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If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First

If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First
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How often do you wake up in the morning with bothersome thoughts, that you should change something in your life? Whether it’s a job you don’t enjoy, or restless relationships, which makes you miserable, or even the length of your hair. On the one hand, this kind of “itching feeling” is overwhelming; on the other hand, it makes you move forward with your life, set new goals and, eventually, find your place in life.

It’s normal to take some time to know what we want. Don’t rush it.

Most likely, you’ve heard stories of ingenious people, who started developing their skills in early childhood and, eventually, became successful. For instance, Mozart composed from the age of five, already being competent on keyboard and violin. Undoubtedly, this case is inspiring, but let’s face the fact – it is exceptional. Most people need to put more efforts to find the true calling in life and to become professionals. But it shouldn’t intimidate you. In fact, a well-known American psychologist Abraham Maslow used to say: “It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement”.

If you want to succeed in life, finding your calling is a step you have to take.

Apart from an obvious endeavor to be happy, research has shown that knowing your purpose can add up to 7 years of life expectancy.[1] Furthermore, how can you achieve any kind of success if you don’t follow your dreams? May it be the simplest or the most sophisticated thing, you need passion in order to succeed.

So, after realizing that you do need to find calling in life and, moreover, to benefit from it, there’s only one question left – where to start from.

15 Ways to find your true calling in life

Ask yourself questions about how you feel about your life

Start with questions. Are you satisfied with your job, with your schedule? Are you surrounded by people who care about and support you? What do you love about your life and what makes you miserable? Those questions seem to be easy and you may frequently ask them to yourself, but usually, we don’t pay that much attention to them simply because we’re busy or frightened to face the truth.

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Make a list showing what you love and hate

Write down in a column what you love and hate about your life, including the smallest details. Now, as you have it in front of your eyes, try to do more of what makes you content and avoid those things (or even people), that upset you.

Take a test to find out what you’re good at

Of course, you’re aware that you are good at math and have no ambitions to become a pop-star. But sometimes people tend to over- or underestimate themselves. That is why it is useful to take some tests, which can help to reveal your strengths and weaknesses. Try StrengthsFinder assessment or VIA Character Strengths survey, for instance.

Combine your strengths and interests

As you have found out what distinguish you from other people, combine your strengths with your interests, and think of how you can benefit from that.

For example, if you’ve decided that tying work schedule is not your style, and have started to work as a freelancer, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is valid. Only after you’ve found your niche, you can build a strong personal brand, which will speak for itself.[2] There are hints that monitoring and designing your online presence should be one of the first steps of your personal brand establishment.

Say yes to odd opportunities

Do you remember the movie “Yes man”, in which Jim Carrey, as the main character, challenges himself to say “yes” to every proposal the entire year? That is a great trick to get out of your comfort zone and to add some adventures to your life.

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Follow your own dream instead of someone else’s

Your mother may be sure that you’re going to be a brilliant lawyer, but if you just don’t feel like that, you’ll never be satisfied with this position. No matter how much money you’re going to earn and how fancy your apartment will be. If it’s not your passion, it’s not going to work.

Surround yourself with motivated and successful people

Undoubtedly, our environment influences us a lot, including those people around. How smart, motivated and successful your friends and relatives are? Do you see them as role models? It doesn’t mean you have to avoid your family and stop answering your friends’ calls. Instead meet new great people, who will inspire you and share your vision, an English business magnate Richard Branson, recommends.[3]

Embrace every possibility you might have

Life has its own plan for you. So stop grieving your unfulfilled goals and set new ones. Do not worry if you get off track. Eventually, it’s an imaginary one.

Learn from your mistakes

Stop perceiving your mistakes as failures. As Scott Berkun says: “We’re taught in school, in our families, or at work to feel guilty about failure and to do whatever we can to avoid mistakes. What’s missing in many people’s beliefs about success is the fact that the more challenging the goal, the more frequent and difficult setbacks will be.”[4]

Learn how to let people go

You may think, it has nothing to do with finding your life calling. Well, you’re wrong. When you forgive old grudges and get rid of anything that is weighing you down, you realize how much energy you’ve been wasting.

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So finish burdensome relationships, stop contacting with people, who constantly hold you down, and start something, you’ve always dreamt about but never had enough time. Take a course of French or go to the salsa class, for instance.

Stop thinking and start acting now

“Thinking is the thing that prevents people from acting,” YouTube star and filmmaker Casey Neistat has told Entrepreneur.[5] While thinking too much, you are creating lots of blocks in your mind. Remember, until you start the engine the machine will not move, so the more activities you try, the bigger is the chance to find the one for you.

Be consistent and never give up easily

Whether you’re learning how to play guitar or starting a blog. It’s like physical training – the result comes with regular exercising. Once you decided to find your calling in life, make a little effort every day, getting acquainted with an interesting person or reading a book about self-improvement.

Use Reminders not to forget to set daily goals and to carry them out.

Think out of the box to be creative

You may start with something simple like cooking a new recipe or creating a mood-board. Why would you need that? One creative process gives rise to another. Especially, if you’re working in the creative industry, you just never know where inspiration comes from.

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Read books or at least watch videos to get inspiration

There are so many people in the world, who have been already dealing with the problems, you’re dealing right now. Maybe they are going to become your role-models or mentors in your search.

For example, here’s a TED talk of Adam Leipzig, who claims to know how to discover your life purpose in just 5 minutes.

Enjoy the process of searching for your passion

Don’t make a race out of your search. Remember you’re looking for passion to be happy, so make the search itself an exciting process.

You may not realize that, but the day you’ve decided to change something in your life and to find your purpose is the beginning of your journey itself. A strong desire is the first step to success. The second one is action. So start from this exact moment and, no matter what, try to have fun.

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Reference

More by this author

Melissa Burns

Melissa is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She writes about communication, entrepreneurship and success on Lifehack.

Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void Wealthy, Successful People Who Choose Less over More: 10 Real-Life Stories of Minimalists If You Want to Succeed in Life, You Need to Find Your True Calling First Everything We Can Learn from the Most Famous Entrepreneurs Around the World Why Is Empathy So Important?

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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