Every human being experiences the Calling. Every moment is a calling, and as Oprah says, “If you’re here breathing, you have a contribution to make.” No matter what background, age, color, creed, religion or gender, we have all been called to Earth at this time for the authentic expression of who we are and the gifts we are here to give.
The Calling is sometimes thought to be associated with a career. Other times it’s thought to be associated with an adventure. Not to be mistaken with wanting and searching for the next thing (which is the game of the Mind), the Calling is a infinite wisdom that’s always there and never ends. At the core of it, the Calling is a knowing of what is true to us to feel and do, and it’s associated with every aspect of our life. Everything from the people we meet to the travels we embark on to the mentors that guide us to our natural gifts to the dreams we have, the miracles we experience and the contributions we make.
So, how do you know if you’ve discovered your calling? It took flight for me in the form of downloads every night from 9 months of vivid, lucid dreams. For others the heroic journey began with an unexpected person coming into their lives. For Harry Potter it showed up with his house flooded with tons of letters delivered by wise owls from Hogwarts. If you feel like you’re living your calling and if you feel like you’ve been struggling to find it (which is another game of the Mind), these 8 signs will serve you in knowing that you’re living your life congruently with the Calling.
1. You have had an irrational urge involving a quest
Joseph Campbell describes the first phase of The Hero’s Journey as the Call To Adventure. It’s a setting where the hero (you) is living in an ordinary world, monotonously going about life in the same way, and often times wishing for more. At some point for us in discovering our calling comes the urge to venture out into the unknown world… in some sort of quest. For me throughout the 9 months of vivid, lucid dreams, I had the urge to leave the traditional academic world for a one-way ticket journey around the world focused on mentoring, adventure, extraordinary experiences, self-education, mastery and having soulful connections with the people I’d meet. For Peak Performance Strategist Tony Robbins, this came as an unexpected gift one of the worst experiences of his life where his father walked out on
his family after feeling worthless because a man delivered a Thanksgiving basket for them. From that day to now, Tony Robbins has created a foundation that feeds millions of people every year during Thanksgiving with basket brigades.
2. It hurts you not to act on this irrational urge
Generally after hearing the call to adventure, many of us refuse the call. “Oh, I can’t do that. That’s crazy. That’s wishful thinking. Someday.” Those are all excuses to keep our sense of constancy in living an ordinary life as opposed to embracing uncertainty to live an extraordinary life. To not live purposefully, authentically, and heed the Calling is painful… and the only way we are able to survive with the pain is to numb it and distract ourselves — through alcohol and drugs, excessive television use, smartphone addictions, monotonous lifestyles, problems and limiting stories, and surrounding ourselves with others committed to mediocrity. There’s nothing wrong with anything mentioned above, and if we’re honest with ourselves… it hurts us at our souls to play small in this gift of life.
After having my first dozen vivid, lucid dreaming experiences, part of me got very excited to begin pursuing the messages of the Calling; another part of me ignored the call and wanted to continue in the traditional academic system that I felt was eating away at my soul… out of the fear of not being accepted by loved ones and others if I left this expected path they wanted to see me pursue. That winter of college, I went to Argentina and had a phenomenal month with my cousin. I shared with her many of my stories and dreams of exploring the world with this hunger for personal development. She was enthusiastic with what I shared and encouraged me to go through with it. I said I was going to leave college to pursue my passion, and when I returned I refused the call. What happened next was I got sick with salmonella for almost three weeks, and then a more intense case of strep throat for nearly another two weeks. Missing many of my classes, I went to the doctor’s office on campus and asked for advice. He recommended I take a medical leave of absence. The light of passion flickered in my eyes. I took him up on his offer and within minutes of leaving his office, all of my strep throat symptoms disappeared and I was enlivened with a new sense of passion, energy, vibrancy, inspiration, joy and being empowered.
3. You find yourself more embracing of uncertainty with open arms
The Calling does not follow logic nor rational thought, however it makes perfect sense. When engaged with the Calling, we become more trusting in the unknown; we trust in our experiences, in the timing of things, and in the people we meet as if everything is to shape us and guide our soul to who we are meant to become and what we are meant to contribute. In the beginning of The Matrix, Neo is at his work when he receives a call from Morpheus, a person who he has yet to meet and who asks for his trust and guidance away from the agents. Neo participates with embracing the uncertainty of where he’s going as Morpheus gives him step by step directions.
Another case is with Oprah’s story about surrendering to God in receiving The Color Purple. She wanted the part so much, knowing she had been called for it spiritually, and as she tried to control her outcomes she was rejected… until she surrendered.
Kris Carr is another phenomenal example of embracing uncertainty. She was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer that was deemed untreatable, and she went on to create the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. She still has the cancer, it’s still untreatable, and she continues to live an extraordinary life filled with passion, joy, fun and inspiration, and has gone on to be a voice for health, wellness and living an amazing life regardless of circumstance.
4. You have mentors that guide, teach and support you for your journey
When Tony Robbins was starting out in the personal development industry, Jim Rohn was his mentor. For Oprah Winfrey it was Maya Angelou. For Mark Zuckerberg, it was Steve Jobs. Richard Branson accredits David Beevers and Sir Freddie Laker as significant mentors in his life.
In today’s day and age, our mentors are not limited to only showing up in person. We can find the book that inspires us, YouTube channels and online blogs that teach us just what we need to know for where we are and where we’re heading. For me it was a few books, including The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, and The Education Of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg. I actually drew a water color painting of myself reading two books, one with an orange cover and the other with a blue; this was weeks before I even knew about both of Tim’s books, and I was shocked at the coincidence of discovering them after creating the water color painting.
The key is that you will find the right people at the right time to support you on your journey, and they will find you as well (as you’ll support them on their journey) with grace when you’re living with the Calling.
5. You have heightened sensitivity, intuition and awareness
Intuition is what helps us understand something immediately with the Mind’s reasoning. You’ll just have clearer insights, a strong sense of knowing of what is true and where to go. We are all intuitive at our Soul, and the Calling is an urgent invitation to live our Soul’s journey. As we embrace the Calling, intuition along with heightened sensitivity and awareness becomes more accessible as tools to guide us to fulfill our Calling.
Sometimes this comes with a gut feeling like you’ve known someone all your life, and maybe you have only met them once. This has happened to me a number of times and I’ve taken it as a great sign to be more curious and see the wisdom we can share with each other… and it’s been an extraordinary experience every time. Sometimes you might notice your heightened sensitivity when you’re in a coffee shop full of noise, and in the midst of all the activity you notice a conversation relevant to what you’re doing right now in your life.
Steve Jobs accredits his intuition as more powerful than his intellect in creating the extraordinary technology he has in the world. He’s famously known for having said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” Now you don’t need to go to India, nor take psychedelics to experience intuition. We all have it. All you need to do is call for it, ask for what’s real, and pay attention. Heightened sensitivity, intuition and awareness are all gifts for you to experience to hear the Calling and live your legend.
6. You notice that time seems to fade away
When you’ve discovered your calling, you’ll notice that time fades away in the mystery, joy, excitement, wonder, awe, passion and thrill of being alive. On my journey around the world, I constantly forgot about time. Sometimes I felt like things were lasting for hours when it was just minutes, and vice versa. When Oprah spoke about surrendering to the higher organizing power and experiencing the ebb and flow of life, that is living in sync with the Calling in a sense of timelessness, and yet experiencing perfect timing… all the time.
7. You notice serendipity and synchronicity more clearly
Serendipity has been defined as good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries accidentally. Synchronicity is a concept defined by Carl Jung, which means that events are meaningful coincidences. In mathematics, when two angles are to fit perfectly together, it’s called a coincidence. In life, when things click together, it makes perfect sense. If you listened to Oprah’s story about surrendering from the link above, you’ll hear how she noticed the strong coincidence when she was praying to be in the movie The Color Purple and got a call from a casting agency for a movie called Moon Song (which later became The Color Purple). She was to act for a major role as Sofia, who is married
to Harpo. She realized that Harpo is her name spelled backwards and was stunned at the coincidence of that.
When you’ve discovered your calling, these phenomena become more transparent in daily life. In fact, they become guiding messages to keep you on purpose.
8. Your life becomes centered on growth and contribution
The purpose of the Calling is to guide you on your personal Soul’s journey. It’s about evolution and contribution of the gifts you have to bring to humanity, and perhaps the greatest gift you can give is yourself. As you grow, evolve and change, humanity grows, evolves and changes… and it can happen at the level of your lineage, family, community, and at the level of the world based on the depth and width of your contributions.
I wish these 8 signs have given you the clarity you needed to know when you’ve been aligned with the Calling, and have inspired you to live congruent with the Calling, so that you can live and contribute soulfully.
Now, these are just 8 signs that you’ve discovered your calling. There are plenty more, and from reading this… have you been living your calling? If not, I invite you to now give up the Mind’s quest for constantly searching for the next best thing and claim the destiny that’s calling you right now. It’s simple, Oprah said it… just surrender to it.