I just finished reading Jeff Goins’s latest book, The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do. This book is all about finding and pursuing your calling—what Jeff calls “the reason you were born.”
It wasn't too long ago that I had no idea what my calling was.
In college, I changed majors as often as I changed my clothes. At one point, I had three majors at once (I found out that you can have a total of four).
In the end, I majored in Spanish and Economics—though I'm not sure how that helps me as a writer, speaker, and coach.
Whether you know yet what they are, you have dreams. You are called to do something great.
In The Art of Work, Jeff walks the reader along a path—a path that's often bumpy, and sometimes hard to make out along the way.
This is that path of vocation, and though it's not easy there are others who have walked this path before. In a series of real-life stories, Jeff paints the picture of how this journey generally goes.
In the midst of these stories, Jeff teaches that you have the chance to pursue your dreams that are tugging at the strings of your heart.
The pursuit is a journey, and it starts with you taking those first steps. In regards to your calling, those steps are three pledges, that will strengthen you to continue along the way.
1. Pledge to Value the Path
The path to your calling is rarely straight-forward. You may work a dozen jobs before you find something you love. Even then, you may be dream-chasing while working a full-time job. As Jeff shares,
Nothing is wasted. No job, no task, no obstacle is useless, if we are willing to see how it can fit into our calling.
So many times, people burn out because they see where they're at as drudgery—something they do just to pay the bills.
If you can see through the work—and learn as you go—each task becomes a step across the void between where you're at and your dream.
2. Pledge to Seek Out Your Purpose
Each of us has motivations that drive us to do what we do. Getting clear on your why is essential, and should drive each decision that you make.
“Work is draining when it lacks a purpose, but find your spark and it will quickly take you far.”
True purpose always involves more than ourselves—it involves some greater impact we will have on the world. Jeff lays this out well when he writes,
Work, it seems, was never meant to be something we do just to make a living. It was meant to be a means of making a difference—in our own lives and in the lives of others.
If you're ready to seek out your purpose, no trivial task can slow you down—as long as you always come back to your why.
3. Pledge to Be True to You
It should be no surprise that my calling will be different from yours.
“We are each different, and in that difference lies beauty—and strength.”
To achieve what you can, you must remain true to who you really are.
I would be a terrible elephant trainer, but I know a woman who did that for more than twenty-five years of her life. As Jeff puts it,
You have everything you need to be your whole self; it’s already in you. Now you just have to become it.
Over time, rely more and more on your strengths. Chances are if something doesn't feel right—it's probably not.
Not sure where to start on the way to discovering your dreams? Jeff has you covered, with the stories he shares in The Art of Work.
Question: What's holding you back from chasing your dream—starting today?