What is a Calling and How Do I Find Mine?

article articles by larissa articles by nick calling leadership meaning through work purpose sensing Sep 01, 2022

Why a Calling Versus a Purpose, Vision, or Mission?

Any mission-oriented organization and any values-led leadership team will emphasize the importance of a purpose and a mission.

These statements are important symbols in an organization. They help organize the ideas, efforts, and imagination of an organization towards a goal that is often inherently service oriented.

At Wayfinding, we emphasize the importance of a calling because to pursue a calling is to be in relationship with it. It asks us to be in tune with our embodied sensing as we navigate the internal and external signals that make us feel alive.

A mission, vision, or purpose statement is a form. They are not a feeling. When we look for the right sentence, these things become static.

A relationship to a calling is fluid and dynamic. As we interact with what calls us, our calling speaks back.

"Pursuing a calling is pursuing the continual unfolding of your becoming. It’s this intimate process between ourselves and life and what it asks of us to walk into the mystery over and over again.”
Larissa Conte

What is a Calling?

A calling is the urge to live or work in a specific way. It is a feeling that is so right, as it weaves your gifts, values, and what is needed and it provides you with a powerful sense of meaning as you pursue it.**

That which makes your life worth living provides you clues to what is calling you. The deeper in relationship you can be to what calls you, the more alive you will feel.

Our calling is a tremendous (and at times humbling) source of power.

When you hear and follow your calling, your world makes more sense. It is that which you can contribute to.

Perhaps it is to raise your family or to honor a certain lineage, legacy, or role. Some might have ambitions in their community, industry, or company. It may be as simple as a hobby or craft. Or it may be as grand as disrupting systemic inequality. Whatever it is, it will fill you with a sense of passion when you follow it.

How Do I Pursue My Calling?

The magic of pursuing your calling is not to learn "the meaning of life" it's more simply to find meaning in YOUR life. It takes hard work. The struggle is worth it.

Your calling is always moving. As you follow it, you can do so with your wholeness. No part of you needs to be hidden when you pursue your calling.

  • A calling can, but does need to make you money.
  • A calling can, but does need to meet needs on a global scale (it can be as local as your backyard).
  • A calling can call on what you are most proficient at doing, but may only ask of you skills that you are just 'OK' at. Doing it brings you joy either way.
  • A calling can involve that which you love but also, it may be something you feel obligated, responsible for, or accountable to as well.

"Pursuing a calling comes as hits of inspiration at varying scales. It asks us to not be frustrated at a lack of clarity but rather to trust that each step will reveal more information that we need”
Larissa Conte

Stages and Patterns of Pursuing Your Calling

Though some of the tasks outlined below certainly show up across stages, these general patterns have held true in our observations and identification of stages in relationship with one's calling. Knowing these patterns can help you orient to where you are and identify what the next right step is on the path of pursuing and bringing forth your calling through your service.



Should My Calling Be My Career?

Connecting your career to your calling will make work a whole lot more meaningful.

You might practically ask "how can I weave what I am good at, what I love doing, what I can be paid for and what the world needs?"

But your calling only asks that you listen to your passion. Even if your calling is not work-related, pursuing it outside of work will provide tremendous resources to your body, energy, and spirit and improve your sense of work-life integration.

Is Your Calling, Calling You?

If right now is the moment your calling is calling YOU, consider enrolling in Wayfinding’s Vital Leadership Program.

Over 10 weeks you'll join a vibrant community of practitioners creating the designs and habits in their lives that make work more meaningful, align what you're doing and who you're serving with your gifts, improve your energetic flow (and stem leakage), and get closer to the whole person, leader, partner, and/or caretaker you know you are. Find out more here and ENROLL today

Join the Wayfinding Community

Sign up for insights about wisdom-based leadership and systems healing at work