“I’ve had a good life; and the reason is I stayed busy doing the things that mattered to me.” – Sandra Day O’Connor
People talk about “finding” their calling … as if it exists out there somewhere, intact, and all they have to do is look long enough and EUREAKA, there it will be, hiding behind a tree.
I think our calling, as former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor points out, more often EMERGES from doing and pursuing things that matter to us.
That’s certainly been the case with me.
I am doing work I didn’t even know existed when I went to college. I didn’t get a degree in this and I never answered a newspaper ad featuring this as a job description.
The career I love so much is an accumulation of instinctive steps I took along the way. There was no map. I just did my best to honor The Three I’s – Instincts, Interests and Integrity.
I believe the Three I’s are our “Calling Compass.”
When you don’t know what to do, check in with your Three I’s and they’ll point you in the right direction.
When I speak at conventions, people often come up afterwards and say, “It looks like you really love what you do. How can I do what you do?”
Here’s how I got started, and how you can too.
Years ago, I was reading The Washington Post and noticed the word “concentration” was used six times on the front page of the sports section.
Tennis player Chrissie Evert said her ability to concentrate was why she’d been able to ignore the planes flying overhead and win the U.S. Open.
A golfer who’d just lost a tournament by missing a short putt on the last hole said he’d been distracted by the clicking cameras of nearby photographers.
A baseball team had lost its last 7 games. Their manager blamed their slump on his team thinking ahead to the playoffs instead of focusing on that day’s game.
I was intrigued. I thought, “We all wish we could concentrate better – but no one ever teaches us how. I’ve never seen any books on this topic. I’ve never heard any speakers on this topic.”
I decided to research how we could improve our ability to concentrate. I interviewed athletes, artists, executives and entrepreneurs and asked them:
1. How did you learn how to concentrate?
2. What do you do to stay focused despite distractions and interruptions?
3. How do to focus when you don’t feel like it – and how do you regain your concentration if you lose it?
4. Do you have any special techniques you use to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your attention span?”
Based on the insights and action steps I collected and developed; I offered a public program for Open University on HOW TO CONCENTRATE BETTER – ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.
At the end of that workshop, 16 people came up to ask if I would share my techniques with their organization. That one workshop launched a speaking career that has taken me around the world and given me many blessed opportunities to do work I love that matters. It resulted in a book called ConZentrate that Stephen Covey highly recommended as, “Fascinating, thought-provoking and movtivating.”
How about you? Do you want more meaningful work? Are you looking for the perfect job or dream career? Just ask yourself,
1. What do I find intriguing?
2. What is something that calls to me that is in alignment with my Three I’s?
3. What is a problem or need that has caught my attention and caused me to think, ‘Somebody should DO something about that?”
YOU’RE AS MUCH A SOMEBODY AS ANYBODY. WHY DON’T YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?
Who knows? Deciding to research, write and speak about an intriguing topic could be the first step to your SerenDestiny.
Choosing to pursue an opportunity that is alignment with your Three I’s could help you create your calling.
Solving a problem that concerns you could result in a life where the light is on in your eyes.
Remember, you don’t FIND your calling – you CREATE it – by honoring your Three I’s and by getting busy doing and pursuing what matters.
Have you created your calling? Would you please take a few minutes to share the story of how you got started?
Who knows? It could be just the inspiration someone needs to kick-start their calling.