When it comes to making a living I look at it in three distinct ways. One being having a job. A job can turn into a career or even a calling, but the sole purpose is to make money. You often hear this phrase when people need money first and foremost, “I need to find a job.” Basically they are saying they need to find a way to make money.
The next is career. Again, this can potentially crossover to other categories, but a career is a job that you will stick with, move up in, and reap benefits from. It’s a place you feel you can advance in and think a little more on the long-term side of things.
A calling, on the other hand, can be your job and career, but it’s ultimately what you’re “called to do.” I think it’s fair to predict that many in society will never reach the level of combining all three at once. It’s a rare thing, but doable from different perspectives.
Deciding to make a dent
Some will follow money — nothing wrong with that. In today’s society the more money you make the more opportunity you apparently have, the more status you gain, and the more stuff you can buy. With money comes security, higher level recreational pursuits, and a sense of monetary contentment.
Again, I’m not judging.
Most of us will have careers. A job we aren’t particularly thrilled about, but find pieces and parts to hold onto to make it through the day and move up the ladder whenever we can.
Others will decide to make a dent. To make a difference in the world through discovery, society, or contributing to some higher cause. The aim is most-likely bigger than they are and is often seen as a bit too lofty for others to comprehend.
Dent-makers also have this notion early on in their lives. They want to seek change, learn everything they can about a certain subject, or explore beyond what was once thought possible.
This is not, by any means, reserved for the big and grand gestures. Someone who has a calling for teaching others isn’t confined to the formal educational classroom. Teaching (once thought of as a job and career) can be a calling no matter what environment you find yourself in. Teaching as a calling is universal; looked at as a method or way instead of a boxed-in career choice.
Curiosity is another trait for a calling. Whether it’s laboratory work, researching artifacts, or studying new medical treatments, curiosity is the universal calling driving the action.
Making a difference drives the decisions and actions not the monetary gain. Have you ever seen those Instagram or Youtube fitness models that claim they just want to help other? One look at their profiles and you’ll see that they may be bending that claim when you see countless selfies with little to offer others.
A true calling doesn’t need fame, stacks of money, or shallow validation. It comes from within and is brought out by true passion. It doesn’t have the need for likes or is ephemeral, it has a life of its own and guides the person from point to point.
The calling is in the driver’s seat. It is in charge.
Where do you see yourself? At a job, career, calling? Are you working to put a dent into the universe? Maybe more importantly, do you secretly yearn to have a calling — to act on it?
It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the flow of society and the trends that seem to shift every few weeks. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed in the constant change of external validation, approval, and shallow paradigms.
Only when we can put aside airs and vanity as our metrics will we truly dig a little deeper into that internal universal voice of a calling. To make a difference not only for ourselves, but for others, and society at large.