One of the questions I get asked most often recently is, “Ellie, what is my purpose and calling in the world?” My answer to the first part of the question is very different from my answer to the second part of the question. So, if this has been an inquiry for you, or someone you know, I have a couple of steps you can take to get some clarity. Grab a pen and paper (or however you like to capture notes) and let’s open our minds.
My answer to “What is my purpose?” is always the same. To me, everyone’s purpose in life is to be the greatest version of themselves. You came into the world knowing you were perfect, whole and complete and you had desires that lead you to more experiences and expressions of life through YOU. The question to ask yourself is, “What is wanting to be lived through me?”
From here you move onto the next question: “What is my calling?” And by calling, I really mean what is truly important to you and how do you tend to express that?
I remember years ago in an undergraduate philosophy class, a passage from Friedrich Nietzsche on how to identify your calling in life. I am not going to quote it perfectly, but I remember this philosopher gave us a powerful exercise that gets you to really look at YOU all through your life. So, I ask you to try this out and see if it adds clarity or even a breakthrough if you are someone who struggles with knowing your calling.
First step is to go to your past and list the times you felt most fulfilled… the times that uplifted and elevated you… where you felt on fire, or deeply contented, or moved. I took a piece of paper and placed it horizontally as if writing on a timeline. I filled the page, from left to right, with memories of hugs and snuggles to climbing trees, to making up games with friends in the neighborhood to sharing record albums, to being in nature, falling in love, intimate conversations, swimming in the lake, campfires, cocktail hour, dinners with families, all the way to incredible work with clients in challenging and breakthrough moments. I have much more on my page, but you get the gist, right? Take your time as the more you pour out on the page, the more you’ll have to work with in the next steps. As Parker Palmer, author and activist says, “Listen to your life.”
Now, see if you can draw a line of what you have truly loved thus far. What has uplifted your soul? What has elevated you? Assemble them together and see if you can identify a fundamental law of yourself. That is your calling. For me, I love to deeply connect with people… to be present, cultivate intimacy, share, and uplift. I live this calling out in my life, personally and professionally.
Many people might be skeptical of understanding their calling. It might feel like a box or, for some, too spiritual. Well, this is where I can only state from my own experience that once I identified my calling, I could be more practical in my life. If the choices in front of me took me away from what I deeply valued then I often suffered, terribly. When I woke up and realized I was far from what I truly knew to be me, I made new choices that lined me up with my calling and hence turned into a more fulfilling experience.
Taking time to reflect and really know who you are, and who you are becoming, is a fun way to be curious and creative with your life. I invite you to take a moment today to be open and curious about your life thus far and see if you can identify your own law of being YOU!
One of the key tenets of my coaching programs is this core values work, so if you find you are not where you’d like to be whether that is in work, relationships, or life, then reach out! As one of my clients said to me after our work together, “Ellie, thank you for giving me the experience and knowledge to really know myself… where have I been all these years?!” I think it’s time for YOU to be YOU and flourish in the experience of being aligned with who you really want to be and experience in this lifetime.
This is the Inner Game people! I invite you into your own mastery.
With love and appreciation for who you are.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to overcome some of your own barriers to living the life you want, then click here and I’ll make sure we connect. And you know I like to share the love, so if you know someone who could benefit from this article then please share it! Imagine, thought by thought and act by act we are creating a more conscious world.