Honor Your Calling

A good friend called me the other day and asked for some advice. She told me she’s not fulfilled with the way her life is right now. She’s underperforming by her own standards. She said it’s not sustainable. She feels stuck and confused. She wants to be on a mission, doing something rewarding and meaningful that contributes to the world. She wants to find her purpose. But she doesn’t know what it is yet and she can’t figure out how to find it. 

It’s a question I hear a lot: How do I find my purpose? How do I know what I’m here to become? How do I find that intersection of what I love and what serves the world?

It’s a high-stakes question so it’s intimidating. What if you get it wrong? What if you never discover your calling? What if you never become what you were born to become?

And I’ve seen it answered a million [often contradictory] ways: Work hard. Follow your highest excitement. Remember back to what you always wanted to be as a child. Think outside the box. Say yes more. Say no more. Try everything once. Go 100% all in on one thing. Simplify your life. Overhaul your life. Invest in your friendships. Build new friendships. Etc.

There are as many paths as there are people.

I’m not going to tell you how to find your purpose. I wouldn’t know what to say. I know that what worked for me isn’t relevant for everyone. Advice I would give to one friend is not the same advice I would give to another. I’ve seen lots of folks transform their lives from monotonous to meaningful in ways that surprise me. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all formula or a universally useful how-to guide.

But there is one thing that applies to everyone. One piece of advice that isn’t negotiable:

Honor your calling.

I got that phrasing from Oprah. Here’s her quote:

 

There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor you calling. It is why you were born, and how you become most truly alive.” — Oprah Winfrey

 

There are two important parts to this advice: Your calling and honor. Let me explain.

Part I: Your Calling

Your calling is your higher self. Your future self. Your truest self. It’s your intuition. Your alignment. Your wisest, happiest, most generous self. It’s God. It’s your gut instinct. It’s those deep insights you get before you fall asleep. It’s your truth. Your must. It’s the inner voice that gives you relief and clarity and confidence. When something resonates with your or brings you to tears or excites you, that’s a gentle nudge from your calling.

We all have access to it. But many of us deny it or undervalue it or mistrust it. We think it’s impulsive or misguided or risky. We try to contain it and define it in a way that lets us manage it and keep it under control. 

Part 2: Honor

To honor something is to revere it. To honor is to respect something deeply and hold it in high esteem. To interact with or experience something that you honor is a pleasure; a privilege. 

Too many of us treat our calling like a misbehaved child. We ignore it and micromanage it. We distance ourselves from it. We reason with it and argue with it.

“I know I want to quit my job and move to Hawaii but it would be stupid to do that before I get my raise.” 

“I keep feeling like I should volunteer at the children’s hospital but that’s just a random thought, how do I know it’s best for me?” 

“I know we’re going to break up eventually but I’m not in the place to deal with that right now.” 

The main difference between me and people who are frustrated or unhappy with the trajectory of their lives is that I honor the fuck out of my calling. I trust and respect this internal guidance more than anything else. When I get an intuitive hit about something, I lean in, silence my personal biases as best I can, and listen closely. Even if it takes me a few days to integrate the insight or sort through my attachments and get reoriented, I honor it. I think of it like a private, custom telepathic message to me from my future self. Even if it’s intimidating or confronting or I don’t know what it means, I treasure it and focus on it and commit to it.

This is important to clarify.

It’s not about always knowing what your calling is saying or knowing how to handle it or acting immediately. It’s not about your performance or speed or capacity. It’s about how you regard this inner voice. Like any relationship, the way you treat it is the foundation for how well it can communicate with you. If you ignore it or argue with it or deny it, you’re cutting yourself off from its wisdom. But if you seek it out and meditate on it and trust it and respect it and appreciate it, you open the channel for more of it to flow to you.

How do you treat your calling?  Do you reject it or do you engage it? Do you reason with it or do you open up to it? Do you resist it or do you honor it?

Here are a few practices for honoring you calling: 

Meditate »

Relax your brain. Give your higher self room to breath. When your mind is quiet, your calling is what remains.

Take advantage of your negative experiences »

When you feel bad / angry / hurt / irritated / frustrated by anything, you don’t understand it yet. Your calling doesn’t perceive things the way your petty human thoughts do. Use any negative experience as a springboard to summon your calling: Ask yourself what higher perspective you’re missing. Open up to the bigger picture. Seek the point of view that feels like relief and opportunity and gratitude. You’ll know it when you’re shaking your head in appreciation and awe.

Neutralize contractions »

When something big comes up, hold off on defining it. Say the thought crosses your mind to end your relationship or apologize to someone or admit you were wrong, and you feel an instant surge of resistance or anxiety. Instead of defining that contraction, neutralize it. Remember that ALL circumstances are inherently neutral; there is no intrinsic meaning aside from the definitions you give. Do this repeatedly until the contraction doesn’t accompany the thought. 

Pray »

Or in other words, Imagineer. From a state of excitement and anticipation and gratitude and joy, imagine yourself at your best. Imagine possibilities that enliven you. Thank your higher self / the universe / God. Feel receptive. 

 


I did this drawing-painting about a year ago. It still inspires me. It’s worth zooming in and reading the quotes : )


If it resonates, you can ask me for advice too. It helps me structure my thoughts and essays in relevant, accessible ways. I’m happy to keep you anonymous like I did for my friend who inspired this article. Up to you.

 

13 thoughts on “Honor Your Calling

  1. Einstein didn’t say that Cory. Deleting my comment because it doesn’t ‘resonate’ won’t shift you into a reality in which he did. But don’t just take my word for it – try it and see for yourself.

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    1. I’ve deleted some of your recent comments because they’ve been mean, not because of any of the points you made. I like some of your points, this one included. What I won’t tolerate is a cynical, antagonistic level of energy from anyone. (Why do you tolerate that of yourself?)

      Most of your comments have been kind. Recently they have not. It’s not about you or the content of your comments. It’s about where they come from and how they feel. I know you know how to give productive feedback. TBH it doesn’t totally add up for me why you’ve been harsh lately.

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      1. “What I won’t tolerate is a cynical, antagonistic level of energy from anyone.”

        Kind of like this you mean?

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      2. I LOVE this clip!!!! It’s a brilliant point — especially when considered in context.

        I understand your antagonism now too! You posted that video intentionally without the context. Bizarre move. That takes a lot of time and energy. You’ve got a heavy anti-Bentinho grudge.

        My guess is that you are a paid troll— name might not even be James Beard. I don’t know anyone else who would be such a prolific hater on their own time.

        Nice. You’re my first troll! Lemme know if this isn’t the case and you’re just a really sad, angry guy. Otherwise of course I’ll block you from my blog.

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  2. Cory you are in a cult. Blocking me won’t change that. But do what you need to do until you are able to see the truth of what I just said. Good luck.

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    1. The word “cult” seems to scare you. Just know that it doesn’t bother me. I work with the most inspiring people I know. We’re driven to live as fully as possible and be of service to as many people as possible. And we’re figuring it out just like other communities and companies and teams.

      We have a visionary founder with an impactful voice and a ton of followers (like many other great organizations and movements). What if I was working for Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuk or Byron Katie?

      What’s wrong exactly? What are you fighting? Since none of us know you personally and you’re borderline obsessive about contradicting and undermining us, it’s becoming more and more obvious that you’re a paid troll.

      Don’t you know that what you resist persists? Perhaps consider restrategizing … or maybe if you’re up for getting real, you and whoever you’re working for/with would be up for a consultation with one of us. Let me know.

      Sending you love (really).

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      1. “paid troll”
        “whoever you’re working for”

        Who is paying me Cory? – the Aliens? the Nazis? The Illuminati? Is that what he told you? Have you actually seen yourself any of these entities he describes? Are you doing any reality testing of the things he says anymore?

        No one is paying me. But PLEASE don’t take my word. Look at this situation for yourself without bias. Isn’t that what you advised others to do?

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  3. Goodness!

    No clue. Where else do you get all this time / energy / bandwidth to be so mean on such a consistent basis? Assumed there must be a special interest group who doesn’t like the thought of lots of people empowering themselves and leaving the 9-5 cycle and disrupting the existing way things are. No clue really though. Maybe Bentinho really offended you once and now you’re out to get him back. I’d like to know what’s going on for you. If you’re not paid by anyone, what’s wrong? What do you get out trolling me and my team?

    Would you mind telling me?

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  4. “Special Interest Group”. You know who you got that phrase from don’t you? No it’s the exact opposite. I want you to empower yourself. I want you to seek the truth.

    If I am a troll and what I’m doing is trolling then anything I’d tell you would automatically be false wouldn’t it? So why would you need me to tell you a lie? If Bentinho has all the answers why do you still have questions for me? What is your mind still searching for?

    The truth perhaps?

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    1. Got that term from a law class I took in undergrad 🙂

      I suppose I gave you the benefit of the doubt with that one. I mean you’re spending hours every day keeping up with us and watching all the interviews and editing and posting your own videos like… You’re really putting in some time. I’ve never come across someone with so much time and energy to meticulously hate on others. I suppose that’s what trolls do though.

      I’m “searching” for an understanding that clarifies for me the root of your frustration and anger. It fascinates me. I’m driven to learn the truth about you. (Though I think this will be the last exchange before I block you from my blog just for the sake of wrapping up what’s beginning to feel like a directionless argument).

      For the record, my main emotion toward you, surprisingly even to me, is love. Thanks for the chat 🙂

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      1. “Got that term from a law class I took in undergrad”

        This is an encouraging sign.

        “Thanks for the chat”

        Thanks for hearing me out. I hope what I’ve written and posted is enough now to help you in your search.

        Like

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