PBY: Faith 1.11
055 — Excerpt from Purpose Built Young: A Guide to Pioneering Your Journey, buy a copy here.
Faith Go! Guide
This section below is an in-depth analysis on making your goals practical. We will learn about the idea of duty, calling, and responsibility. Don’t forget there is additional material at purposebuiltyoung.com/resources.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. LEWIS, CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST
Duty, Calling, and Responsibility
To create beyond ourselves, everyone has three things they must address during every season of their life: Duty, Calling, and Responsibility.
Duty is what you have started and are obliged to finish by way of current assignment. This is different than calling, as calling is lifelong, duty is seasonal. As I write this, my duty is to focus on the edit and structural development of my first major publication. Once the book is completed, my duty will change accordingly.
Calling is a chosen craft, profession, or vocation. Something that is much bigger than yourself. If you had enough money, your life was in order, what would you do with your extra time? Whatever that would be, that is likely your calling. Calling is always connected to helping others. It could be building a craft, but that craft will always be tied to building others.
Responsibility is what you may or may not want to do. It is making sure the bills are paid. It’s making sure that you care for your health in a season of busy work. It is when you set a time to work and a time to be with your family — so that they don’t interfere with each other in a negative way. When duty and calling take a heavy load on your schedule what likely is to happen is that your responsibility will suffer. Responsibility sometimes falls in the mundane of life, but don’t fret. There is always life worth recognizing and appreciating in the desert. It seems like a Herculean task at times, but it is what validates your calling all the more.
For instance, during the writing of this book, my duty was writing, my calling was to continue to be a voice for hundreds of orphans in Asia (something I am loyal to without having to try), and my responsibility was working my corporate career (even at times when I wanted to do one hundred other things with my time).
When you can incorporate all three modes in your season (and see how they fit together), you begin to realize where you move forward. The effect this system has is two-fold. First, in any season, your calling can become your duty or vice versa. These are not independent. When I started writing the book, I was answering my calling. During the process, my book became my duty to complete; I gave time, energy, and sacrificed other things for the production of this creative work.
Secondly, if you put all three on a scale of 100 percent, my duty was given 50 percent of my energy, my responsibility was given 25 percent of my energy, and calling was given 25 percent of my energy. Ironically, even as my duty took 50 percent of my energy, I was only able to give it 25 percent of my time. That is an entirely new conversation but definitely worth noting.
When you can minimize the responsibility category from taking 70 percent of your time, to say, 30 percent of your time, you are winning. Now you have more time to fulfill your duty and calling. The more time you must spend to provide for your daily sustenance, the less time you give to fulfilling a calling that requires you to give of your time and services out of love.
Many people settle for little responsibility. They go to a job that tells them what to do and they take orders about everything they do. When it comes to being a pioneer, a funny thing happens. When you take more responsibility for your life, over time, you begin to have to give less and less of your time to your daily obligations.
The better you can line-up your duty, calling, and responsibility according to the season, the better shape you are in to own your future. Most people give 90 percent of their effort to a job that pays only enough to cover the bills. Most people get a college education-level of debt for the status symbol of a social norm that ties them to neglect their calling for five, ten, and twenty years.
To create beyond yourself, to have the freedom to be you and build the character you are capable of, outline below this season’s duty, calling, and responsibility.
Remember, this is seasonal. That means that this could change in three months or three years. The priority is understanding that you can be taking care of today, creating your future, and fulfilling a calling.
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