In the very first podcast I ever created, and the third one (I believe), there was a little comment I made… no, a BIG comment I made, and it was a bit of a podcast mistake. I got really excited about talking about creative life lessons to lead into finding your true calling, that I rushed through some of my stuff. Oops. I totally apologize because I wasn’t clear, and I completely left off the end of the statement.
If you have listened closely to my initial “launch” podcasts, the ones without YouTube videos, you might have caught this. Now, if you didn’t catch it, that’s cool. And if you didn’t watch the promo vids or listen to the first 3 podcasts I ever made, you probably missed out on an awesome giveaway, too, but that’s ok… there will be more.
Here’s the statement: Your gifts and talents and your true calling aren’t exclusive. And I left it there. *womp womp*
Here’s what I meant: Your gifts and talents and your true calling aren’t exclusive from each other.
My bad, y’all.
Yes, these things are exclusive– They’re exclusive to you because you are unique. That’s the beauty of doing something that other people do… you aren’t alone, you can create a community and learn from one another, and what you do will always be different from the next guy or gal.
“Your gifts and talents aren’t exclusive from each other.”
So, because your gifts and talents and your calling aren’t exclusive from each other, we first should define what exactly those things are, and how they relate to each other. Then, we should talk about how to discover what that means for your life and what you do with it in its duration.
What is a Gift or Talent?
A gift is something you are given. Some people would say you’re blessed with it, which means that you’re created by God and born with special abilities or things that come naturally to you. When I say it that way, I feel like I’m part of the X-Men or something. Haha! But seriously. A gifting is something you are naturally able to do, sometimes without meaning to do it.
There are instances that talents emerge or evolve from your gifting. In other situations, you have to really practice and get better at whatever it is because you might not possess the natural ability for it. And sometimes you need proper teaching or guidance in order to maximize on its potential. Talent can be derived from a natural ability, but it doesn’t always have to be so. In other words, a talent is something that you can get better at doing, with a gifting or not.
And What is a Calling?
A calling is a verb and a noun. It is a purpose, sense of purpose, or the act of working or serving by using your gifts and talents. Your true calling is in relationship with your gifts and talents. Let’s think of it like the offspring of the two. And because it’s the offspring of such things, you can have many, depending on how many gifts and talents you accumulate in your lifetime.
Let’s Dig Deeper…
“Follow Your Dreams…” is bad advice. Period.– The Lovely Lo
Finding a true calling is probably one of the hardest things to do for many people in life. I suspect it’s difficult to pinpoint because it’s really hard to hear what God and your heart are telling you with all the racket and commotion people subject you to in your life. People will give you their opinion and their “2 cents”, regardless of if you asked them for advice or not. “Be a doctor,” she says. “You should be a scientist,” they replied. “Have you considered being a teacher?” he asked her. Am I right? Has anyone ever told you what they think you should be when you grow up? I know I’ve been through it all many times. They might be right, but only you can determine that.
Here’s why saying “Follow Your Dreams” can be toxic: a person’s dreams can be out of reach, or out of touch, in reality to their gifting and talents.
A Bitter Truth
Your gifting and talents aren’t immune to certain and specific life situations. A talented guitar player can lose their hands in a tragic accident, despite their yearning of touring the world one day. A brilliant scientist can go mad, despite their dream of finding a cure for disease. A favored executive can make a leadership mistake that results in loss of morale and plummeting sales, despite the desire to build a Fortune 500 organization. A compassionate couple could receive a diagnosis that they’re not able to have children, despite envisioning being a parent since they were children.
A true calling has more ability to turn into a dream than a dream turning into reality. Finding your true calling can be a game-changer when it comes to your life’s purpose. It’s where you can come alive, despite the limitations that reality provides you with… eyes sparkling and your face glowing for all to see. So, how do you find out what your true calling is?
Where Do I Start?
I’m so glad you’re asking this question! There are several ways to determine what your true calling is, and although it is journey that takes time, there are also steps you can take to get there. I’d like to challenge you to figure this stuff out, if you haven’t already, and to START somewhere. It’s a total life-changer!
1. Take a Quiz or Test. And I mean take them all!
There are a few tests and quizzes floating around out there, but a few that I like are:
- The Spiritual Gifts Test (printable);
- Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (worth the $12);
- DISC (online test);
- and The 16 Personalities Test (online test).
If you were to take all three tests, it will give you a very well-rounded understanding of what makes you… YOU.
2. Find your “pain point”.
A pain point is a certain situation you’ve been through, especially if you struggled through it. Through struggles and adversity, we find out what we’re made of, how to better handle future situations and we are able to help others who might be going through the same thing, and alleviate some of the struggle for them. It’s these specific life events that mold us into a unique individual and help us to eventually help others.
3. Take what you are good at and open that door WIDE.
Rather than say, “Follow Your Dreams,” we should be saying, “Take Your Gifts and Talents and Run with Them!” The natural abilities you possess, and what you are good at doing, have the ability to carry you farther than any dream ever could or would. Trust me.
4. Ask others for their thoughts and perspective.
Yes, I know I said that people can be toxic by telling you what they think you should be when you grow up. I’m not talking about those people… Ask someone trustworthy, who is able to stay objective in giving you a viewpoint or painting a perspective for you to observe. This is crucial in life. You need a community or family of sorts to help you along the way. Having friends and family that can see something in you, that you might not ever find, is key to growing and finding out more of who you are through another perspective, and it can help you discover your maximum potential.
Plan Your Next Move
Ultimately, you can do all sorts of things to find your true calling. Everyone is definitely different and unique. These things and practice I listed are worth a shot though, especially if you find yourself in a bit of a spot. When I found myself in-between things, it took a long while for me to really find what I was looking for, and the purpose of this post is to hopefully help you not take too terribly long to find your thing!
Once you have found that thing, move on it! It’s crucial to get going and do something that will end up fulfilling your life and giving you true purpose, the way God intended! His will is for you to lead a joyful and fulfilling life by serving people with what only you can do best… YOU! He has created you with a specific purpose and a beautiful crafted timeline. Let’s honor him with those things he gifted to us, and give him the glory for it!
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”– Romans 11:29