Career => Calling => Cause
While I was working as a Career Consultant, one of the saddest things I observed was that many people had to settle for a JOB (Just Over Broke). For those with families and children to feed, it was an understandable sacrifice but still a heartbreaking sight to watch when I know these people are capable of so much more. Compared to many others who are struggling to make ends meet in this dwindling economy, I am among the lucky few that have made a good career out of helping others and making a difference in their lives. Yet I can’t help but questions if this is it, if this is what I was meant to do in life, a persistent question that has lead me to where I am today. One of the main differences I’ve come to find between a career and a calling is that of financial compensation. In a career, one enjoys his/her work nonetheless but would likely not do it if he/she were not paid for it. On the other hand, for those fortunate enough to discover their calling in life, they would happily do it even if they were not paid for it.
I recently attended the second annual World Domination Summit hosted by world traveler and writer/blogger Chris Guillebeau. While the name of the event may raise some concerns, the only question that was raised by Chris at WDS is “how do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” He asked this question to a 1000 attendees at the beginning and demonstrated the answer with his evident action at the end of the Summit. The first WDS in 2011 had suffered a $30,000 lost due to inexperience but this WDS had made a good amount of money after learning from what worked well last year. Even in the face of many tempting offers to sponsor this year's event or buy the entire brand, Chris had deliberately decided to continue to keep WDS non-commercial and sponsor free. Although, an inspired anonymous donor who attended in 2011 did donate an undisclosed amount of money to Chris with no strings attached and no recognition needed. In the end, the money donated plus the profit gained ended up to be around $100,000. Instead of keeping this money for himself or putting it back into WDS next year, Chris generously decided that he would invest this money in all the attendees. At the beginning of the Summit, Chris gave all the attendees a copy of his new book $100 Start Up and in the end, he gave back 1000 attendees $100 each to go and start something remarkable. I, like many others, were teary eye by this surprisingly act of trust in us that Chris had demonstrated. I truly believe that inspiring others to live a remarkable life by leading the way is Chris’s “calling” in life.
Not many of us are able to find a career we enjoy doing, and even a smaller few are able to discover our calling in life. Those that do find their calling will eventually come to uncover their cause, a purpose greater than themselves. This is the case for Scott Harrison, founder of Charity Water and one of the keynote speaker at WDS. "Face with spiritual bankruptcy” after “living selfishly and arrogantly” as one of NY’s top nightclub promoters, Scott followed his calling and “signed up for volunteer service aboard a floating hospital with a group called Mercy Ships.” Traveling to the poorest parts of the world, Scott was finally able to “put a face to the world's 1.2 billion living in poverty. Those living on less than $365 a year - money I used to blow on a bottle of Grey Goose vodka at a fancy club. Before tip.” In choosing to now devote his life to a cause much greater than himself, Scott slowly came to realize that “charity is practical. It's sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It's the ability to use one's position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. Charity is singular and achievable.” He got 1000 attendees, myself included, to stand up and pledge to give up our next birthdays so that we can bring clean water to people in need. Will you join us?
So if you are working at a job you hate, what transferable skills can you use to move into a career that you love? If you have already found a career that you love, what have you learned that you can apply to your calling in life? If you are already following your calling in life, what charitable element can you include to give back to a cause greater than yourself?
I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this post or your own stories in the comment section below. Also, check out my travel photography and connect with me on your social media of choice to get pictures and blog post updates. Thank you for reading, visiting my website, and sharing it within your social network if like what you read and see.
BE THE CHANGE
by Hung Pham
Be strong to myself I say
It's just like any other day
I changed yet the world still
Suffers with peoples broken will
From my face a tear drops
For just a beat my heart stops
Much to do, where to start
Compassion has become a lost art
People met I now leave behind
Thank you those who've been kind
All your essence I take with me
Parts of me with you I leave
All my like-minded friends
A calling to you I send
Together lets take a stand
Worlds apart hand in hand
Be the change we want to see
We can do it if we believe
A difference we can make
The world is ours to take
Thank you for reading and commenting. I think it can possibly go the other way as well although the message I was trying to convey is that it's important to take things one step at a time and it's better to learn to walk before you try to run. I also find that you'll need to know who you are first before you can find out how you can "be the change you want to see in the world". That's my thoughts and yes I did write the poem above.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on WDS.
I like your plan of applying your skills to your career, and then narrowing your career towards your calling, which you then direct to your cause. I think, however, that it can go the other way too--finding your cause and then matching your skills to it. Even though I wonder if that's totally what Cal Newport would advise against--that's like finding your passion and going for it, whereas your approach is about developing and transferring skills.
What do you think?
Also, did you write the poem above?
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