The Art of Work: a proven path to discovering what you were meant to do… by Jeff Goins, a young best-selling author with 4 books already under his belt, who had the guts to tackle one of the most challenging questions in everyone’s mind… “How can I find my true calling?”
It’s a path, there is NO plan
A key distinction in the book is that finding your true calling is more of a path instead of a plan, because you need to remain flexible and open to the surprises that will come your way. There’s no 5- or 10-year plan here…
Instead, think of it as a map with waypoints to keep you in the right direction. But it’s the journey – the twists and turns that you take, going from one place to the next – that will ultimately help you find your destiny.
The 7 steps to your true calling
After distilling hundreds of stories of people who had found their calling, Goins identified 7 common elements, the waypoints on the map: Awareness, Apprenticeship, and Practice that help you prepare for your journey; Discovery, Profession, and Mastery, where you take action; and finally, leaving a Legacy.
Here, we’ll focus on how to PREPARE yourself to find and follow the path to your true calling…
Awareness – listen to what your life is telling you
You probably already have a nagging feeling that there should be more in life. You’re not satisfied and you’re chasing happiness by changing where you live or switching jobs. So the first step is that you need to become Aware by listening to what your life is telling you. Start by cataloging all the major events in your life so far. And see if you can identify a common thread. Everything that’s happened to you makes you special and adds true meaning to your life. Nothing’s wasted!
Apprenticeship – let your mentors in
Next, you need to become an Apprentice, which means listening to your mentors’ guidance. But you can’t go out and look for your mentors – it doesn’t work that way. The mentors you need are already around you and have been trying to invest in your path and growth – if only you would notice and let them!
Practice, it has to be painful
Finally, step 3 is: Practice! The key here is that it HAS to be painful practice. And this is probably what we found to be the author’s most controversial point, but it’s the absolute key to the whole “find your calling” idea.
A calling isn’t something that you do for fun. It’s what gives meaning to life, something that you need and you do despite NOT being fun. And when you practice, it has to be painful. Anything else could be called a hobby. Only when you’re doing something painful and you persevere regardless, only then you know that you’re on the right path. Your calling pulls you through the challenges and you rise above them.
So next time you find yourself asking “What should I do with my life?” consider committing to the author’s path. Your calling is NOT going to be easy, but it will give you meaning and ultimately it’s what will make you truly happy.