Typing These Four Words Can Help You Uncover Your Calling
I was a little bored and a lot desperate. One feature of my weekly newsletter is to answer a question from one of my readers. As I pulled together this week’s edition, however, I realized I was completely tapped out. I had zero questions awaiting a response.
So I hopped on my Facebook page and typed in exactly four words:
“Ask me a question.”
Over the course of the next hour or s0, I was flooded with questions. I did my best to answer them as they came in, and it turned into an informal Q and A session. I wasn’t too terribly surprised with the amount of questions I received, but I was taken back by how similar most of them were:
“What are some of your favorite new bands?”
“What advice would you give to someone wanting to break into the music business?”
“What is your favorite guitar pedal?”
I got somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 comments in the first hour alone. And at least 75 of them were music-related.
I know this doesn’t come as a shock to you. I’m a musician. I’ve been in a band for 25 years. But this represented 93% of the responses. There’s got to be something to it.
I am viewed as an authority on music by my readers.
You are an authority on something as well. This could point to your calling.
What comes naturally?
I have read many books about finding your calling. A common thread in these kinds of books is to ask yourself what skills you have that come naturally to you, but might be difficult for others.
This can be a blindspot for many of us. We take for granted the things we’re good at, and often focus instead on our weaknesses. We also tend to assume that since something comes easily to us, it must come easily to others as well. Because this area can be such a blindspot, asking yourself might not be the best way to go about it.
Maybe you’re overthinking it. Why not get others to figure it out for you?
Log onto Facebook or Twitter, or wherever you hangout online, and type in the words “Ask me a question” into a new post.
If you’re stuck on finding your calling, this could be a great way to get some instant feedback as well as some clues. If you’re trying to start a blog or a business and want to know what your area of focus should be, this could work for you as well.
Use it as a barometer
Now, I realize that what you’re good at is only part of the equation when you’re trying to discover your calling. You could be really good at something you don’t like. Maybe you’re an expert on dentistry or making quilts or whatever because your parents expected you to follow in their footsteps. Maybe you got a job right out of high school and you’ve been doing it for years and you’re good at it but you feel trapped.
I would put myself in this category. Not that I am feeling stuck or frustrated, but alongside music I have pursued a writing path for many years.
If you’re like me and this describes you, I would still do this little exercise and see what ways people view you as an expert or authority. Use it as a barometer.
Get people’s feedback now, then work for a few months towards doing what you love. This could be a hobby or a side gig or a fullblown career change. Then, do this exercise again at that time and see if anything changes.
Four words. Hit enter. It’s that simple. The results may surprise you.
P.S. In response to some of the feedback to this post, I wrote a more comprehensive article about calling through the lens of faith:
I did a post last week about how the questions people ask you can help uncover your calling.medium.com
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