Answering your calling

2 Notebooks, 7 revisions, countless hours, 40,000 words – that’s what it took to bring my calling to life.

Is there something you feel deep inside you know you need to do? Is there something every time you think about it makes you a little bit nervous and a lot excited? I know there is. We all have one. It’s your calling.
I think I’ve always known I wanted to write. I remember sitting on the floor during my middle school years, with my friend Dawn, writing a story while she drew illustrations. There are oodles of notebooks and pieces of paper in my home office with starts of stories and phrases imagined. I’ve had so many journals it’s not even funny. I’ve written poetry, short stories, and started novels. I’ve been a journalist and a corporate storyteller. I’ve written a family story book. But this year, it got real and I got serious. I answered that calling deep inside me. 
You may have noticed from my last few posts, I’ve got a book that will be published in a few weeks. I’m beyond excited. Yes, I may have danced around my living room when I got the call I was in. The support and encouragement from family and friends has been amazing. But the really great part is that it feels like all the parts are finally coming together. There’s such a joy knowing the hard work, multiple revisions and ideas are going to be out there and that a small piece of me will continue on after I’m long gone. 
David, one of my coaches along this journey put it into perspective for me. He said everyone has been given something by God to do with your life. There’s a quote I’m reminded of—“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.”
Your calling comes with an expectation if you believe like I do. The talents and gifts God gave you weren’t merely a suggestion but rather a command – not something you were to just “get around to doing.” They create a fire inside and a desire to accomplish them that never really goes away.
I believe we all have something unique to each of us; something that is near to each of our hearts. That doesn’t mean those dreams will be easy to achieve. Some of them can be difficult so we back off. You don’t just roll out of bed into success.
When it gets difficult, we stop focusing on our calling and begin focusing on the things that make us comfortable. We switch from staying in the battle to settling for something that makes us feel good—like spending time with friends, binge watching tv shows and movies, going shopping, filling our time with hobbies or sports. None of these things are bad but they become our excuse not to reach our goal.
When you limit what you demand of yourself, you shrink as a person. We lose our determination which adds to more failure, more lack of results, more disappointments. Instead of moving forward, we end up going backwards. We only reach the destination by charging straight ahead. 
One of the things David said that really stuck with me was if we fail to work towards our calling, or achieving our goals, we become a resource to achieving someone else’s goal. Instead of focusing on answering that calling God put deep inside of you, you begin going through the motions and settle for less. 
My book touches on a lot of this. In When In Doubt, Delete it!, I share 36 life edits, or lessons, I’ve learned along my journey that have added to the joy and clarity I feel, as well as helped me reach a level of success along the way.
Since I’m a writer, I used the 5 main proofreader marks (delete, insert, begin, move, and stet) as a backdrop for these lessons. I’ve learned there are things in each of our lives we need to delete, things we can insert and begin, and directions we can move to improve our outcomes. The opposite is true too. We have pieces of us we know without a doubt that we need to hold on too and remain true too. That authenticity is what makes each of us unique. It’s realizing those traits that make us the individuals we are destined to become. 
I’m excited to share this journey with you. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the process of completing my book and getting it published. I hope you’ll follow along. There will be a contest where you can help me pick a cover, a book launch and much more. 
But before I end this post, I want to share a few ideas to get you thinking about answering the calling you have inside you:
  1. Quit setting uninspiring goals. If your goals don’t set you on fire or inspire you, you don’t have a strong enough goal. When they do, you’ll find that desire gives you the actions you need to accomplish your goals. Write down goals that inspire you. Keep them in front of you. Post them on your refrigerator. Write them on your mirror. Read them every day. When you fixate on a goal, you’ll find ways to achieve it.
  2. Stop underestimating the effort required. Just because it’s your calling doesn’t mean it will be easy. You’ve got to take a deep look and understand the level of action, resources, efforts really needed to move your forward.
  3. Don’t underestimate adversity. There will be challenges as you pursue your dream. There’s never a time in your life you won’t experience some problems. Problems are a sign we are alive. The only time you stop having them is when you are 6 feet under the ground. You have to view problems like a spark from a campfire. If you don’t fan the spark, it dies. Don’t breath life into it and make it bigger than it is.
  4. Adopt an attitude that success is your duty. Someone out there needs what you have whether that’s your help and wisdom or some product you create. You need to live your calling because it is the life you were destined for. Don’t shoot for average, you’ll end up below it. God gave you the talents and will provide a way, but you have to work for it. It won’t fall out of the sky and land in your lap.
What are you waiting for? Get started today.

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