Finding Your Calling • Prof. Jeff Thompson
Episode 110th May 2021 • How to Help • Aaron Miller
00:00:00 00:24:42

Share Episode

Shownotes

Summary

Do you feel like you have a calling in life? Is there something when you wake up each day that you feel you are meant to do? If you don't feel like you do, this episode will help you find what you're missing. We'll learn from Prof. Jeff Thompson, a professor of management and expert in calling.

About Our Guest

Jeff Thompson is a professor at the BYU Marriott School of business and the George Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics. Jeff Thompson is someone who thrives in the study of finding your calling, and he loves to ask questions like what makes a job a calling? And how do we find our calling?

Useful Links

Dr. Thompson's book The Zookeeper's Secret: Finding Your Calling is a great read.

Jeff Thompson also has a Google Scholar full of resources that will create a more meaningful work experience.

Dr. Hull company Neuroworx came from tragedy and is inspiring people every day.

Pleasant Pictures Music

Join the Pleasant Pictures Music Club to get unlimited access to high-quality, royalty-free music for all of your projects. Use the discount code HOWTOHELP15 for 15% off your first year.

http://pleasantpictures.club/

Transcripts

Aaron Conversation:

Hey Jeff.

Jeff Thompson:

Hey Aaron,

Aaron Conversation:

can you hear me okay?

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah, I can hear you just fine.

Aaron Conversation:

I just have a tendency to be kind of monotone.

Aaron Conversation:

I didn't use to be that way.

Aaron Conversation:

Like when I was, when I was in high school, I love

Aaron Conversation:

getting up in front of people.

Aaron Conversation:

I had this voice that we carry really easily and then somewhere along the line,

Aaron Conversation:

I just started becoming quite and boring.

Jeff Thompson:

You became a professor that's

Aaron Conversation:

That's probably what it was something in the air or water here.

Aaron Narration:

Hi, I'm Aaron Miller.

Aaron Narration:

And this is How to Help a podcast about having a life and career

Aaron Narration:

of meaning, virtue, and impact.

Aaron Narration:

This is season one episode one, Finding your Calling, How to Help

Aaron Narration:

is sponsored by Merit Leadership.

Aaron Narration:

Home of The Business Ethics Field Guide.

Aaron Narration:

Do you feel like you have a calling in life?

Aaron Narration:

Is there something that when you wake up each day, you feel like you

Aaron Narration:

were meant to do, if you don't feel like you've found your calling?

Aaron Narration:

Well, you're not alone.

Aaron Narration:

It's such a common desire and one that so many find unfulfilled that

Aaron Narration:

finding a calling is actually become a focus with scholarly research.

Aaron Narration:

My guest today is Jeff Thompson.

Aaron Narration:

He's a professor and a colleague of mine at the BYU Marriott school of

Aaron Narration:

Business and the George Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics Jeff's

Aaron Narration:

principal field of study is calling he's fascinated by questions like.

Aaron Narration:

What makes the job a calling?

Aaron Narration:

How do we find our calling?

Aaron Narration:

Can everyone find their calling in life?

Aaron Narration:

I invited Jeff to join me for a conversation to answer

Aaron Narration:

these and other questions.

Aaron Narration:

And I guarantee that you'll find his insights to be fascinating, and actually

Aaron Narration:

even surprising to begin, I asked Jeff to tell me a favorite story about

Aaron Narration:

someone he knows who found their calling.

Aaron Narration:

This is what he shared.

Jeff Thompson:

So the first that comes to mind is my friend Dale Hull.

Jeff Thompson:

He is an Obstetrician by training, was top of his game in the field.

Jeff Thompson:

Everyone wanted their babies delivered by Dr.

Jeff Thompson:

Hull.

Jeff Thompson:

One day though, after a day of work, he was out in his backyard,

Jeff Thompson:

jumping on the trampoline to unwind, pulled the back flip didn't rotate

Jeff Thompson:

far enough, landed on his head.

Jeff Thompson:

Heard a snap and fell.

Jeff Thompson:

Completely immobilized.

Jeff Thompson:

So as a doctor, I mean, he knew exactly what he was in for at that point.

Jeff Thompson:

And he shares that he immediately thought, okay, here's the doctor.

Jeff Thompson:

I need to see here's the, the therapy I need to pursue.

Jeff Thompson:

I'll never deliver another baby.

Jeff Thompson:

You know, I'll never be the husband and father that I've been, he

Jeff Thompson:

really felt like he had a calling in life and it was ripped from him.

Jeff Thompson:

His, story is pretty remarkable.

Jeff Thompson:

After that point, he pursued some very progressive, unorthodox therapies that

Jeff Thompson:

his insurance wouldn't cover, hired a full-time therapist and gradually

Jeff Thompson:

made some remarkable progress.

Jeff Thompson:

And over a very long period of time, got to the point where he can walk with

Jeff Thompson:

a cane can function pretty normally.

Jeff Thompson:

Still doesn't have the manual dexterity to practice medicine,

Jeff Thompson:

but, kind of the crowning moment was him being invited to pass the

Jeff Thompson:

Olympic torch to Karl Malone in 2002.

Jeff Thompson:

The Salt Lake Olympics.

Jeff Thompson:

Now, you know, when people hear about it, About Dale's story.

Jeff Thompson:

Of course, he starts getting a lot of, interest and he, he received inquiries

Jeff Thompson:

from people who wanted to know if there was hope for their loved one.

Jeff Thompson:

Know how, how did you pull this off?

Jeff Thompson:

How you know, is there hope for my child, for my spouse?

Jeff Thompson:

All of that kind of led Dr.

Jeff Thompson:

Hull realizing that he could still provide a great service to people by

Jeff Thompson:

developing his own clinic that has culminated in an organization called Neuro

Jeff Thompson:

Works has a brand new state-of-the-art really amazing clinic in Sandy, Utah.

Jeff Thompson:

They see patients from all over the Western United States.

Jeff Thompson:

When you talk to Dr.

Jeff Thompson:

Hull now, He expresses a sense of gratitude for everything that happened,

Jeff Thompson:

even though it was the most horrible thing you might imagine, he sees it

Jeff Thompson:

as the experience that gave him a sense of what his calling really is.

Jeff Thompson:

He's combined his medical expertise with a new found expertise for administration

Jeff Thompson:

and leadership, which has a, which has created a sense of passion for him.

Jeff Thompson:

That probably supersedes where he was as an obstetrician.

Aaron Narration:

I've had the chance to get to know Dr.

Aaron Narration:

Hull.

Aaron Narration:

And his story truly is heroic, but what does it teach us about a calling?

Aaron Narration:

I asked Jeff to explain why he chose to share this experience.

Jeff Thompson:

When you're looking for a calling, I mean, all of the

Jeff Thompson:

ingredients are in that story.

Jeff Thompson:

It begins with having a talent or a unique gift that you're aware of and want to use.

Jeff Thompson:

It begins with recognizing that there's a need for your talent, just as Dr.

Jeff Thompson:

Hull found a need for his expertise that he had gained through going

Jeff Thompson:

through therapy himself, and then it's gained by your life

Jeff Thompson:

experiences and how they shape you.

Aaron Narration:

Did you catch all three ingredients to finding a calling?

Aaron Narration:

This is what they were first having a talent or a unique

Aaron Narration:

gift that you want to use.

Aaron Narration:

Second, recognizing a need for your talent and third letting life experience

Aaron Narration:

guide you to using your talent.

Aaron Narration:

Now Jeff is going to explain all of these for us in greater detail, but

Aaron Narration:

I actually want to do on the last one for a moment, letting life lead you

Aaron Narration:

to a calling sounds pretty daunting.

Aaron Narration:

If it has to be through a tragic experience like Dr.

Aaron Narration:

Hull's.

Aaron Narration:

Do all callings have to come from tragedy?

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah, not necessarily.

Jeff Thompson:

I mean, ironically speaking, it can help to experience adversity because it sort of

Jeff Thompson:

, you know, equips you with understanding that other people don't normally

Jeff Thompson:

have, but it's much broader than that.

Jeff Thompson:

Callings really come, from your unique life experiences.

Jeff Thompson:

As much as from your unique talents.

Jeff Thompson:

None of us go through the same experiences, the same trials and , you

Jeff Thompson:

know, the same roller coaster of life.

Jeff Thompson:

And so a lot of time it's that uniqueness of the path that's

Jeff Thompson:

brought us to where we are that that equips us to a particular calling.

Aaron Narration:

So it isn't tragedy necessarily that leads us

Aaron Narration:

to our calling, but simply the life experience that's unique to us.

Aaron Narration:

What do you describe some far more common than the kind of journey that Dr.

Aaron Narration:

Hull experienced?

Aaron Narration:

I pointed this out.

Aaron Narration:

And so Jeff had another story to share.

Jeff Thompson:

Well, let me tell you a less, heroic sounding story.

Jeff Thompson:

I still think it's heroic, but it it's something that maybe.

Jeff Thompson:

More of us can relate to.

Jeff Thompson:

And this is a student of mine who had gotten his degree in psychology

Jeff Thompson:

at the University of Utah and was just convinced that this was

Jeff Thompson:

going to lead to a great career.

Jeff Thompson:

But as he approached graduation, he realized he just,

Jeff Thompson:

he could not find a job with a psychology degree.

Jeff Thompson:

And so he took whatever job he could.

Jeff Thompson:

His girlfriend worked for the city and she got him an

Jeff Thompson:

interview to be a groundskeeper.

Jeff Thompson:

And as he describes the story, she kind of felt like, you know, this has beneath

Jeff Thompson:

me, you know, I almost have a psychology degree, but he sort of concluded.

Jeff Thompson:

I'm going to make the best of this.

Jeff Thompson:

I'm going to take pride in what I do.

Jeff Thompson:

And he says, you know, I don't think the parks have ever looked better

Jeff Thompson:

than when I was whacking the weeds.

Jeff Thompson:

Well, he, then he graduated.

Jeff Thompson:

Couldn't find a job.

Jeff Thompson:

And someone from the city came to him and said, Hey, we've been watching you.

Jeff Thompson:

You've got a great work ethic.

Jeff Thompson:

We've got a job for someone to be a meter reader.

Jeff Thompson:

You know, it's tons of walking.

Jeff Thompson:

Would you like this position?

Jeff Thompson:

He had no other alternatives.

Jeff Thompson:

So he thought, okay, I'll be the best meter reader I can be.

Jeff Thompson:

And he did that for, I think, six months or a year.

Jeff Thompson:

And then eventually, because now he was part of the, public utility in the city.

Jeff Thompson:

He was offered another position that was in an administrative

Jeff Thompson:

role in the organization.

Jeff Thompson:

That was very low level, but he, once again, decided, okay,

Jeff Thompson:

I'll throw myself into this.

Jeff Thompson:

That led to other opportunities.

Jeff Thompson:

And as, as he talked to me about this, he said, and never in a million years,

Jeff Thompson:

would I have thought that my dream was to be the director of a public utility.

Jeff Thompson:

Now that's, that's what I'm working for.

Jeff Thompson:

He said, I've, I've found some, a place that uses my skill.

Jeff Thompson:

My psychology training still applies.

Jeff Thompson:

I'm learning new techniques that I find them very good at.

Jeff Thompson:

And I'm really invested now in building my community and making it a better place.

Jeff Thompson:

So he found his calling and maybe the unlikeliest of ways.

Aaron Narration:

If you're like me, you are released, saved to know that

Aaron Narration:

the satisfaction of a calling doesn't require something glamorous or heroic.

Aaron Narration:

I mean, after all, we can't all be founders of an incredible nonprofits

Aaron Narration:

fixing people's spinal injuries.

Aaron Narration:

And also along the way, carrying the Olympic torch.

Aaron Narration:

The second story tells us that finding a calling is actually

Aaron Narration:

much more common than we realize, listen to how Jeff describes it.

Jeff Thompson:

And this story to me is much more representative

Jeff Thompson:

of what I see in most people.

Jeff Thompson:

When they find a sense of calling it may not be glamorous.

Jeff Thompson:

It may not be something that ends up splashed in the newspaper, but it's.

Jeff Thompson:

Allowing life's experiences to lead you to the place where you can use

Jeff Thompson:

your gifts to best serve others.

Jeff Thompson:

And for most people, it comes as a surprise

Aaron Narration:

surprise.

Aaron Narration:

We generally think of surprises as good things waiting in anticipation

Aaron Narration:

are part of the fun, but finding a thing that you love to do, that's not

Aaron Narration:

something you want to wait around for.

Aaron Narration:

Describing it calling as a surprise makes it sound like finding your calling

Aaron Narration:

just comes down to luck to serendipity.

Aaron Narration:

If that's part of finding your calling, is it even possible to be

Aaron Narration:

deliberate in the way you find it?

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah.

Jeff Thompson:

Great question.

Jeff Thompson:

I'll go back to the story of my student there.

Jeff Thompson:

Cause, there was something I mentioned a few times that's really key and that

Jeff Thompson:

is with each opportunity he decided.

Jeff Thompson:

To do his very best to make it something he could take pride in

Jeff Thompson:

and frankly, something that he could use to serve other people.

Jeff Thompson:

And, and that is really the key ingredient to be on a path to a calling.

Jeff Thompson:

It's not waiting around for your dream job to land in your lap.

Jeff Thompson:

I don't even believe there is such a thing as a dream job, rather it is saying,

Jeff Thompson:

okay, here's where life has put me.

Jeff Thompson:

How can I use my very best gifts and talents to make

Jeff Thompson:

things better for other people?

Jeff Thompson:

And when you adopt that sort of approach to work, two things happen

Jeff Thompson:

first, you start to realize what you are good at and what you love.

Jeff Thompson:

You get much, you get in tune with it much faster if you're investing yourself.

Jeff Thompson:

And secondly, other people notice that and they can open opportunities

Jeff Thompson:

to guide you where you fit.

Jeff Thompson:

That's something that we so often forget when we end up in

Jeff Thompson:

a job that feels like a bad job.

Jeff Thompson:

Our tendency is to withdraw and kind of do the minimum.

Jeff Thompson:

I fell into that trap as a young employee.

Jeff Thompson:

That's precisely what to do if you, if you don't want to fight your calling.

Jeff Thompson:

So it is, striving for excellence and seeking to serve in the best way you

Jeff Thompson:

can, wherever life has placed, you.

Aaron Narration:

What Jeff just shared is a much deeper meaning to

Aaron Narration:

the third ingredient in his list.

Aaron Narration:

The idea that we need to let life's experiences guide us.

Aaron Narration:

It's not something passive, instead is taking each moment or opportunity and

Aaron Narration:

giving it our best and not just our best effort, but the best of our talents and

Aaron Narration:

abilities we have to show up in a way that reflects what we're especially good at.

Aaron Narration:

But what if we don't know what that is?

Aaron Narration:

So many of us feel like we don't have any special talents or abilities that

Aaron Narration:

there's nothing that makes us stand out.

Aaron Narration:

Jeff is adamant that that's not true.

Aaron Narration:

He's convinced by his research that everyone has some special skill.

Aaron Narration:

The trick is just knowing how to find it.

Aaron Narration:

And he knows the first place to look.

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah, I have conversation so often.

Jeff Thompson:

You start with childhood.

Jeff Thompson:

My first question will always be, what did you play when you were a child?

Jeff Thompson:

When, when no one was telling you what to do.

Jeff Thompson:

I mean, in childhood, it's like the most organic expression of our natural

Jeff Thompson:

self and most of our gifts manifest themselves in some way in childhood.

Jeff Thompson:

So, I think the challenge with finding your gift is that we overlook the ones

Jeff Thompson:

that come natural to us because it feels so naturally we don't even get

Jeff Thompson:

it, give it credit for being a talent.

Jeff Thompson:

It just seems like something we want to do.

Jeff Thompson:

And I do think childhood is like the easiest place to discern that.

Aaron Narration:

I hope this insight helps you see what your unique talents are.

Aaron Narration:

If you're not sure what they are, then they're probably hiding

Aaron Narration:

in plain sight, even something as simple as your childhood.

Aaron Narration:

Jeff went under recommend also the idea of talking to others who know you

Aaron Narration:

well, ask them what you're good at.

Aaron Narration:

He promises that a conversation like that will often surprise you.

Aaron Narration:

And now for a word from our sponsor, leading an ethical career can

Aaron Narration:

sometimes feel like navigating through a wilderness full of pitfalls and

Aaron Narration:

other dangers having good intentions.

Aaron Narration:

Isn't enough.

Aaron Narration:

What you need are ethical skills.

Aaron Narration:

The Business Ethics Field Guide leads you through the trickiest of

Aaron Narration:

ethical challenges based on extensive research involving hundreds of

Aaron Narration:

dilemmas faced at work and written by authors with decades of experience.

Aaron Narration:

The book guides you through the 13, most common ethical dilemmas that people face.

Aaron Narration:

It gives you the expertise and tools.

Aaron Narration:

You need to navigate them safely, but more than just keeping you safe.

Aaron Narration:

It also trains you to be an ethical leader that others can

Aaron Narration:

follow with trust and confidence.

Aaron Narration:

You can find the Business Ethics Field Guide at Amazon, Apple Books,

Aaron Narration:

Audible and at merrittleadership.com.

Aaron Narration:

So, if you know what you're good at and you find where you put it to use,

Aaron Narration:

then what can you expect from it?

Aaron Narration:

After all, having a calling reflects the deep desire to find

Aaron Narration:

personal satisfaction in our work.

Aaron Narration:

So success and finding it must be a source of constant bliss.

Aaron Narration:

Right?

Aaron Narration:

Well, actually there's something much deeper going on.

Jeff Thompson:

So I think it's really important in answering that question

Jeff Thompson:

to get to a definition of calling because I, I don't believe that it

Jeff Thompson:

means what most people think it means.

Jeff Thompson:

If you listen to, sort of popular media, today.

Jeff Thompson:

And there's a lot of dialogue about finding your calling in life.

Jeff Thompson:

People talk about it like a dream job, a destination.

Jeff Thompson:

You know, I finally get to where I meant to be and now we'll be

Jeff Thompson:

happy for the rest of my life.

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah.

Jeff Thompson:

That's really a distortion of what a calling means.

Jeff Thompson:

And the concept goes way, way back we're to the Protestant reformation.

Jeff Thompson:

Martin Luther described a calling as an obligation, we have to use

Jeff Thompson:

our gifts, our talents, to help and bless other people around us.

Jeff Thompson:

And idea of calling's been, been lost, been distorted to something that's

Jeff Thompson:

very self-serving self-gratifying.

Jeff Thompson:

And in my research on this topic, what we found is the people with the deepest

Jeff Thompson:

levels of satisfaction, like, you know, sort of several standard deviations out on

Jeff Thompson:

the satisfaction scale, or working in jobs that feel like a duty and an offering.

Jeff Thompson:

To other people and not something that is as self is necessarily

Jeff Thompson:

self-gratifying, it's gratifying, but that's not the point of it.

Jeff Thompson:

The, the gratification comes as a by-product of dedicating themselves

Jeff Thompson:

to something worthwhile and important

Jeff Thompson:

. Aaron Narration: A calling is a duty

Jeff Thompson:

I love this insight.

Jeff Thompson:

It's not about personal gratification.

Jeff Thompson:

It's about contributing to a higher purpose.

Jeff Thompson:

One of my favorite things about Jeff research is where he looked

Jeff Thompson:

for insights into calling.

Jeff Thompson:

Instead of looking to careers with high prestige or rich financial rewards,

Jeff Thompson:

he and his co-author Stuart Bunderson looked to zookeepers to better understand

Jeff Thompson:

what it means to have a calling.

Jeff Thompson:

It turns out that they are a group, especially motivated by their work as a

Jeff Thompson:

calling the experiences of zookeepers.

Jeff Thompson:

In fact, helped answer a pressing question that I had for Jeff.

Jeff Thompson:

What if you're calling doesn't pay the bills.

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah, there are cases where fulfilling, what you

Jeff Thompson:

believe is your calling is not going to be financially rewarding.

Jeff Thompson:

The zookeepers are kind of an extreme case of that.

Jeff Thompson:

And despite the fact that it's a hard job, it's smelly, it's exhausting.

Jeff Thompson:

It can be dangerous.

Jeff Thompson:

You don't make any money, you don't get any recognition.

Jeff Thompson:

You know, all those things that we attribute to job satisfaction,

Jeff Thompson:

despite all that their satisfaction with their work is off the charts.

Jeff Thompson:

They have this deep sense of fulfillment.

Jeff Thompson:

And for them, that is worth the financial sacrifice they make.

Jeff Thompson:

Otherwise they wouldn't stay.

Jeff Thompson:

Now.

Jeff Thompson:

I'm not trying to say that, you know, once you found your calling, you just

Jeff Thompson:

need to accept the vow of poverty.

Jeff Thompson:

Because for most of us, our calling manifests itself in many different ways.

Jeff Thompson:

I don't believe a calling is a destination.

Jeff Thompson:

I don't believe there's a dream job.

Jeff Thompson:

So if you're doing something that feels like you're calling, but it's not paying

Jeff Thompson:

the bills that the goal should be to find another place that's or another

Jeff Thompson:

application of those skills that may be, may allow you to provide for your

Jeff Thompson:

family in the way that you want to.

Jeff Thompson:

Most of us are not locked in zookeepers in a way are lucky

Jeff Thompson:

because they have a very crisp, clear idea of what their calling is.

Jeff Thompson:

But in a way they're unlucky because being able to manifest that

Jeff Thompson:

gift for them is fairly narrow.

Jeff Thompson:

For the students that I teach their skills are generally based

Jeff Thompson:

on interpersonal effectiveness, being able to organize collective

Jeff Thompson:

action, being good communicators.

Jeff Thompson:

And those sorts of skills are really, really portable.

Jeff Thompson:

And so I think most people can find their calling in many different places.

Aaron Narration:

This last comment by Jeff made me feel like a calling really

Aaron Narration:

is something that everyone can find.

Aaron Narration:

But for whatever reason, finding a calling still seems like such a rare thing.

Aaron Narration:

I asked Jeff if a calling is really just something that comes to a

Aaron Narration:

lucky few and not to everyone.

Jeff Thompson:

A strong no, well that's really.

Jeff Thompson:

Yeah.

Jeff Thompson:

I think, I think it's one of the great distortions, that comes with

Jeff Thompson:

this modern definition of calling and finding a dream job because that kind

Jeff Thompson:

of sets you up for saying, you know, you gotta be lucky if I don't land

Jeff Thompson:

the right job out of college, how am I ever going to get to my dream job?

Jeff Thompson:

Eventually, and so when we view calling in that way, it does kind of make it like a

Jeff Thompson:

fairy tale, you know, are you, are you the lucky one that found your Prince charming

Jeff Thompson:

and you know, and had, had your happily ever after because human beings are

Jeff Thompson:

infinitely varied in what they're good at?

Jeff Thompson:

That means that everyone, every, every human on the planet has some capacity

Jeff Thompson:

that's unique and coming to terms with coming to appreciate one's own unique

Jeff Thompson:

capacities, means that everyone, should be able to find a unique path to

Jeff Thompson:

contribute to the world around them.

Aaron Narration:

I'm excited to share two last insights

Aaron Narration:

that really hit home with me.

Aaron Narration:

First.

Aaron Narration:

I asked Jeff how he can spot a person who has found their calling.

Aaron Narration:

I mean, after all, he is a world expert in this to answer my question, he

Aaron Narration:

referred back to the story about Dr.

Aaron Narration:

Hull.

Aaron Narration:

When he tells his story, he always ends by saying, I'm grateful that this happened.

Aaron Narration:

I can look back at all of these circumstances and

Aaron Narration:

feel a sense that I'm, I am.

Aaron Narration:

I'm lucky.

Aaron Narration:

I'm blessed.

Aaron Narration:

Life has been good to me.

Jeff Thompson:

That doesn't mean that every moment is fun.

Jeff Thompson:

Zookeepers suffer, they sweat, they bleed, you know, they, they hurt for

Jeff Thompson:

their animals, but it's not, it's not that it's a calling in spite of those things

Jeff Thompson:

in a way it's a calling because of those things, because we're, we're willing and,

Jeff Thompson:

even in some cases eager to make personal sacrifice because the end is so important.

Aaron Narration:

I love the idea that a calling creates a

Aaron Narration:

sense of gratitude in a person.

Aaron Narration:

If you're unsure about your calling, that strikes me as an especially helpful guide.

Aaron Narration:

What work would you be grateful to do?

Aaron Narration:

I mentioned that there were two final insights that really stood out to me.

Aaron Narration:

The second was an answer to my question.

Aaron Narration:

What does the world look like?

Aaron Narration:

When everyone has found their coat and his answer completely surprised me.

Jeff Thompson:

Well, I, you know, I, I think, let me put it this way.

Jeff Thompson:

I can't envision a world where everyone is currently in their calling, because as I

Jeff Thompson:

said before, calling is not a destination.

Jeff Thompson:

I'd like to think of it more as a world where.

Jeff Thompson:

Everyone is striving for their calling who are in search of the

Jeff Thompson:

best place to use their gifts.

Jeff Thompson:

And the journey is important.

Jeff Thompson:

I look back on my career.

Jeff Thompson:

I spent a year and a half in a corporate environment that just.

Jeff Thompson:

That it's slaughtered my soul.

Jeff Thompson:

I was really, really unhappy, but I look back on that now and

Jeff Thompson:

I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Jeff Thompson:

I learned so much about myself and who I need to be.

Jeff Thompson:

So.

Jeff Thompson:

I'm not sure.

Jeff Thompson:

I really envision, a perfect world where everyone has landed in their calling.

Jeff Thompson:

Rather, I think that the richness of calling comes in the search

Jeff Thompson:

for who I am equipped to serve.

Jeff Thompson:

And if everyone is doing that and growing toward a deeper sense of

Jeff Thompson:

calling, that's a pretty good world.

Aaron Narration:

The richness of calling comes in the search

Aaron Narration:

for who I'm equipped to serve.

Aaron Narration:

What a powerful insight.

Aaron Narration:

Having a calling it turns out is not a destination.

Aaron Narration:

It's a way, it's a way of using what life gives you each day and

Aaron Narration:

improving it with your unique talents.

Aaron Narration:

I think this means when it comes to your calling, that there's no getting there.

Aaron Narration:

There's no finally making it, even if you're in a job that you love.

Aaron Narration:

If you stop searching for ways to uplift others through your talents,

Aaron Narration:

that job will no longer be a calling.

Aaron Narration:

Your calling reveals itself and how you work, not just in what you do.

Aaron Narration:

Many, thanks to Professor Jeff Thompson for sharing his wisdom with us.

Aaron Narration:

In this episode, if you're interested in learning more about his research, I've

Aaron Narration:

linked to some of it in the show notes, along with other resources that can

Aaron Narration:

help you find and stick to your calling.

Aaron Narration:

If you want to keep up with how to help consider subscribing, to our newsletter,

Aaron Narration:

which you can find it, how-two-help.com.

Aaron Narration:

You'll also find a link for it in the show notes.

Aaron Narration:

And if you've enjoyed this episode, it's the beginning of a 12 episode season, and

Aaron Narration:

we're very excited to share it with you.

Aaron Narration:

So take a moment to give us a positive review in your

Aaron Narration:

podcast directory of choice.

Aaron Narration:

That helps other people discover the podcast too, and be sure to subscribe so

Aaron Narration:

you can automatically get future episodes.

Aaron Narration:

We have some fantastic episodes coming up.

Aaron Narration:

Next time, we're going to be talking with Dr.

Aaron Narration:

Abigail Marsh, neuroscientist and professor at Georgetown and a Ted speaker.

Aaron Narration:

She's also the author of the Fear Factor, and we're gonna, I'll

Aaron Narration:

be discussing her research into the neuroscience of altruism.

Aaron Narration:

Thanks to Merit Leadership who sponsors this podcast and to our production team.

Aaron Narration:

Which included Cyndi Hall, Travis Stevenson, yours truly,

Aaron Narration:

and Eric Robertson, who did the editing and the music.

Aaron Narration:

All of our music comes from the Pleasant Pictures, music club.

Aaron Narration:

And if you want to use their music in your projects, you can find a link

Aaron Narration:

and a discount code in the show notes.

Aaron Narration:

Finally, thank you so much for listening.

Aaron Narration:

I'm Aaron Miller and this has been How to Help.