How Can I Be Driven When I Don’t Know My Calling? (Episode 291)
This can pack a lot of depth into one question - "how can I be driven when I don't know my calling?" Wow - how do we explore what our calling is? How do we distinguish drive, and what may drive us toward it?
This week I unpack this in a way you may not expect - with my ten-year-old daughter, Juliette. Last month she picked a topic she wanted to discuss - popularity - and we had a great discussion on it. So this month I asked her what the topic would be, and she immediately chose "Drive."
This is a hot topic in our household for many reasons - we thought long and hard on our word for the year and decided on "drive." We're literally moving back into our RV for another driving adventure. And my brother is even launching a book this year on this very topic.
What Drives You?
Juliette asked some great questions on the podcast about distinguishing how to discover your drive, as well as how to really explore these three areas of job, career, and calling.
Up above I stated that you can't steer a parked car. Once you know that passion and desire you have - that calling - drive is that fuel that propels the car in the right direction.
Your drive is the desire to move toward that calling/passion...even when it's not the easiest path. Even when it's hard. Even when you feel inadequate, insecure, or frustrated.
Drive is the determination to persist past your comfort zone to stretch you to new places.
My love for my family drives me. My desire to connect in nature drives me. My desire for connection - to flow and sync so beautifully that you are stopped in awe of its glory.
When Juliette was trying to identify what drives her, part of her struggle was really about narrowing down her passions vs. really identifying drive.
Breaking It Down
So let's take a step back here so we can look at identifying drive and passion in another way.
In my father's company, we spend a lot of time focused on helping people find - or create - the work they love. And so often people get stuck with this overwhelming obstacle of figuring out what their passion - or calling - is. What is it you feel called to do? What drives you?
We touch on both on the podcast - as Juliette started asking me questions about drive, I realized that, as I work to get to what all drives me, it really helps to identify my calling first.
So first and foremost, pay attention to this distinction:
- Your Calling: This is the big picture desire. This is generic - it's the overall desire. To help others. To educate others. To share your story so others can learn. My calling is to help others find their inner light so they can bring their best self forth for deeper connections with others.
- Your Career: This is your area of focus. You may help others by going into the medical, education, or caregiving professions. All of these still align with the calling of helping others. My specific area of focus in this is in the self-help (or, as a friend has coined, "help-yourself") arena.
- Your Job: And this is the one that changes the most in your life - a job may come and go - it doesn't rob you of your identity, or your calling. You can shift entire professions and yet still stay true to a calling that speaks to you. My actual job in how I do this is as a relationships coach with 48 Days and Mama Says Namaste.
When you approach what you want to do by looking at these three areas, it opens the door to a lot more flexibility in what you do, and where you find your sense of worth. Find your purpose and passion around that big one - the calling. The career may be a focus for a long stretch - yet that, too may shift. While my main career focus is through coaching and courses now in the self-help arena, I could easily be leading art workshops at a "Namastay Campground" a decade from now helping others in a whole different way while still staying true to my calling.
So as you're looking at what drives you, remember the first step is looking at what purpose and calling you believe in - this is your motivation. And from your motivation comes your drive.
Two ways to work it
There are multiple ways to really look at what you want to do in life and how you'll be driven by it. Maybe you're working with the job you enjoy, and you're looking at what the bigger picture is. Most of the time, however, we're looking at that big picture first.
What is the big desire you love to do that is the message you could share with the world regardless of pay?
Jules identified "creativity" as her calling - fostering her own creativity as the first step in paving the way for others to do the same.
Dig Deep Into "Why"
Sometimes you just need to keep asking questions. We don't always have the full map created. So as we identify purpose and drive, how will we make it happen?
It's important to break this down. Don't just stop at a word or an idea. Dig down to an actionable step you can take today to start moving you through there.
In order to pursue your calling, drive is what gets you through the hard stuff. The drive is what pushes you to continue even when it's uncomfortable and/or hard.
Jules asked me,
Can you change your passions, and have different things that drive you?
This was a great conversation with her, as we reflected back at different motivators she had in her life, like her dolly and her paci when she was two - she was very driven with those - she would be hard at work in her play taking care of her dolly, she would be highly motivated to get her pacifier...she had a drive toward managing her things.
This is a part of Jules and her beautiful personality style. She is driven to lead, manage, and communicate. And there was a time she did this with her dolly and paci. There is a beautiful growth season she's in right now where she's looking at what interests are really motivating her forward now that she's ten years old. She openly admits she's working on this currently, and I'm proud of her for recognizing this isn't one-and-done, but a lifelong process of growing and refining who we are and what we're driven to do.
How we are driven may start to show a common theme - yet those things that motivate us may very well vary throughout our lives. We may be motivated by a certification, or to get that job, or to pursue that love interest. This is more nuanced than our drive...yet can help us determine it. When we add those motivators in to align with our passions, we create the drive to move forward and fuel our tanks, so to speak.
When I think about the different personality styles, we may both have a drive for promoting peace. Yet a high D may do this through activism and making a non-violent stance, while a high S may be driven to share peace by offering a safe haven for kids to come hang.
Maybe instead of getting stuck on one passion or one way we're driven, we simply allow our focus to zone in so we can grow in it...and be willing to pivot as we grow. Knowing that more passions and new drive may happen throughout our lives.
"Drive is what motivates you to get up in the morning. What you look forward to, and what gets you through the harder times."
It is what prevents you from just aimlessly wandering around the house. It's what allows you to move forward with purpose and not defensiveness; as you have a clear goal.
What is one thing you think you can do to take ownership of your own drive first thing tomorrow morning?
How can you take what you've read (and/or listened to) and apply it to your real life so your actions start to reflect the focus and drive you want to implement?
How can you go from a general idea to a concrete plan? What is one thing you can do tomorrow that keeps fueling you forward?
When we're moving toward any other aspect of what we're driven to, there is one key element I believe goes beyond one person to the overall drive and hope for humanity.
My first and foremost goal as a family is for us to be kind humans who recognize our impact, give our best, and choose to show up every day.
Show up with your family. Show up with your friends. Show up for yourself. At some point there is a shift in our childhood where we choose to step into our independence - and so, when we ask our children - and ourselves - what are you driven to do tomorrow, that's an opportunity. It's a chance to step into your own independence. What do you really want to prioritize in your life - and are you truly showing the drive that proves it's your destination?
Dig deep with your questions, and look at how you bring your beautiful puzzle piece to that big picture of humanity. We need what only you offer, and the big picture is a beautiful synergy, where the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
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