What is the Purpose of Life? Why am I here?
What is my Calling in Life?
These are the questions we might have asked ourselves at one point or another in our life. They carry so much power because they get us to focus on the crux of our reason for exist and help define our direction in life.
More and more people are growing weary of pursuing a traditional 9 to 5 job. They are beginning to realize that they have a limited time on this planet and it’s much better to do something meaningful than chase after the trappings of money, fame and power.
This has led to the search for a calling in life. A Calling is what gives you the purpose to carry out actions; it makes them meaningful while giving you fulfillment. But to discover this is not an easy task. It requires extensive soul-searching and dedication.
Agapi Stassinopoulos had written a brilliant article on Huffington post which inspired me to write this post and elaborate on the theme mentioned there. She talks about the importance of answering five crucial questions at various stages in life if you want to discover your calling. These questions also help you to check if you’re on the right track.
“I don’t know what my calling is, but I want to be here for a bigger reason. I strive to be like the greatest people who have ever lived”
What am I here to Learn?
Unfortunately as people grow up, they forget to ask themselves this question. Just think about it. As a kid you always knew what you wanted next. Your innate curiosity and enthusiasm made you constantly explore and seek new things to learn about.
But as you grew up, you started taking things for granted. Complacency set in. You began to learn what others thought you should. Blind following replaced active curiosity. Fear of ridicule replaced bold energy.
The wise men have often told us that we’re all here to learn lessons from life. These might vary for every individual but they help each one in the evolution of his/her being. That curiosity which propelled you as a kid still exists. It is not dead yet. All that is needed is for you to ask yourself what lessons you wish to learn.
This realization will definitely help you to discover your calling.
What am I here to Teach?
You might say I don’t really want to teach anyone! But whether you realize it or not, every moment of our existence is spent in either learning from others about new things or teaching others what we know.
Teachings need not be given out from a stage. An innocent conversation among friends in a pub, a harsh scolding to shake someone up from their laziness or even a funny joke about life can be enough to trigger powerful teachings which might affect the listener.
So ask yourself what are you teaching those around you without being conscious of it? Do people naturally gravitate to you when they need advice on a particular topic? Are you considered a natural expert on something?
You never know when the answer might lead you to become a visionary in a field which has been calling out to you!
What am I here to Overcome?
Just as we are gifted with unique strengths, we all have our share of weaknesses and fears. Your ability to find your calling will depend on asking yourself what these are how you’ll overcome them.
When you start replacing “I am afraid of” and “I can never do that” with “I won’t let it hold me back” and “I may fail but I’ll definitely try”, you start creating opportunities out of obstacles. As rapper 50 cent calls it ‘You begin to turn shit into sugar’
By doing this you will open yourself to new vistas previously unexplored. The very things you fear will help you find that elusive purpose in life you have been searching all along. Your calling is hidden in your deepest fears waiting to be discovered. Move ahead boldly and make it yours!
What am I here to Complete?
We all seek fulfillment don’t we? Have you ever wondered why we use that specific word “ful –fill –ment”? Because the word signifies the need to finish, the need to complete what we started. To become whole again by adding your contributions to this world.
Another dimension to this question is to realize this completing does not refer to external activities. The outer work is there to fill the inner void. What burning desire in you compels you to action? What is that thing you seek to find by doing all the activities that you do?
The moment you find that thing seeking completion, you can be sure you have found your calling. Your quest will become clearer as the shadows of uncertainty fade away giving way to the light of your wisdom.
What am I here to Express?
This is probably the toughest among all questions to find the answer to. It will require you to look inwards and listen to your heart.
Your life is an expression of your intent. All your thoughts and words are already aligned in giving this unique expression its own form. What’s needed is for you to find what you are already expressing without your knowledge.
It may be a value, belief or a vision. Your expression will be hidden in the depths of your actions. The difficult part is to name it and embrace it. The moment that happens you will fearlessly announce your message to the entire world.
“Non- Violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind” – Mahatma Gandhi
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed” – Martin Luther King Jr
See how the expressions of these two great souls reflect their lives?
Persist and Don’t Give Up
You will face difficulties. You will have to tolerate others telling you to play safe and stick to the conventional paths. Heck, you might even have to face loneliness in your journey. But if you persist long enough, you will definitely stumble onto your true calling in life.
Remember, what differentiates successful people from others is their ability to stay longer with the problem than ignoring it or running away from it.
I hope you find the answer to these questions and find your true calling in life.