3 Tips for Answering Your Call

“I think you’ve found your calling.”

I smiled as my supervisor continued discussing my future as a professor. Something about those words spurred an instinctive grin, a Freudian facial expression, if you will.

It’s a bewildering phrase.

I am certain each of us has a defined purpose. I believe everyone can be good at many things and great at four or five.

The challenge lies in finding the one thing you’re excellent at, the role you’re designed to play.

Coming to that conclusion can be a lifelong pursuit.

You may be fortunate enough to have rediscovered yourself early, yet it’s never too late. As long as you put your energy into making the most of your remaining time, you’ve succeeded.

Three important things to keep in mind:

1. Internal struggle is natural.
The battle to overcome society’s “shoulds” and share your soul is tense. In one hand, you have a set of common expectations and, in the other, you experience the calm contentment of knowing you’re “on track.”

Ultimately, you must provide your own answer to the meaning of life instead of copying off someone else’s paper. Stepping into yourself is unsettling at first, just as with any new experience.

2. Balance discontent and acceptance.
As you traverse from “here” to “there,” realize there is a multi-step process involved. A leap from present circumstances to ideal situation is rare. Accepting where you are–and learning lessons as you go–is necessary to keep you sane.

However, stay just irritated enough to keep from settling. Dissatisfaction led you to fight for a new future and forgetting it defeats the purpose.

Restless patience is the way to go.

3. You’re the person you answer to.
When push comes to shove, the opinion in the mirror must take precedence. Take care of your responsibilities, whether you’re heading a family of four or an army of one.

You’ll probably find more support than you expect–and I am certain you’ll have more than you think. However, if catcalls come from the peanut gallery, borrow your response from Friedrich Nietzsche:

Call me whatever you like; I am who I must be.

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