Did you know that almost 40 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021? A majority of them did it to pursue their passions. That’s quite a substantial part of the population.
If you are considering starting a small business, you need to make sure you build a business based on your passions rather than something random. You don’t want to spend the next decade or so working in a business that doesn’t speak to your soul.
In the article below, we will give you 11 tips on how to find your calling and live a meaningful life.
In the article below, we will give you 11 tips on how to find your calling and live a meaningful life.
1. What Would You Do Even if You Didn't Get Paid for It?
So what would you do? This is one of the most significant indicators of your passions. Figure out what you are currently doing (or thinking about doing) that you would do even if you weren’t paid for it. Maybe you are already doing these things for free.
For example, you might be coaching your little league baseball team for fun. Or maybe you are stripping down cars and rebuilding them in your free time. Perhaps you are spending some of your free time decluttering your relatives’ closets.
There are probably a couple of things you are already doing that you are either doing for free or that you would do, no matter if you were paid for it or not. So start paying attention to this. These are big signposts telling you… here lies your passion.
Do Not Dismiss or Complicate This Step
Too many folks dismiss these ‘free’ tasks they are spending time on because it’s a normal activity, or it comes easily to them, or it is something they can’t imagine monetizing. But that’s not the point here.
Don’t complicate things unnecessarily. The first step to finding your calling is identifying these tasks you undertake for fun. Monetizing them comes later.
Words of Wisdom
Note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing your calling — so long as you do no harm. Speaking from experience, it is the most satisfying and gratifying thing you can do, not only for yourself but for your loved ones as well!
2. Embrace Your Innate Gifts and Talents
Another great way to figure out your passions is to explore your gifts, talents, and innate abilities. But, again, most people tend to dismiss their innate talents because they come so easy to them.
For example, you are a poet and write a poem daily without even thinking about it. It just pours out of you as if by magic. You don’t give it a second thought, and whoops, another poem drops onto the page.
If you are already spending time during the day using your innate gifts, that’s awesome. But too many folks are unsure how to make money from their innate gifts and talents. So not only do they dismiss their talents, but they also don’t know how to use them to make some serious profits.
Avoid The Naysayers
Don’t let the naysayers get you down, though. Once you have your innate gifts and talents at hand, you can think more creatively about how to make money from them going forward.
3. Start Journaling Daily
Have you ever heard of the ‘Morning Pages’ method by Julia Cameron? It’s from her bestselling book called ‘The Artist’s Way.’
Set Yourself Up To Succeed
It outlines a very simple way of getting at your subconscious storage. After you wake up every morning, take a few minutes to do your morning ablutions and grab a cup of tea or coffee. Then sit down at your desk or on a comfortable couch with a pen and notepad.
Listen To Your Subconscious And Start Writing
Write out your stream of consciousness longhand; whatever comes into your head, put it down on paper. At first, it will be a lot of gibberish without a nugget of gold. But be patient with yourself and with the process.
Repeat The Process
As you keep doing this over a few days or even weeks, you will notice that your mind will become clearer, and your writing will contain lots of hints about what’s truly important to you. This is a great way to figure out your passions and what a meaningful life means to you.
This technique works well because it helps you remove all that sludge or goo sitting around your mind and thinking process. Too many of us are afraid to follow our dreams or passions because society has repeatedly told us that we must work hard and follow the rules.
The Long-Term Effect
When we write our stream of consciousness longhand, over time, we can remove some of these shackles and see what’s underneath all that goop. What do we truly desire? What brings us happiness and joy?
Don’t wait for someone else to hand you a permission slip to seek your life purpose. Instead, discover what is truly meaningful to you by journaling and start working towards turning dreams into reality.
4. Network With Diverse Groups of People
What’s the best way to find your calling? To hang out with others who have found their true calling and are living their dream life.
There are many good reasons to go to networking events or join mastermind groups. You can capture and bring into yourself some of that passion-filled, energized living that many happy entrepreneurs have. This gives you hope that it is possible for you as well since many of these folks aren’t that different from you.
But more than that, you can get a glimpse into the thinking processes of people who live very different lives from you. Thus, giving you a good insight into what you would like to do with your life and what you would not wish to bring into your life.
Who Is Already Living Your Dream Life?
If you discover someone living your dream life or someone who makes you feel envious, expand your comfort zone if necessary and take them out for coffee to pick their brain further and get more insights.
Use Envy As A Signpost
Envy is an excellent signpost to work with. Stop and take notice whenever you see someone on television or meet someone in person who gets your green-eyed monster going. What is it exactly about this person that causes you to feel envious?
You can use your envy to understand your passions and desires better. For example, if you are always envious of folks who are location-independent, then perhaps this is something you need to build into your dream life plan as well. So don’t run away from envy as a ‘bad’ emotion; learn from it and use it to your advantage.
5. Try New Opportunities Quickly, Safely, and Inexpensively
Sometimes you don’t know if an opportunity or strong desire is something you want to work on until you start working on it. Too often, folks will think they want to work on this particular endeavor for the rest of eternity until they begin working on it. Then they realize that reality doesn’t match the imagination of their passions.
Maybe you’ve had this experience as well. You were hankering after working on something close to your heart for eons. You finally start doing it, and then a few weeks later, you quit because you realize it isn’t for you — it’s not your true calling.
That’s why it’s so important to try new opportunities quickly, safely, and inexpensively. It could be as simple as taking on a job as an intern with someone who’s already established. Or working part-time or on the weekends on your passions until you realize it’s for you.
This way, you don’t spend too much energy, time, or money on something before you realize the truth that it’s not for you or that you can’t do this for longer than a couple of years.
6. Take Inventory of All Your Achievements
Have you ever sat down and written down all of the things you’ve done till now? If you are in your 30s or 40s, you might end up with a mile-long list of everything you’ve accomplished. Let alone if you are further down life’s path like me. 😉
How To Get Started
Sit down now and take the time to do this. Take an hour or two out of your busy schedule and type up (or write down) all the different things you have achieved till now.
Don’t be discriminatory when it comes to writing down your achievements. Write down everything and anything that comes to your hand. It can be something minuscule or something magnificent.
No matter the breadth of the milestone, note it all down.
You’ve Got Your List, Now What?
Once you have it all written down, take a few minutes to review the list. You will quickly start noticing a sort of pattern through your accomplishments list. Even if you have a mile-long list, some achievements will repeat themselves.
For example, you might notice that many of your accomplishments are related to writing. Or that a lot of your achievements are based on physical activity. Perhaps you notice that everything you accomplish has an intellectual thread in it.
These commonalities will give you a lot of insight into what your true calling or passion in life is.
7. Determine Your Core Values
Unfortunately, it’s quite rare for individuals in today’s day and age to sit down and think about their values. That’s why it becomes so easy to sway so many people hither to thither because they don’t have a strong value system guiding their behaviors.
How To Identify Your Core Values
One thing you can do to figure out your values is to think about the following:
- What is a non-negotiable idea for you?
- What makes you angry or upset when you see it in the world?
- What are some of your pet peeves that stay consistent in your life?
These are just some questions you can ask yourself to see what values you care about. You can add values like honesty, integrity, beauty, community, joy, play, organization, spontaneity, and more to your list.
All You Need Is 5 to 10 Core Values
Try to build a list of at least 5-10 values that are most important to you and then another list of 10-20 secondary values that aren’t as important but still important enough.
Use this list to determine if the business you are trying to build has all of these values built-in. If not, tweak your business to include all these values, or you will have a very miserable time working on, and in your business.
Values Bring Clarity
Your values will also indicate clearly what your passions are and what you genuinely care about — It identifies inspiration. Take the time to do this exercise well, and it will reward you ten-fold in the future. It’s well worth the time and effort you put in, as you can always have these values to fall back on when you feel confused about a decision or anything else.
Examples Of Values In Action
For example, you might have to decide between moving to a new country for work or staying put.
If you know that family is one of your ideals and that being close to your family is essential, then the choice is almost made for you. However, if one of your motives is money and position, and you can earn more in a new country for employment, it makes your decision much easier.
8. Think About What You Want to Have Accomplished in 10 Years
Advice From The Gurus
Many self-help gurus and personal development coaches will tell you to write down your obituary, where you pretend that you are dead and read what people wrote or said about you at your funeral.
We don’t need to be so morbid here. But the idea behind it is still valid.
Let’s Go Straight At It
Think about all that you wish to accomplish in 5-10 years. Please don’t go beyond this timeframe because things change too fast in our world, and the business environment will be quite different.
Also, remember that humans tend to overestimate how much they can do in a week or a month and underestimate how much they can do in a year or five years.
The 4 Quadrants Of Life
Jot down everything you wish to accomplish in the next few years. Take into account the four main quadrants of your life, such as:
Don’t get overly focused on one or the other area, but try to keep a balanced view of your life. For example, you don’t want to sacrifice your health to achieve your business goals or vice versa. Come up with at least 10-20 items you wish to accomplish for each quadrant of your life.
Once you see this overview of your future accomplishments, you will have a much better idea of what’s important to you and what your passions are all about. You wouldn’t even consider including something in the list of your future goals if you didn’t honestly care about it, right?
9. What Do You Spend Hours Reading or Learning About?
Have you ever fallen into the information black hole that is the Internet? For example, you might have started researching what foods to feed your cat, and then suddenly, an hour later, you are reading about what kinds of meals dinosaurs had before they perished.
Well, start documenting your reading or researching habits. What do you spend your free time reading about or researching? Don’t look at the one-off ideas — look at the ones that pop up repeatedly.
Don’t Dismiss Your Interests So Easily
Maybe you tend to focus on nutrition and health when spending time researching or reading online. Or maybe you are obsessed with Egyptology and the mummification process.
Whatever your obsession might be, don’t be embarrassed by it. This is your passion, and it just needs to be honed and monetized.
Some Quick Advice To Succeed
It might seem like you won’t ever be able to make money from what you love to read or research. But with a bit of creativity, you, too, will be able to make money going forward from your unique passions.
Remember, you are not looking to create a job for yourself, you are searching for your calling — a big difference in your quality of life!
10. Ask Your Close Friends and Family for Feedback
Are you ignoring the most fertile resource for your passions and calling? Maybe you cannot see yourself quite as clearly as you wish. Or maybe you are ignoring your true passion because of fear or doubts.
Don’t worry. Call upon your close and trusted friends and family to get some great ideas from them.
What To Ask
Do it more systematically than texting them to ask about what they think your passions are. Create a questionnaire or survey that asks them a few questions like:
- If I started a business, what business would it be, in their opinion?
- What is something that seems to come naturally to me?
- What is something I could spend hours doing without being bored or annoyed?
- What is something you could see me doing years down the road?
Come up with more questions like the ones above and put them into an easy online survey tool. Or you can visit your friends and family directly and ask them to fill out a paper questionnaire.
You could even use, let’s say your mobile phone, to record them answering these questions. This will ensure you remember what you heard correctly. Just make sure that they are aware that you are recording them — that’s just proper etiquette.
Others May See You More Clearly than You Do
As you can imagine, too often, others will see us and our talents more clearly than we see ourselves. As a result, we might tend to put ourselves and our talents down or pretend we have certain skills or are good at something when we are not.
That’s why it’s so important to do this survey, so you can ask those who know you best what your passions and talents truly are. You will probably be quite surprised at what nuggets you uncover when you do such a survey.
It might even teach you a lot about the negative aspects of your personality, so make sure you are ready for all sorts of feedback before deciding to do such a survey.
Don’t forget to do something nice for the survey participants after. Like, as taking them out to dinner or giving them a little gift card.
Words of Wisdom
Make sure that you not only hear what they say but are truly listening to their words as well. Be both receptive to and appreciative of their honesty. It is quite possible that they may point out new things we weren’t aware of.
11. If Money Was Not a Factor, What Would You Spend Your Time Doing?
An Excellent Thought Exercise To Discover Your True Calling
Here is an excellent thought exercise to figure out your passion or true calling — ponder and answer the following question. What would you spend your time doing if you didn’t have to worry about money or making a living?
Too often, we end up doing things with our time to make money or to survive rather than something that we genuinely care about. But if that barrier wasn’t around, what would we do? What business would we start?
What The Answers Will Reveal
The answers will give you a clear indicator of your passions. And all you need to do from there is find a way to make your passion monetizable. It’s not going to be an easy path, however, the journey will be well worth it when you spend all your days working on something you love to do.
Let's Recap: The 11 Steps To Finding Your Calling In Business
Final Thoughts: Find Your Calling --- It's Time Well Spent
Too many folks start a business without a clear indication of whether they could work on this business for a long time to come. You don’t want to spend all your time working on a business that makes you bored, annoyed, or exasperated.
It takes time and effort to find your calling. But once you know what your passions and true calling are all about, you are off to the races — A little forward-thinking and a proper action plan go a long way here!
Want Some Help With Your Journey?
Are you having difficulty transforming your passions and big-picture vision into reality? The Dean Mercado Company is here to support you. Led by master business coach Dean Mercado, we want to help you step into your power.
Contact us today to explore the possibility of leveling up your journey.
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