The End of the Year 2021 comes closer. Christmas is next weekend.
This is the right time for preparing yourself for the year of 2022. Yes, it pronounces as “twenty-twenty, too”. And I mean that. Not much will be different in 2022, and we will certainly not go back to pre-Covid-19 living standards. There will be new virus strains, there will be people in ICU, and there will be lock-downs and quarantines.
But where are you heading to?
Do you have a personal calling? And more importantly, are you actually living it?
A calling is defined in this way: the a) most important thing that you can do, and that b) you like doing and in which c) you would be most difficult to replace.
The concept of “the calling” is different from the concept of “the job” or “the occupation”. A job or an occupation is subordinate to a calling.
I know that this is not widely recognized. But once you have understood the difference, your life will be different. You will enjoy your life more.
What I see around me is that people have a tendency to overestimate the importance of their occupation. They become motivated primarily by money, prestige, or fame. They become sidetracked from the important issues of their lives, for what they were cut out.
Some people are not motivated by anything connected to their job because they make a living without working, mainly because they are connected to an income stream from their government. For these people, a money-making job seems to be superfluous.
The difference between personal calling and job, or occupation, has not been very important in my own life because I found a way to turn my job into my calling. I realize that not everyone can do that. But I could. And if you find out your own personal calling then you might be able to do the same.
The Calling vs. Job/Occupation
It all starts with the same thing: find out what is your personal calling. What is it that
- you like doing (most of the times)
- you are good at, and
- in which you are most difficult to replace?
Most people that I know have no clue when asked that question.
I find that it makes things easier when the term “calling” is seen as opposite to the term “occupation”. An occupation (or a job) is the way that you put bread on the table, by exchanging your worktime for money.
Sometimes these two “calling” and “occupation” can be the same. But that does not happen very often. I believe that I am pretty close to that state, but I still have to do things that I do not like. Most of the time this is because if I am not doing them then nobody else is doing them. That is a disadvantage that comes with leadership.
But here comes the priority: the most important thing is your calling. Your occupation should support your calling.
In fact, your job should even pay for your calling. If you cannot yet make that leap then you have a long way to go in your life.
My Own Calling
If you follow my blog then you know that I am innovator myself. That is my calling: I am deeply creative and can use that personality trait to help others in becoming better in what they do. I am a trained engineer and I am a qualified IP professional. My blog here is one example of how I use that training: I am helping young people to become better IP lawyers.
In my younger years I have supported large companies to develop their patent portfolios, mostly for incremental innovation. This is how I have been making a living for a long time.
That has changed. I have moved within the value chain. I make my living of today more with what to do with IP instead of creating IP. And I specialize in non-incremental innovation.
My calling in life has not changed, but my occupation has changed. What is most important in my career has not changed, but the way that I make my money has changed.
Once you recognize that difference in your own life then you are all set for a better future. If that worked for me it may also work for you.
An Example For Living A Calling – Snow Flake Expert Kenneth G. Libbrecht
Ken Libbrecht is a tenured physics professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). That is not bad for an occupation.
For some reason that is unknown to me, Dr. Libbrecht went from the molecular dynamics of crystal growth into how ice crystals grow from water vapor, in other words into the physics of snowflakes. That became his calling: to be the go-to guy when it comes to snowflakes.
This is Dr. Libbrecht’s website: http://www.snowcrystals.com/
Dr. Libbrecht has authored four books on this topic:
- The Snowflake: Winter’s Frozen Artistry,
- The Secret Life of a Snowflake,
- The Art of the Snowflake,
- Ken Libbrecht’s Field Guide to Snowflakes.
If that is not proof of a calling then what?
I do not know for what it is good to be a snowflake expert but I like clicking around on Dr. Libbrecht’s website http://www.snowcrystals.com/
And I honor and value the way that Dr. Libbrecht is publishing materials about his calling.
Another Example for a Calling in Life – Heritage Building Renovation Expert Konrad Fischer
Mr. Fischer passed away in 2018, a cancer took his life.
What is left is his website that is still there and a book that describes how Mr. Fischer made his calling “opening the eyes of real estate owners when it comes to renovation” his profession.
When I write “renovation” then I mean the process of returning a building to a good state of repair. That is very different from redevelopment of an area. When redevelopment takes place, the buildings in one area of a town are knocked down and new ones are built in their place.
I know of Mr. Fischer because I found his book on the Internet when I was looking for information on how to renovate an old house. From reading his book I learned more about heating old houses than in 3 years studying thermodynamics at engineering school. His book is timeless teaching.
Here is Mr. Fischer’s book (if the link below is dead you can download the book here Fischer Altbauten Sanierung):
And this is Mr. Fischer’s website: http://www.konrad-fischer-info.de/
Here is the obituary that Mr. Fischer’s wife put on his website:
My husband died of cancer in October 2018. Therefore, as his legal successor, I would like to preserve the memory of his profound knowledge in relation to building materials, heating technology, structured planning of monuments and much more.
He has always advocated healthy, economical, climate-friendly construction and has been a salvation for many builders.
The homepage is for informational purposes only, without guarantee.
Architectural services such as construction advice can no longer be provided.
May the homepage be a blessing for many people!
I assume that Mr. Fischer was one of the very few people that could combine his calling with his day job.
And as one can see, a calling does not only give you a more fulfilled life. A calling will also give you some extended influence beyond the grave.
Have you ever written your own obituary? If not then today is the time.
Write down in 10 sentences for what you will be remembered 10 years after your death. You can also use 20 sentences.
From these 10 or 20 sentences, find out what it is that makes you difficult to replace in life. Find out what you like about these.
These things qualify for your calling.
Then explore what among these is the most important thing that you can do.
Then make an informed decision to finance that calling with the income from your day job.
Once you have found that calling in your life, you are much closer to happiness than most other people.
Martin “Calling” Schweiger