From Career to Calling P1
A framework to finding Calling in life
The quest to find purpose in life in general, and purpose in work in particular - is elusive and ever-present. It haunts us with the important as we focus on the urgent, which is almost always. I have given the topic of Calling years of thought and exploration. This is a version of a framework I use to help myself and others find and stay aligned with Calling. It has served me well in my ongoing quest to align purpose and work. I will describe the framework on a high level here and devote a post for each dimension in my weekly newsletter.
Natural: These are the hardwired passions, interests, and abilities that serve as a guiding light. We can ignore them, but they do not ignore us. These deeply rooted, almost primal motivators, are the whispers in our souls, audible when we are left alone with our thoughts. They don’t always lend themselves to monetization but point us in the right direction. There’s a treasure at the end of this rainbow if we are able to follow it all the way to its source.
Experiential: Our ability to have an impact in the world is almost always determined by people, experiences, and events that shaped us early in life. Another word for it is Providence - a timely preparation for future eventualities. Western culture seems to generally ignore or underestimate the power of this valuable source of meaning, focusing primarily on the next dimension.
Professional: These are what we call “hard skills”. A combination of education, practical abilities, and broader competencies. These are the things we’ve done in the past and can do better than most now. It’s what we outline in our LinkedIn profile. It is the concrete, proven, the verifiable commercial value we are able to create in the world.
Spiritual: These are higher plain mysterious forces we rarely associate with professional life and yet they seem to persist in our very essence. As a Christian, I think of this as the shape God created me to benefit humanity. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians says it best:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do - Ephesians 2:10
There is also a core to this framework. A fifth element is at the center of the four. It acts as an amplifying, animating force or as limiting kryptonite for our professional development. I will unpack this fifth element in my next Friday post of Headspace.
Asking these deeper questions about the dimensionality of calling has been life-changing for me professionally and can be for you as well. A simple way to assess the value of this is understanding how these dimensions of Calling stack up together.
If you have 2 of 4 you can have a job.
If you have 3 of 4 you can have a career.
If you have 4 of 4 you can have professional flourishing.
How you treat the 5th element will determine if you find a Calling in life.
Thanks for reading this. If Headspace resonates with you, make sure to subscribe and forward it to some friends!
A quick update on our Ukraine Relief Network efforts.
It’s been a heart-breaking month for me personally. Many of my friends are now in mortal danger and are war refugees. As we established the network for Ukraine in the midst of this unthinkable human tragedy, I have been in awe of the outpouring of love, prayers, donations, and partnerships happening daily. In just a couple of weeks, we’ve been able to serve hundreds of refugees in Ukraine, in a heartwarming story we were mentioned in the news in Hawaii of all places, as well as several publications in Austin, TX - our home town.
This week I was invited to emcee an Austin stands with Ukraine concert at the SXSW festival benefitting the Ukraine Relief Network. The headliner Oleksandra Zaritska of the top Ukrainian group KAZKA was nothing short of powerful. Just a few days before she was in fear for her life as her neighborhood was under bombardment for days. Her two bandmates stayed in Kyiv to serve in the national defense. She made the trip to Austin TX, and to the stage of SXSW to share the stories of war and raise awareness for peace. This week Oleksandra was in the news nationally. A remarkable impact for Ukraine, KAZKA will continue to be a cultural ambassador for Ukraine worldwide.
I also had an opportunity to speak to Texas Governor Greg Abbot about our work in Ukraine at a private event in Austin. Please keep us in your prayers, help us expand the network!
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it - John 1:5
Soli Deo Gloria