Everybody wants to have and feel their calling. And I’m going out on a limb here and stating that I believe we all have a calling, whether we are aware of it or not!
Though just because I believe there we each have a calling, feeling that calling is not a gift everyone finds. But even if that calling is not being felt there is hope for something better.
The Pain of Not Feeling Our Calling.
After writing my last article for My Life Experiment I came to realize something. Not feeling that we are doing what we feel like we came to this Earth to do, flat out sucks. It hurts.
I feel what really turns the knife is witnessing other people have theirs while we don’t feel ours. Without a doubt this can be a source of incredible pain.
The pain can lead to certain thoughts like:
- Why does everyone else find the good opportunities for success?
- When is my break going to come along?
- Am I just incompetent?
- Maybe I will always be lost.
Through my life of battling addiction, I constantly felt the shame of not living up to my potential. I at least hoped that the best I could do was not killing myself with the chemicals I used, and let people down.
I say hoped because I couldn’t actually convince myself that I did have the potential to do something with my life.
Now that I have been in recovery from addiction for the last decade, I have come a long way. But that sinking feeling that this moment is where my potential has dried up, still hits me to this day.
Then as I think about the future, I don’t see relationships getting better, financial situation getting better, or anything else for that matter.
It is not in Our Callings to Wreck Ourselves.
Even though I have experienced success after success in the last decade amnesia hits and it all is forgotten, thank goodness only momentarily though!
There are some weeks when I feel entirely on my game, firing on all cylinders. In this mindset, almost everything in life makes sense. And most everything that doesn’t make sense, isn’t that big of a deal.
But….. other weeks I have the feeling that I am lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and there is no land to be seen. In this mindset, practically nothing makes sense and life feels like this great struggle that is never going to change for the better.
When it all just doesn’t make sense, these are the times where I need to check myself before I wreck myself.
You may be thinking.. Okay Travis, how does one check their self? And maybe even, how does one wreck their self?
I don’t know about you, but when I am in a not so good mindset, my thoughts can get a bit whacky. Whacky is a nice term for me to describe highly energized and destructive! Coming in like a wrecking ball that seems to aim at knocking out the supports I have built for my life. To wreck myself, starts with listening to these thoughts and actively replaying them in my head.
Controlling our Behavioral Currency.
Things can seem innocent enough when they go on in our own heads, we may think thoughts don’t have consequences. But I think of thoughts as a type of Behavioral Currency.
What I mean is this. Think of the destructive action as a bottle of pop in a pop machine, and each time we think the destructive thought is a Quarter. Therefore if I think that thought 8 times then I am probably going to be acting out on the behavior. And I will probably wonder “why in the world did I do some so stupid?”
This leads me to answering the “How does one check their self” Question. Well.. You quit putting the damn quarters in the machine!
Experimenting with New Calling Paths.
I just said that we can think of a destructive action as a bottle of pop, and if we don’t want that bottle then we better stop putting the thoughts into buying it.
Well the same goes for the actions that may lead to staying in contact with our “Calling.” Meaning we must feed the machine with the right thoughts that put a cold bottle of positive action in our hands!
It is called setting ourselves up for success.
But as the old saying goes, “We can’t think our way into a new way of living.” We must personally take responsibility for our lives and take action with a new path!
There are an immense amount of paths to take right at this moment. Experimenting with the paths that make the most sense at the moment opens us up to learn what they have to teach us.
They open us up to new thoughts and behaviors to learn. And there is no way to open ourselves up to these without making a decision to engage the path.
Feeling Out and Researching New Paths to The Calling.
I am the kind of person that strongly desires something to make sense before engaging it. Though over the last decade I have found something out.
It is through engagement with a path that I come to understand more about it. And until I engage it, all the thinking I can do may just end up hurting rather than helping me understanding it.
The safest way to engage a path without committing to it, is doing some research.
So what are some ways of Researching a path?:
- Talk to someone currently on the path.
- Read about the path.
- Practice behaviors needed on the path.
If what I am learning feels right and isn’t dangerous then I dig deeper. But if it doesn’t feel right or is dangerous then I move on!
There are a crazy amount of paths available right in this moment. Sometimes I jump on them after doing some research. Other times I don’t need them to make sense, I already know they are perfect for me.
Sometimes I feel they are a good fit, and sometimes not. And you best believe I have felt disappointed with my judgment on many occasions.
But it is through these lapses in judgment and my learning from them that have brought me more in line with my Calling.
Calling is Not Just About Career.
My Calling is not just about a career though includes a career. It also isn’t about money or attainment power, though can include these things as well.
This is what a Calling is all about to me:
- Feeling that I am acting in line with my core principles.
- Engaging in life activities that speak loudly to me.
- Using my energy for activities I enjoy.
- Having meaningful relationships that challenge and sustain me.
- Creating value for these relationships.
- Not wasting my precious time here on Earth.
So What is a Calling?
As I said at the very beginning of this article. Not feeling that we have a calling can be very painful.
But what is a Calling?
Honestly I don’t think I can pinpoint my definition of a calling for you. Maybe it is something we all must define for ourselves. Or maybe it is something that is etched into our genetics. Whatever it is we are each valuable. Whether or not we feel that value is another issue.
If you are not feeling that your life is valuable or meaningful at this moment, maybe some changes need to be made. Maybe some gratitude lists need to be written, or meditation practiced. If things are getting serious in your head like substance abuse or self harm, then please talk to a professional. Maybe some sort of Mental Health Treatment is necessary.
The writers of My Life Experiment know very well how lonely and painful it can be to feel purposeless in this world. But we also are both testaments to the message that no matter how lost a person can get, there is still hope for positive life paths to be lived.
If you are feeling the value of your life, then great, I hope you decide to show other people that they have value as well!
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Much Love, Travis Hagen