(#152) P.T.M.: What Is Your Calling?

No matter what we do,
we owe it to ourselves, the task at hand, and the people around us
to do it with pride and integrity.

I started class this past week by showing a slide with three letters:

During the final semester unit of material for my student success class, I orchestrate a number of activities to encourage my students to dig a little deeper, ask themselves a few more personal questions, and continue to consider what calling they are preparing themselves for in life.

I always find this unit as motivating and enlightening for me as it is for my students.  Each time I lead them through the exercises, I am rejuvenated.  They remind me to reflect on what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what adjustments I need to make (or not make).

I encourage you to take a few quiet moments and do the same exercises.  They can help find perspective. Are you following your passions?  Are you playing to your strengths? Do you recognize our talents?  Are you honest about why you do what you do?

Here is the sequencing:

1. Divide a piece of paper into four equal quadrants. Label them as such: likes, dislikes, strengths, and challenges.  For my students, I prompt them to begin with things such as classes they like (and why); the classes they do not like (and why); the types of people they like to associate with and those they wish to avoid; what environments energize them (or drain them);  their preference (avoidance) for conditions like change, stability, continuity, and flexibility.  Similarly, they list strengths and challenges such as characteristics that have fostered their growth (or hindered their growth); ability to collaborate; success as a self-starter; and problem solving capabilities.

James Barker/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

James Barker/

The culmination of this activity: “Based on my likes and strengths, I would like to study a college major that allows me to _____.” Based on my dislikes and challenges, I would like to avoid a college major that requires me to _____.”

You may find it more appropriate to relate this to your career field—especially if you feel like you are floundering now.  When you are done, identify any insights you might have had.

2.  We then review a list of some 25 or 30 job characteristics that I title as “Values at Work.” In short, they review the characteristics and check whether each is of high importance, medium importance, low importance or no importance when it comes to a future career.  The items listed for them include advancement, autonomy, collaboration, status, high salary, tranquility, change, security, and achievement.

For you, list the values that are most important to you in your calling.  What must you have?  What is not that important? What are your non-negotiables and your negotiables when it comes to a career? Do they exist in the job you know have? If not, what can you do about that? Any insights?

Image: digitalart/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: digitalart/

3.  I then ask students to make a list of their talents—what do they do well?  This is followed by a listing of their passions—those thing/activities/conditions that excite them? What do they love to do? Do the lists of talents and passions coincide?  Are they different?  Any insights?

4. Back to P-T-M.  I place a Venn diagram on the board of three intersecting circles. I label one circle PASSION, one circle TALENT, and one circle MONEY. I explain that at times we can pursue a career because it pays us well for a talent we possess; however, we may have no passion for this work.  At other times we might have a passion and talent, but the money does not follow.  The sweet spot for a calling, I maintain, is when we can find the intersection of all three circles—when we do something we have a passion and talent for AND someone will pay us to do it! It is not always possible. It is, I believe though, a worthy goal.

The Intersection of P-T-M:
The Sweet Spot!

As I said on this blog before, “The reminder for me is that no matter what we do, we owe it to ourselves, the task at hand, and the people around us to do it with pride and integrity.”

Video recommendation for the week:

A powerful story of one man who has thrived regardless of challenges.

Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!

 On May 4, I will offer a special Saturday edition webinar. Click here to register now for “Habits of Well-being and Balance.”  Or go to my website for registration information. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli).  If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Make it a wonderful week!

 Check out the new “Updates” feature on my website.

 ©2013. Steve Piscitelli.

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
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3 Responses to (#152) P.T.M.: What Is Your Calling?

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  3. Pingback: (#205) What? Why? How? | Steve Piscitelli's Blog

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