What is “A Calling?”

by Catherine DeAngelis

“A Calling” may be your life’s purpose. It is a career: the particular occupation for which you are trained. In the religious terms, A Calling is a vocation (that which comes from the Latin for “call”). If it is professional, or not, it could be voluntary, an ordinary, but comfortable existence doing what is being “magnificent” in your work best defined by you only!  It can drive itself from another place, an alternate source we may know as a “divine messenger.”  Whether we are believers or not, we can be willingly capable of giving to ourselves, that which is needed to live a life to fulfill our deepest and truest desires.

Do you know what your “Calling” is, and can you have more than one Calling in a lifetime?


William Edgar Stafford was a poet born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on January 17, 1914, to Ruby Mayher and Earl Ingersoll Stafford. He died in 1993. Stafford was the eldest of three children and grew up with an appreciation for nature and books.  Although his father appears more often in his poetry, Stafford has stated that his mother’s presence and behavior influenced his writing. His poetry was strongly influenced by both the people and the plains region of his youth and young adulthood.  Read More on Stafford’s Biography.

William Stafford became a poet because he received his Calling to be just that in his lifetime – a Poet!

A Ritual To Read To Each Other
by William Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider– lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe — should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

“A Calling” – From Cool Careers for Dummies to Thinking About What God Intended Us to Be!

Marty Nemko, Ph.D. author of Cool Careers For Dummies,  states religious people believe in the notion of a “calling,”particularly in Christianity, which says that you were meant to do something – that God intended it. It’s something that is believed by even some non-religious people, but I think it’s a very misleading term because it implies that for almost everybody there is the right calling if they only search far enough. I deeply believe that that’s true for only about five percent of people. Ninety-five percent of people will find that there’s many careers that they can be equally happy and successful in. So I warn viewers against thinking there is this calling out there for you. If by the time you’re twenty or thirty you haven’t found your calling yet the odds are pretty good that there are many different careers that would be appropriate; there is no one call.”

When we listen to Nemko in one of his on line videos, it may raise a level of awareness in us. This may be whether we think there is one period in our life where “A calling” could be too early or not part of one’s fate. Also, it may be something to think about perhaps it may never be too late, at any age, to meet “A calling” head on.

We must not allow ourselves to be misguided in our quest for our work, and discover what is necessary to bring clarity to what it is we want to accomplish – albeit to make it “our own calling.” 


In Stafford’s fine poetic words “following the wrong god home we may miss our star.”

What do you believe is a Calling?

  • If you don’t know is it time to reinvent yourself by asking different sorts of questions?
  • Is it too late in your career or early on enough to get started and examine your options.
  • Starting over is one of your options and requires imagination.

Start by using some imagination and creativity and learning to ask simple questions and retry something that wasn’t turning out to be reliable in the old way by discovering something in a new way. Remember to pull from our vast know-how skills, abilities and creative juices to get to a comfortable plateau. Once getting used to this place, launching off from what we’ve now learned sticks with us and reworking the formula – as we go along – we’ll find we are mastering the reinvention of us.

It takes patience to listen intently to our heart’s desire to the Calling and to reinvent one’s self and the compassion we may give so easily to others is a must we need to give to ourselves. This is a time of transformation and transitioning to a new way of being. It’s okay to feel uneasy – and building e.g. safety networks, community or spirituality are only some things to think about adding to the list for keeping focused, optimistic and going strong – listen in silence.

Click here to watch a video with Nemko offering up his perspective about a Calling 


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