Do you wake up each morning with the knowledge that you are about to use the day to do something you love? In the evening, do you go to bed feeling fulfilled and satisfied that you spent the day doing work that was meaningful to you and utilized your own gifts and passions?
If not, you’re not alone—according to an international Gallup poll, less than 20% of respondents strongly agreed that they enjoyed what they did each day. To investigate the impact of this phenomenon, Gallup researchers Tom Rath and Jim Harter studied the health and wellbeing of a group of 168 people through the course of a normal workday. As you might have expected, those who reported feeling engaged with their work had higher levels of happiness and less stress than those who reported feeling disengaged.
What is a calling?
- Utilizes your natural gifts. We each possess hundreds of skills, and nearly all of us also have some natural gifts, which often emerge early in our lives. Gifts are more than just talents; they are what make you feel fulfilled and happy. Having a sense of humor or an ability to bring joy to others, an ability to quickly compute numbers, or an aptitude for leading others are examples of natural gifts that can express your purpose.
- Serves others. Your calling can be thought of as the urge to share your gifts with the world. When you express your gifts for the sake of others, you often experience the joy of being fully alive.
- Creates “flow.” What were you doing the last time you experienced such absorption that you lost all sense of time? You were probably doing something that relates to your calling.