Today is the 4th of July so I decided to take the day off.
Which is usually dangerous for me because whenever I have downtime I start pondering “big picture” life stuff.
For example, this morning I decided to meditate on my own death in hopes that this “simple exercise” would help me get perspective on my life and maybe shed light on what my calling is.
So I sat in my comfy brown leather chair and hit fast forward in my mind to the day when I’ll be 100 years old (I suspect I’ll live past 100 but I choose this age because it’s a nice round number. Plus, if I live longer those years will feel like bonus years).
As I was meditating on the brevity of life I tried to think about what I’d want to be remembered for. What big things would I want to have done to be happy with how I spent my life?
Of course I thought about my wife, my kids and my future grandkids. I know my roles as husband and father are very important. And I want to succeed there.
But other than that I was at a loss because the truth is I don’t know what my “calling” is. And that stresses me out.
So I pulled up my notes from Mastery by Robert Greene to see if I could find any insights there. But even though Greene has some great ideas, he somehow forgot to include a chapter titled, “Josh’s Life Task.”
So I stopped reading those notes and decided to journal about it instead. Still no revelations. 🙁
Then I decided to go play with the kids. I came up with a new game recently where I tie our kayaks together and tow them behind our riding lawnmower.
We pretend we’re traveling through the ocean in boats like Moana does. Sometimes I look at my kids and envy them because they are not stressed out about their calling or life task. They just want to play.
This was fun and it helped distract me from the stress of trying to figure out what I’m to do with my life.
But soon after that I was in the house doing dishes when the thought returned.
Since one of my dreams is to create a Radiolab quality podcast that shares supernatural God stories, this podcast caught my eye.
Maybe I’m called to make a podcast like this.
But again, no great insights or aha moments happened as I listened.
At the end of the podcast I sat down in my living room wondering if I had just wasted another “free day” worrying about my calling.
My wife came in about that time and asked, “How’s it going? You relaxing today?”
“Yeah, sort of,” I said.
“In my own way. Trying to figure out my life calling and all that stuff you know,” I said.
I think she knew where this conversation was going because about 30 seconds into it she fell asleep on the couch in front of me.
So there I was again. Boring my wife to sleep, droning on about lofty ideas and life purpose type stuff when I realized that this is not how you figure out your calling.
I’m not going to read a book or listen to a podcast and think, “Oh yeah, there it is. My life’s calling!! I knew if I just listened to enough episodes I’d finally hear it!”
No. I do not think that’s how this works.
So then what’s the answer?
Do we just forgot about this type of stuff and join the rest of the people who seem content doing “normal” stuff like watching Netflix and scrolling through never ending Facebook updates?
Or do we double-down on the “figure out your calling” stuff?
Maybe there’s a third option. Maybe it’s not so black and white. Maybe the answer is found in the little things. Perhaps they are stepping stones to the bigger things.
I don’t know how all this works because I’ve never lived a whole life before. All I know is what I’ve experienced in these first 33 years and I know I have a ton more to learn and experience.
But today, right now, I choose to stop worrying about “what I’m going to do with my life” and instead focus on pursuing excellence in the little things in my control.
Being a good husband and dad. Helping my clients solve their problems. Giving 100% to my new partnership/startup.
Perhaps one day I’ll wake up to realize I’m living out my calling. But until that day comes I’ll do my best to be faithful with the little and trust that God will guide my steps to my destiny.
P.S. I totally forgot I wrote about this already. I didn’t realize it until I went to publish this post and my writing software Byword asked if I wanted to replace it or create a new file. I was like what? Apparently, I really do need to stop worrying about this!! I think I’ll fast “figuring out my calling” thoughts for at least 6 months or so.