“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” ~~Oprah
Be honest with me. What is it you believe you were called here to do, be, have and experience in this one-shot, no do-overs, non-dress-rehearsal existence before you?
Yeah. Been there. Felt that. You’re far from alone on this. Most folks I’ve interviewed don’t like the question because it puts them on the spot; few of us are doing what we thought we would be doing. Why? Because Life is a moving target and months turn into years while we are still trying to figure things out.
Snippets of who it is we came here to be float around out there. Sometimes, in fact, they land right in front of you, for an ever-so-brief moment before they again disappear into thin air. We feel a nudge, an inkling of what lights us up, and all too often we don’t know where it came from or what to do with it, but our heart records it as significant. Some folks call this a God-Wink.
Whatever you call it, I know this: If you are focused on the clues, those nudges or whatever you call them, when you say “Yes” to what’s next, it can open the floodgates of ideas and new thinking.
When I was just fifteen, my parents and I drove from Indiana to California to visit my brother Jon, who happened to work part time on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. I had never been to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” and I declared—with everything in me—that if I could work at Disneyland, I would never want for anything else, ever.
After graduating high school, I traveled again to California and they hired me. My first job was to serve you popcorn on Mainstreet USA, wearing my straw hat, striped shirt, white pants, bow tie and the shiniest shoes on the planet. I was filled with Clarity that my Calling was to have a career there. And, for four years, I learned customer service techniques and received training from the best company in the world. Then, things changed and I went in a different direction, still incorporating into my many jobs after that all I had learned, which I now teach in my programs.
Pay attention to what lights you up. Choose your career moves based on how those positions make you feel. Answering what it is you are called to do has a heck of a lot more to do with your happiness and health than all the money in the world.
So what is your Happiest Place on Earth?
And, before you ponder your answer, consider that whatever it is, it will not be based on your salary or the prestige of the title they give you. It will not be based on how big a house you are able to afford or the trips you get to take.
It will be based on how happy and healthy you are while doing it, being it, having it, experiencing it. Sure, you can choose to identify your success as the house, the car, the expensive clothes that you must work extra hard to earn, but your ultimate definition of happiness will be based on how you feel when you are in the midst of doing what lights you up.
Can you have it all? Can you thoroughly enjoy a job that pays you far in excess of what you need? One that enables you to handle the overhead you will inevitably take on? Yes.
That’s a qualified Yes, however, because if you fall to ill health and can no longer hold down that job, unless you have provisioned for such a rainy day, you will become unhappy and bitter when your job is lost and you must figure out what to do next.
If, on the other hand, you discover the kind of career that makes you happy every day, it will keep you healthier, too. Options, alternatives, circumstances, and conditions will reward you because you are all-in. When you go with how it all makes you feel, others see that in you and want the same for themselves.
Go with the feel. Who you are and how you show up in the world is far more important to your happiness and success than your job title. It is also just as true that you can, with few exceptions, enjoy your work even in an industry you don’t find to your liking.
“But Dave, I can’t just go out and get a job in an industry that I would love to work in.”
Well, let’s look at that a little closer. What industry would that be? Something glamorous, like being an actor? Or perhaps you’d like to be a professional athlete because you have always enjoyed sports. Perhaps, you would love being part of the tech industry but you didn’t grow up with unlimited technology, so your learning curve might be more vertical than some people’s. Ok.
Remember, I want you to think in terms of how having a certain job will make you feel each time you roll in to work. Are there aspects to that industry that you could be a part of even if you are not the central figure?
I was so proud to work for Disney that I made sure, even on my days off, that I still conducted myself with pure professionalism. I felt that I would be letting down my newfound friends and associates if I misbehaved or got into any kind of trouble.
How you leave your fingerprint on the world isn’t going to be measured by how much money you made or how many properties you own. Your fingerprint will be, as Maya Angelou has pointed out many times, how you made other people feel. This will always be based first on how you feel about yourself. If you are proud of the work you do, even in an industry you don’t necessarily wish to stay in for your whole career, your reputation for being a dedicated worker will provide you access to a lot of people who respect you and will want to refer you to other opportunities, all because of how you made them feel while they worked with you.
Leave your unique fingerprint on the world in the best possible way. Notice what you’re noticing. See beyond what you do for a living and start leaning in to everything you want in your Life that contributes to your greater good. If you will do that, the Universe will find ways to assist you. Trust that.