Unbelievably, it’s been been five months and five days since I wrote my last blog entry. That was the week that I was playing with finding my Calling, which is the third of the North Star components that Lance Secretan discusses in his book, The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch. Together with Destiny and Character, your Calling rounds out the triad that becomes your North Star, or driving force of inspiration. If Destiny is our why, and Character is who we are, our Calling is how we will do it.
Today I found this little tidbit of writing from that week:
This week I am playing around with my Calling as a means to find my sense of inner inspiration. Gulp, I have to admit the word “calling” has a scary echo to it. Echo as in giant, empty, cavernous space where there’s basically nothing. Because I don’t know what my calling is—at least not in the sense of how I imagine it, which is coming down from on high, unmistakably mine and impossible not to follow. I had a similar feeling about finding my Destiny though, so I’ll trust that this could work out.
Apparently, I found the prospect a little daunting. Time has a way of easing rough edges though and in reading the rest of my notes, I realize how much more comfortable I am with this idea. Basically, your Calling is when you use our gifts and talents to inspire others—it’s HOW we will serve—and it aligns us with our Destiny and Character. It should also intersect with a need in the world.
The first part of the contemplation is to listen with your heart to what it longs for you to do. Although my heart longs for all kinds of things and isn’t always consistent, there have been threads that keep coming around for me over the years. These longings are something like helping others lead healthy and happy lives, championing literacy of the soul, playing and sharing joy with others, releasing fear, being a leader, and helping heal the planet through conscious growth.
Part two is looking at your talents and passions. I am talented at seeing possibilities, getting things done, breaking projects into tiny steps, listening to others to hear what they are really saying, stewarding others (especially my children), loving, communicating—verbally as well as through design/marketing—and teaching. I am passionate about being self-aware, compassionate, and authentic.
The third contemplation is to answer the question, “If you had complete freedom to spend the rest of your life pursuing and learning, you would … ” I would learn the craft of writing and write about what I was learning. I would learn about love, spirituality, and human potential. I would pursue touching many lives and traveling the world.
Using these three contemplations, your Calling, like the other components I’ve looked at in this process, can be distilled down into a concise statement as a tangible reminder to yourself. Mine is “nurturing others in their growth and supporting their ability to connect well with themselves and others.”
But so what? What does one gain by articulating your Destiny, Character and Calling? In my case, the effects have been profound. First, distilling down what’s really important to me to nurturing and connection is a huge relief. A relief because those two things are what I do naturally and all the time, across a huge swath of sometimes seemingly unrelated things. Now whether I am organizing my family’s schedule or at a networking event, I can see the thread that matters: connection and nurturing. It’s also helped me to simplify. In any decision I make or situation I face, I have a keel that guides me. I consider what would create more connection and how I can nurture (myself, that person, a cause, the outcome) in a given situation. It’s amazing how much clarity comes when you view life through this framework.
Speaking of clarity, this process also led me to the new business that I’m starting. That’s the reason for the five-month lag. Once I got how important creating nurturing and connection were for me, it all sort of fell into place. I realized that the coaching certification I had been pursuing could be combined with my existing branding/marketing business to nurture other small-business people in feeling more connected and authentic in their marketing and branding. Voila! My new program, Marketing with Connection, was born and I’ve had a great time nurturing this new business into being for the last five months. You could definitely say I’ve been inspired! So you see, knowing and following your North Star can range from feeling a little better to being a life-changing event. Give it a try and see what it means in your life!
Do you know your Calling? I’d love to hear it!
Well, I’ve completed my third and final step in igniting my spark and I’m ecstatic! Stay tuned for my new blog, which will focus on inspiring solopreneurs and small-business owners to feel more comfortable and effective in their marketing.
Linda believes that small business owners can step into a better version of their business when they embrace authenticity and become more fully themselves. Her 25-year marketing career has included Kimpton Hotels, Jamba Juice, and Disney helping her clients win awards and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, as well as on the front cover of WIRED magazine. You can visit her website here: lindabasso.com or join her FB conversation.