chances in the world to maximize their full potential. But over and over again, they let those opportunities go. Instead of keeping their focus on the future and the great rewards that the future had to offer, they chose to indulge in the immediate gratification found in the present. They didn’t have the patience to wait. When the dust settled, their prophecies came true.
  2. Jonah was called by God to do a mission. He ran away. The result: he got swallowed by a big fish and vomited back up on the shore (Jonah 2:11).

From these two stories in the Bible, there is a lesson that can be learned. Whether or not our calling is divine, we should listen to it.

I can’t imagine God put us on this earth to be ordinary. –Lou Holtz

Do you ever wonder what exactly is your purpose on this earth? It is something I think about often. If there is such a thing as a calling, such a thing as destiny, I feel that I have one. I also feel that there has been many times I have run away from that calling. The things I am supposed to do in this life requires practice and time. But recently, I have noticed a disturbing trend in my life. When opportunities present themselves at work, I am quick to to put in for them. These are not promotions, but they are positions that will require more time from me. They will require more time away from the things I believe I should be doing. I can’t think of any legitimate reason why I would be doing this except that I am resisting my calling. This as Steven Pressfield writes over and over again in The War of Art is resistance. Resistance telling me to put it off and wait until later, until I am older. This is procrastination.

Procrastination is a dangerous thing. Ignoring your calling is even more dangerous. Eventually there will come a time when the things you are putting off lose their importance. Run away from your calling long enough, and you may find an inability to hear it again in the future. It would be better to be swallowed by a fish and vomited back up on the shore. But in this day and age, we may not be so fortunate to have God act in such a direct way. Therefore it is imperative that when we hear our calling we don’t ignore it. Our individual destinies are calls to action. If we can keep the end rewards in sight and forego the temptations found in the present, we can go from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Aim High

I was speaking to an associate today who told me he has a five year plan to leave his manufacturing job. I asked him what he was planning to do. His reply: play the stock market, get his money, and then get out.

Of course, I was initially skeptical of this plan. This has to be a pipe dream if I ever saw one. How is this young adult going to walk in and accomplish what so many have failed to do over the years? If you are looking for someone to scoff at, this would be the one.

This man plucked this idea out of the far reaches of the ether. But he didn’t stop there, he gave this idea life by saying it out loud and saying it to someone else. Will he be able materialize this thought? Does he have the drive to stick with this dream until the end? As Plutarch said, “Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.” Is he willing to suffer?

I can’t believe God put us on this earth to be ordinary. –Lou Holtz

After thinking about this man’s dreams and my reaction to it, I began to think about my own dreams. I too, have a wildly ambitious plan that is far beyond where I am today. Why is my dream so realistic to me but the thought of his dream ridiculous? We are both striving toward the same thing: our perception of success. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I get that same skepticism when I voice my dreams. The reality is that many shoot for the stars, but only a few make it there. The few that make it are the ones we remember, and it keeps the dreamers dreaming. It drives them to action and the hope of a better future.

I hope he can achieve his dreams. He just may be a shining example of what one can accomplish with the right amount of creativity, determination, and persistence. There could be a day that he is a role model for others, even a role model for me.

For more on pulling ideas from the ether and giving it substance, check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast #143: The Road Map to Transformation with Anahata Ananda. I listened to this episode this week and found it really insightful to making my own dreams a reality.