In my continuing quest for self-improvement (see INFP Questor, right), I have found yet-another-book with interesting information. It's not amazingly different from Finding Your Own North Star (highly recommended) or Divine Intuition, but it has a few kernels of it's own.
Basically, they contend that you have a mission in life, a calling, that you will struggle to express no matter what your conditions are. Some people are encouraged to pursue their callings. Others (like me) are diverted onto other paths by well-meaning parents, and still others grow up with horrible environments. Your calling is a seed within you that struggles to grow, no matter how many wrong turns you take in life. As you can imagine, if you take the seeds for a cactus and a mangrove and tried to grow them in the others' environment - you wouldn't get much growth. Because a cactus MUST be a cactus, no matter where you plant it. No matter how tenderly you care for it as a mangrove - the amazing mangrove opportunities it is provided - it will stubbornly refuse to flourish. Does this sound like you?
You will struggle to express the seed of yourself no matter your conditions. To get you started on seeing your "you-ness" they have a list of 52 common callings in six categories. You sort through and find the ones that you instinctively feel fit you the MOST. This doesn't mean you are the "best" in the world at them, just that they are what you bring to the world around you - and you are definitely the best at doing them your way. When I sorted through I ended up with my top five being:
- Advancing ideas (Investigative)
- Researching things (Investigative)
- Adding humor (Artistic)
- Creating things (Artistic)
- Solving problems (Practical)
Once I looked at them for awhile I ended up with my very top being "adding humor". When I thought about it I realized that no matter what the situation, no matter what is going on - I value humor. Both from myself and from others. So, all those cartoons posted in my cube (Dilbert, Garfield, Foxtrot, etc.) are a sign of the seed of my being struggling to push through the soil of my life. Why God thought it was a bright idea to plant a cheerful Double Daisy in the cold, hard earth of accounting, I have no idea. But here I am. For now.
The authors encourage us to emphasize whatever portions of our workdays involve our callings. And to minimize whatever seems in conflict with them. In this way, they contend, we will soon learn how to whistle while we work. Because even the dullest of endeavors can become something of a masterpiece if done with great enthusiasm. How does the saying go? There are no great acts, only small acts done with great love.
Oh, and this is a big plug - this blog posting was written from The Daily Grind on South New Street in Staunton. They have wireless internet. Stop by sometime and enjoy the coffee and sandwiches!