Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman
Have you ever found that activity you were made for? While you’re doing it your whole self, from the tips of your toes to your head to your soul, screams, “This is what I was made for!” It’s similar to an adrenaline rush but not the same. An adrenaline rush is more of a one time thing. Eventually, as the activity is repeated, the rush will dissipate as the activity simply doesn’t provide that same stimulation.
Not so with finding your calling. Doing what you were made to do gives you that same high over and over again for as long as you do it. I believe we were made to live this way. But the tragedy is most of us settle for less.
Ever tried doing something else for a living after having found your calling? Your whole body refuses. Day and night, it mumbles with depression- but what about ——? Oh, sure, there are moments of happiness but the sorrow which permeates is ever present, like a shadow over all you hope to accomplish. Point is, your body knows when you’re doing what you were made to do. You’re soul, mind, heart… they all know. It is quite literally a physical reaction that we have to doing (or not doing) our “job”.
We all know what it’s like to have a friend or family member mad at us. Their disappointment and dissatisfaction combined with our guilt and shame, weighs on us like a cinder block in the ocean. Similarly, not following your calling, when you’ve been blessed enough to find it, is like having your own self mad at you. And having to face that person in the mirror, day in and day out.
At the ripe, young age of 24, I asked my father for his advice on seeking a career. He told me if he could do things differently, he would have been more strategic and selective in choosing his career path, rather than taking whatever came his way and running with it. This seems to be the trend of our time: People letting life happen to them instead of making the life they want happen. We see it all the time. Adults having mid life crises, wondering how in the world they got to where they are.
But there’s a flip side. Trying too hard to make the life you imagine happen can hold you back from the life you were destined to have. You can become so paralyzed by the standards you’ve set for yourself that you often feel as though you’re making no progress at all. Unable to choose between open doors because you don’t know where any particular one will take you.
This is where faith comes in. Faith coupled with action yields results. It’s not enough to sit back and let life happen to you, as the entire universe is devoted to your distraction. But at the same time, it is neither wise nor productive to try so hard to control your future that you end up missing your destiny. As with everything in life, a balance is key.