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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

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.

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 October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

Reference

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