From Career to Calling P3 - The Experiential
How seemingly unimportant experiences can contain untapped super powers
“If we wish to see where our future is headed, all we need to do is have a look at our past and that will tell us all the answers.” ― Anthony T. Hincks
This is part 3 of the Career to Calling series of posts. The framework I often use to redefine my calling is mediating on four dimensions of life:
Natural, Experiential, Professional, Spiritual.
The experiential dimension of life is often overlooked as something secondary and irrelevant at best, that is a mistake. Our experiences are often clues to our superpowers. The deep imprint on our minds and souls left by people, seasons in life, and key turning points are remarkably powerful and shape who we are. That can also be true of negative experiences, we’ll cover that in the fifth element - suffering.
As few quick illustrations:
Living in the third world for much of my life and seeing the needs of the poor gives me a disproportionate advantage in charity work.
Having an early childhood marked by learning different cultures and languages helps me read people and relate to them.
Being around my remarkable parents gave me a deep desire to live for something bigger than myself.
Relational failures, and learning from Christians with strong marriages and great kids equipped me to be the first one in generations to have both.
Starting over in life in different scenarios gave me a tolerance for risk vital for an entrepreneur.
The list goes on and on. For the longest time, I saw all of these experiences as unrelated and unimportant to the work I do.
Once I realized how powerful experiences are, I was able to nurture them for the good of others.
Do this as an exercise:
Step 1: Make a list of “shaping experiences”. Things that left a deep mark in your life.
Step 2: See if you can write out how these experiences have already helped you in your career. Then meditate on those experiences that you have not tapped into and offer a treasure trove and disproportionate advantage.
Step 3: Pick one and write out a simple plan on how to incorporate this as a superpower in your career.
Send me a note in your comments about what you learned from this exercise.