Last year I got a text from my girlfriend about a His & Hers book set that she thought would transform our lives. Find Your Calling, Discovering What You’re Meant To Do: A 21 Day Guide For Him/Her by Dale & Veronica Partridge. After checking out the authors and their social media I was on board. They felt genuine, and I owed it to Madison to be the best version of myself. I ended up surprising her on our anniversary by buying a copy for each of us.
This year I finally sat down and dedicated October to working through Dale’s book and I am so grateful that I did, as this 21 day deep dive put me on the path to discovering where I called to serve in my life. If you are experiencing a disconnect between who you are and who you feel called to be, this book is for you. The moments of clarity I experienced were enough to make me want to share my journey with you. So over the next three weeks I’ll be posting blogs in the nature of journal-like entries that provide insight into the book and what you can expect.
Day 1: It Comes At A Cost
The book opened strong, defining what a calling was and how it would present itself in your life. For me, it hit the nail on the head. I never felt like what I was pursuing ever aligned with what I was longing for. I had to acknowledge that the position I found myself was no one’s fault but my own. Finding your purpose isn’t for the weary. It is expensive.
I have to dedicate my time, focus, and attention if I hoped to break the cycle of accepting anything less than I was meant for. Realizing that was probably the most crucial part of this journey for me. I had to stop settling when I felt comfortable. Over the next few weeks I’ll be journal-like blog entries that provide insight into the
Day 2: Humans Love Rules
This was the day that got my attention. Dale’s words picked up where my own thoughts had settled the previous day with this sentiment, Humans love rules. It was true. It always seems easier helping others achieve their dreams than it is to pursue yours. To help someone else all you need to do is follow the rules they set before you. Navigating your own life is harder because you are called to add structure to your pursuit without having all the answers.
It goes on to discuss primary callings and secondary callings. If your primary calling is your heart’s song the secondary calling is the instrument. Work with what you have to get what you want. Tune those instrument until you master your song.
Day 3: Calling Never Compromises
There are 3 things that I will protect above all else: my family, my wellness, and my morals. My family provides more support than I thought was even possible. They are the reason I can keep my head held high even in failure. My wellness both mental and physical is slowly becoming a priority. I’m learning to set aside the notion that art is pain. The idea that suffering is a breeding ground for creativity.
I have made it a mission to escape cycles of substance and alcohol abuse. It’s been a tough road. While I’m managing very well, these last 4 years have left me in the biggest creative drought I’ve ever experienced. Although it isn’t easy feeling like I could only work in those environments I will never sacrifice my mental health or my body for success. My calling should build upon my values, not compromise them.
So I set 5 principles in place for myself.
1. My family comes first, they give my life meaning.
2. Happiness is non-negotiable, I aim for contentment.
3. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
4. Purpose over Payment, money should never be my motivation. 5. Never overextend myself.
Day 4: The Questions Behind The Questions
What are the biggest questions in my life? Who am I, what do I believe, and do I see myself getting married? This plays on knowing and staying true to my values. I must build a foundation for growth and to do that I need to set realistic boundaries based on the answers to those questions. In my case I am 27, I am finding my way in my faith as a Christian, and I am in a serious relationship where marriage is on the table.With these things in mind I won’t be able to pack up and move across the country.
I can’t afford to be in environments that call for me to compromise my values, work 12+ hour days or pull all-nighters 7 days a week. I need to operate in my truth within those boundaries. I need to make sure that I am committed to those boundaries and know why, because I can’t find my calling if I haven’t answered the important questions in my life.
Day 5: Let The Right Ones In
It’s dangerous to go alone. Honestly this was the biggest issue for me. I always operated in the belief that no one is responsible for my success or failures except myself. That my journey was mine to experience alone. In reality it seems that our calling is always connected to community. It isn’t ours and ours alone.
In that realization two things were made clear. I am called to serve and that calling relies on my heart and spirit. Which means that the perspective of others is important. It also means that the people that I look to for perspective should be deeply rooted in my life. They are the only ones outside of myself who I should trust when it comes to helping discern the difference between which path is “safe” and which is true. My foundation should not falter.
Day 6: Own It
I spent this week defining my values, acknowledging areas of my life where I struggle, and opened myself up to constructive criticism and insight from those I hold dear. Things were starting to come into focus in a way I hadn’t experienced in a very long time. Today is about putting my money where my mouth is. Taking a moment to make the changes to align my actions with my beliefs. To kill procrastination in my life by creating habits that will shape my future behavior. It will look different for everyone.
For me, every day has to begin and end with a shower and hygiene ritual. Every morning must include exercise, breakfast and bible study. I have to set 4 hours a day before work aside to study design, blog, and create content. Because free time is my biggest enemy I have to be militant with the structuring of my day.
Day 7: The Career Of Calling
I wouldn’t have wanted to end this first week with any other excerpt. It took what was obvious and dug deeper. We don’t want a job, we want a calling. There’s nothing wrong with that either. When we are destined to spend a third of our lives working and will see our co-workers more than our own family, shouldn’t the work that we do matter? My work history screams “searching for meaning”.
The problem was that I spent more time figuring out what wasn’t meant for me than I did searching for my calling. I confused my hobbies and career path with my purpose. It took some time to realize that while they sometimes exist in the same space, I should never mistake one with the other. Moving forward I am confident that I will be okay. The exercises and questions asked throughout the end of every chapter forced me to drown out the noise of everyday life and truly reflect.