What is your calling?
My friend who is a deaf barefoot water skier sent me her favorite Oprah quotes today, from Oprah’s new book, The Path Made Clear.
“Your calling is within you.” “You become what you believe.”
But what if 95% of your beliefs are unconscious? It’s not even “if.” As affirmed by science, 95% of what influences our decisions is unconscious. (New Scientist, 2018)
Using a marketer’s tried and true equation of drawing big generalizations from one piece of information and repeating it out of context, if only 5% of our thoughts are active and you are consumed running a business, loving a family and being a good citizen within that mere 5%…
You may NEVER find your calling.
That idea used to throw me into panic mode. After all, finding your calling is regularly touted as the be-all-end-all in US American society. Those that don’t have a calling feel like they’re missing out. Like they’ve done it (it being life) wrong.
What if you are already living your calling?
Time spent looking every place but where you are right now for your calling can make you miss what you have right in front of you, right now.
This is on my mind today because of an incredibly special guest on today’s show. It’s my dad, who passed away 6 years ago today. His appearance is made possible by an interview I stumbled upon online, from the Missouri Veterans History Project.
Overall it’s amazing: the fact that technology allows me to do this and the content of the interview. I can’t wait to share his stories with you. But a couple of quick “in-between” comments from my dad gave me pause—not the meat of the interview, but a peek into his unconscious narrative—the 95% part.
When being recognized as a great baseball pitcher, my dad quips that he pitched because he “couldn’t hit.” Or reflecting on his long and remarkably successful advertising career, he said if “I could do it over I would have been a journalist.”
This was from a man who played college baseball and toured throughout Korea on the Division baseball team, alongside teammates who went on to play professional baseball. Dad was a great pitcher. He also was a phenomenal writer and wrote throughout his life, as an award-winning ad man in St Louis.
Shifting the narrative, not the life.
The forementioned barefoot skiing daredevil is Karen Putz, founder of The Passion School. (Watch my interview with her here). Coming full circle now are two thoughts.
You can learn at any age.
Karen took up barefoot skiing post age 40, learning from her 66-year-old mentor. What’s something you always wanted to be able to do? How would you go about learning it? What can you do to start today?
What happens when you shift I “could, would, should” to “I am.”?
I “should have been a writer” to “I am a writer.” “I could’ve lost those 10 pounds” to “I am healthy.” What “I am” statements can you make to shift your thinking.
Deep down inside, my dad knew that he had everything important to him.
There was this moment within months of my dad’s death when I was visiting him in a rehab facility. We were in the cafeteria, and he was surrounded by five or six friends, some dating back to the fourth grade. My dad caught my eye and said, “what more could you want, being surrounded by people you’ve known your whole life?”
Perhaps Dad’s “what-ifs” were not regrets but curious ponderings on alternative trajectories, the philosopher inside, all the while knowing he was on the right path, his path, the whole time.
Could that be your story, too?