The Difference Between Your Calling and Your Career

Oprah Winfrey said, “Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart, and success will come to you.” Have you ever known someone that was always on fire about life and what they do? Sometimes when you look at them you can’t even understand how they do the things they do? I believe it is the difference between following your calling verses just chasing a career. According to Webster, a calling is defined as, “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” Whereas, a career is tied more to one’s training, education and occupation. There’s nothing wrong with building a successful career, but it can’t compare to living out one’s true calling in life.

When someone combines their conviction and compassion with their training, they are destined to become the best and their light will shine so bright they can’t be missed. No matter how much natural talent (some may call it a gift) one may have -- whether in sports, science, art, or speaking, everyone needs a coach or some level of education to fine tune their craft. Even the best never stop learning to become even better. When you know you are following your calling, this is evident.

You may be asking, what if my passion is something that I can’t really make a living from? I beg to differ with you. I believe if it is truly something you are called to do there is a way for you to not only make a living, but also a life. As the saying goes: your gift will make room for you. The question you must ask is if you are truly committed to it! Are you willing to make personal sacrifices to do it? What do you enjoy doing even when you’re not getting paid? What do people always tell you you’re so good at doing? What keeps you up at night and what gets you out of the bed in the morning? For me I believe my calling is helping people; encouraging them to be their best and to not let anything keep them from living their best life.

Sometimes it may take a little time and soul searching to figure out how to manifest your calling and make it your career. You may need to gather a few friends and colleagues and hold a personal focus group where you ask them what they think you are called to do and what are your best qualities. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and real. When you look at your life you may see a pattern of things you’ve done or accomplished that are just a set up to get you where you need to go to live out what you were always meant to be. Don’t ever underestimate anything you’ve done no matter how small it may seem.

Growing up I thought I would be a movie star or someone famous. I was involved in beauty pageants, I was a cheerleader, I was a youth leader in my church, community and school. Along the way I was also interested in helping people and encouraging them when they needed a friend. My grandmother always had an open-door policy at her home where anyone could come in for a meal, or if they needed someone to talk to or needed a little money to help them keep going. She never turned anyone away and she always had a smile. Over time my life has really turned out to be more like my grandmother. I’ve been blessed where God has given me an opportunity to work and serve in the community by using my various gifts that have turned my calling into a career. If I can help someone as they pass along, if I can encourage someone with a word then my living will not be in vain.

Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit, and to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker.

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