How To Differentiate Passion From Calling

Over the past several weeks, Veronica and I have been evaluating the purchase of a cabin in Northwest Montana. Our intention was to use it for exclusive leadership retreats and an extension to my business model here at StartupCamp.com

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I poured myself into this idea. Mountains, wilderness, adventure, business. They all fit at the center of who I am. So, we investigated. We flew up to view properties, we talked with locals, forged an extensive business plan, made spreadsheets and presentations, and even brought in several trusted friends to help us evaluate the opportunity.

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There were days I was ready to make an offer. Then, there were days I was on the fence. But one night, exhausted from assessment, sitting quietly in our bedroom, I believe God gave me these words:

“Don’t let what you want to do prevent what you’re meant to do.”

Whoa… I sat up. I wrote them down, and finally… I felt at ease. “We’re not doing it,” I said to Veronica. “As incredible as it sounds, I feel it’s a distraction from what I’m meant to do.” She looked at me with a confident smirk and said, “Good.”

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Well, Dale, what are you meant to do?” While I know the answer to that question, I’m not ready to share it publicly quite yet. It’s been a five-year journey of unearthing one piece at a time–similar to a delicate excavation of a priceless relic. My time will come to step into this journey publicly, but not here and not today.

However, from this experience, I have a few valuable lessons to share. Lessons I believe will help those of you struggling to differentiate the fine line between passion and calling. For those who are seeking clarity or are in need of being rescued from “paralysis by analysis.” While my points below don’t specifically address the steps in finding your calling, I believe they do offer profitable instruction to support that journey.

1. All Things Should Support Your Greater Calling, Not Deter From It.

It’s my belief that each one of you has a purpose on this planet. Something with significance and meaning. Ultimately, this is specific work to be done by you and only by you. Work the stems from your natural giftings, aspirations, and story. Sadly, many people never find it. Their inability to focus and their addiction to busy prevents them from experiencing the consistency required to know one’s self.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” But saying no to opportunities, especially good ones when they are within arm’s reach, is difficult. Developing the restraint to question and evaluate if every move is bringing you closer to your calling or distracting you from it, is laborious.

As leaders, business owners, and responsible adults we must learn to operate from a place of vision. Remember, a journey without a destination is called lost. If we aim to be wise stewards of our navigation and our time, we must clearly know our port of call.

We must leverage and shape every opportunity and choice to drive us closer to the main arena, not the sideshow.

Possessing the level of directional confidence is often found in the skill of discernment. One’s intuition to take into consideration the implications (near and far) of their actions. But furthermore, it often requires a painful “falling out of love” with an idea–to almost uninvite it from our brain. It’s this level of discipline and self-control which leads people to their life’s work, instead of busy work.

2. Just Because It’s Smart Doesn’t Mean It’s Right.

I’ll be honest; there was nothing dumb about buying that cabin. I had the business model conservatively pushing out $250,000 of profit per year in addition to the mortgage being paid off by 2027. By all accounts, this was a “smart business decision”.”But having the ability to determine the difference between smart and right becomes another important skill for those looking to live out their life’s purpose.

To make this point even trickier, you must be capable of defining what “right” is. For example, in philosophy the word “ought” has an implied divinity. It lends itself to a universal right and wrong. In other words, phrases like “should, ought, and right” are much deeper than we might realize.

As many of you know, I’m a Christian. Which means I use the Bible as the foundation for my moral compass. Now, I’m not preaching at you as much as I’m making you aware of the need for a stable, unchanging place which you can make “right” and “wrong” judgment calls. As a great writer once said:

“When the storm has swept by, the unfounded are gone but the firm stand forever.”

3. Don’t Make Decisions From A Room Without Windows, Mirrors, And Doors

At some point, we must come to the conclusion that leading a private life is a liability. If Veronica and I chose to make our decision without seeking the counsel of safe friends, I have no doubt we would be in escrow at this very moment.

Maturity reminds us that solo judgment almost always causes backfire. Instead, we must open the doors for other’s opinions, look into the mirror and confront of our flaws, and peer out the windows of our past to make use of our history. Isolation will surely keep us confused, but people and perspective will always be the protectors of our callings.

Finding our purpose is not a private ordeal; it is a complex work assumed by a variety of people, places, and experiences.

Bottom line: open your heart and mind to community. If your mission is to have vision and find a firmness in your calling, if it is to escape the common bewilderment of life, and if it is to see what most miss, then fight for the openings in the room. They are not to hold you in, but to let you out.

Final Thoughts

Passion is defined as this, ‘the willingness to suffer for something you love.’ Calling is defined as ‘the ultimate realization of a unique work.’ They are so intimately woven together that most will never identify the difference. But for those of you searching for assuredness, those looking to live ferociously in the balance, and those looking to end this life with confirmation of a fulfilled call, join me in the beautiful discovery of differentiating the two.

What about you? Have you struggled with this? Was this article helpful or do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below.

Go From Career To Calling

If you’re on the search for you calling, let us help you. My wife and I wrote these two powerful books to help others locate their purpose and create the life they want. Discover what you’re meant to do in just 21-days. Click the image below to get a copy.

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Author

Dale Partridge
Dale Partridge is the Founder of StartupCamp.com. He's also a keynote speaker and author of the Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling book People Over Profit.

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  1. Amazing Article. Thanks for Sharing Valuable information

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  2. Wow fabulous giveaway….thanks for sharing.

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  3. Makes sense. Most of us mix things up and end up getting the wrong results

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  4. Thank you sir for sharing this article and keep posting sir

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  5. Very helpful blog…Thanks For sharing..!!

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  6. Sherie N Salo says:

    This is a very informative blog. I am placing this comment so I can go back in case I’ll need this for future reference.

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  7. I love my job because its my passion.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this awesomeness, Dale. Now, I am indeed intrigued between my calling and what I am passionate about. I long dreamt of becoming a writer, blogger myself. I feel I have something to share to others but I just don’t know how to start. I am at the edge of my day work, but I sincerely am etching to write something out of my blog, though I haven’t launched it yet. It has been almost 7 months since I owned a domain. I still feel lost, because I’m afraid, I haven’t got yet what it takes to be a convincing writer. So, I kept digging and searching and looking for resources, lessons to learn from and this! I accidentally bumped into your site! Is this destiny, or shall I say, my calling?! 😉

    Reply
  9. Wesley Woods says:

    I stumbled across your content today while listening to the Order of Man podcast. Let me just say that the podcast episode, as well as this article is extremely timely for me. I am a director for an amazing non-proft organization that is having a tremendous impact in our world, yet I feel that God has something more. It’s been incredibly difficult processing and trying to find clarity in this. I can’t wait to jump in to your resources! Thank you for your heart to impact this planet in a profound way!

    Reply
    • Joe Kabes says:

      Hello Wesley,
      Thank you so much for sharing! Figuring out our next steps is often challenging. It can take a great deal of thought and prayer. I’m sure you will do great things no matter which path you choose. I’m excited for you to dig deeper into what StartupCamp and our resources and would love for you to share your thpughts!

      Reply
  10. Cynthia Barrow says:

    Before my days come to a close and I meet Jesus; I desire to know I tried to live out his purpose for my life. Even if I have to do it scared. Thank you for the above words. They Resonate.

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    • Ben Sturgill says:

      So Glad you liked it Cynthia! Keep pressing forward!

      Reply
  11. Cynthia Barrow says:

    Before my days come to a close and I get to meet Jesus; I desired to know I tried to live out his purpose for my life even if I have to do it scared

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    • Ben Sturgill says:

      Good for you Cynthia, just remember, what is scary one day, can quickly become normal and even easy in time. Keep going!

      Reply
  12. This is such solid advice! Reminds me of the verse: “All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial”. Just yesterday, my husband and I were discussing potential “opportunities” that disguise us from our real life’s work. Thanks for writing!

    Reply
    • Dale Partridge says:

      Yes yes and more yes. Sounds like you and your husband are having the important conversations, and for that, I commend you!

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  13. this article has given me clarity on what is a calling in my life and what to do to walk into it. i realize that in the past i had been so tilted to the things am passionate about, but now i have confidence in going about the unique work assigned to me by God as it unfolds in my life.
    Thank you Dale

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    • Dale Partridge says:

      I’m so blessed to hear you found this article useful. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by Kellen.

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  14. Thanks Dale,
    i love teaching others what i know, i never used to feel qualified to speak but every time i was offered a role to speak or teach i take it as a duty that is my responsibility. i take it as something i would do even if i did not have to be paid.
    I have over the years suffered for doing business. this article as i read it over and over it is helping me differentiating between what i am passionate about and what i am called to do.

    Reply
    • Dale Partridge says:

      Sometimes jumping in shows us that we’re capable of things we never thought we were. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Bobby says:

    I am open to your ideas, I have never spent much time thinking about passion vs calling. I know what I have tried so far has not turned out the way I had hoped. I was laid off from my 30 year job in 2008, I had a high school diploma and was earning 98K. I took the opportunity to get a bachelors and masters degree. Now I am making a little under 60K and have 80K in student loans. Not what I expected to happen at all, so I am quite open to new ideas.

    Reply
    • Dale Partridge says:

      Hey Bobby. Unfortunately, I’m not able to shoot off ideas in this type of a realm, but I will just encourage you to rise above your circumstances and fight in the direction you WANT to be.

      Reply
  16. Debbie L. says:

    I have always had a passion for animals (working with, helping them, raising funds for animals with cancer whose families cannot afford the treatment) and I love helping people. Prior to reading this article, I didn’t know how I could put my desire and passion together, to get where I want to go. Fear was 100 hundred feet high!

    I have been re-reading your quote “Don’t let what you want to do prevent what you’re meant to do”. I am beginning to see this as a way to help vets, technicians and the general public become more aware of what it means to have a pet companion with cancer, live a happier and longer life!

    So thanks for helping me to clear some of the brain clutter as well as “feeling the fear and doing it anyway!!

    Reply
    • Joe Kabes says:

      Hello Debbie,
      Congratulations! I’m excited for you and applaud you for your persistence and overcoming the fear of the unknown. It sounds like you are on the right track and will be doing some amazing work for the right reasons. Best of luck and keep us posted!

      Reply
  17. Ej says:

    Hello Dale,

    I thought that you gave great tidbits of wisdom, but I was honestly a little confused by the article. I feel that you should be passionate about what you are “called” to do and that should help serve as a clear indicator that you are essentially called to do IT. There is a differentiation between our calling as Christians and how to enact that call vocationally. I am struggling on the vocational aspect, but as you mentioned, it is a journey. Thanks sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey, EJ! I totally understand the confusion. It’s kind of like the difference between likes and loves, between a crush and commitment, between fly fishing on the weekends and buying your own fly fishing business. A passion can be more fluid and wrap around a calling, fitting into the open spaces or building a steady vocation while you make your life ready for your calling. I don’t think that everyone has to have a major difference between the two as I’ve expressed, because I totally agree that there should absolutely be passion in a calling! I think that might even happen fairly naturally. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Stori Ruhter says:

    I’m really at a crossroads in my life, and need to make some changes. For as long as I can remember, I have been pursuing the topic of passions, callings, careers, and personality tests to determine what I should be doing with my life. I love learning all I can about these topics, and your book “Find Your Calling” popped into my life via social media and caught my attention, so I just ordered it. I’m super excited to do the 21 Day journey, and love your writing style in the blog articles. The fact that you are a Christian makes this all the better for me. Thank you for pouring your heart into reaching out to others… life can be so crazy these days, and this is a breath of fresh air.

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  19. I am getting ready to do your webinar here pretty soon, and I’ve been exploring your website for the past few hours. I cannot tell you how much of a answer to prayer finding this has been. I have found my calling, and just took the first step yesterday towards confidently saying “yes” to God on that calling, and then finding this article has been a huge confirmation on it all. Everyone around me has told me for years to step into my calling already, but I didn’t listen and have struggled with great pain because I was afraid. Now my name is Fearlessly Observant. Thank you for this. I’m bookmarking it and sending it to everyone I know.

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    • That is such a cool way to describe your journey, Jessica! I love it. 🙂

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  20. Garth says:

    To me, one will of necessity need to be passionate in order to fulfill one’s calling. Just because we find our calling does not mean fulfilling it will be easy… passion is what can carry us to the other side when the going gets rough.

    That being said, I never found my passion as a young man, I found a job. I never even knew I could look for a calling, nor was I encouraged to do so. Now in my early seventies, I try to encourage young people to at least look for their calling… as I pursue mine… called to be an entrepreneur, not an employee – establishing a global-scale business that will stop fossil fuel pollution without destroying our economy. It’s better to wear out than rust out!!!

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  21. I’m 57 years old and know God is calling me to something. What that something is is unknown. However, I know my passion for writing, photography and other gifts will be used by Him in these latter years of my life. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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  22. I was actually JUST journaling my questions to God, yesterday, asking Him how I reconcile the fact that I have a PASSION for design, but it feels He is CALLING me to teach & write … I wanted to know why He’d give me the passion for design, but then ask me to teach/write as my career.

    So this was perfect, Dale. Thank you. I appreciate your sharing.

    Also… sooo glad to hear that you “hear” from God, as well. I have friends who swear to me that God no longer speaks apart from His word. And, while I believe that everything He says MUST align with what His word says (He’ll never contradict Himself), I also believe He still speaks to us in other ways — through people, visions, a “word”, books, etc. The key is to use discernment, and to check it against Scripture, as well as knowing you’re walking closely with Him.

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    • So glad this resonated with you, Jenn! And stoked to have you as a reader. Keep pursuing the very real presence and Word of the Lord!

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  23. Sharon says:

    Hi Dale!
    Love seeing the picture of your family at Polebridge Mercantile!
    We lived in Kalispell for the first 11 years of our marriage and had our 4 children there.
    We are part owners in a fishing cabin on the Clark Fork River in Montana. Would be great for your leadership retreats! Sleeps around 15 people. ClarkForkRiverLodge.com
    Questions, you can call my husband, Kevin at 970-227-4750.
    God bless you and your family!
    Sharon

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  24. Lemmy says:

    Thank you for this message, I was richly blessed. Do you make shipments to Africa?

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    • Thanks, Lemmy! International shipments have been challenging as of late, but we’re still shipping them out! 🙂

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  25. Alicia says:

    Dear Dale,

    Thanks for this wonderful article tonight. I love how colorful of a writer you are! Not to mention that reading an article that’s grammatically correct is always a pleasure, too. But I really love how your family, faith and commitment to helping others are quite clear truths in your life. And no doubt you’ve had this “awakening” to your calling! Congrats! It’s super scary to make a decision like you guys did, so again Congrats!! Sounds like your wife had an inkling you’d make the right decision, perhaps? All such good stuff!! Loved reading this.

    I only read through the first few comments, so I’m not sure if others have responded with similar experiences. But I, too, have found my calling recently! I was just having this conversation with a friend over lunch today, to get a well-rounded perspective of my idea, and we discussed the art of mastering yourself while working on your calling. It’s a lot for some people to take in. I mean, I can be wildly passionate with my ideas, but this one is it. This one takes the cake! And I’m so pumped. Woot!

    It’s an awesome feeling, the fright, the risk, the gratification-to-come! Eek. What a whirl-wind the journey can be! And I love how you eloquently expressed exactly what I’m processing at the moment. :).

    In slight contrast to your story, however, and being unaware at the time, I actually DID purchase the “retreat property”, only to learn later (meaning present day, three years later) that I failed again. You know those life-lessons that we repeatedly encounter, time and time again until we get it RIGHT? Yeah, that was me. But you live and learn. And the great thing is, this time I know I’ve got it right! It’s a hard thing to explain really… but it dawned on me this January which marks my 10 year anniversary in the field, which should be HUGE and I should be excited as I finish out my third year of owning the business, but it’s kind of a “meh, cool” feeling…

    There is an inevitable doubt-full and epithet-filled thought process that arises with any significant change to one’s life, but perhaps it’s exactly this dialogue that we need to overcome in order to conquer this path.. Who knows.

    Long story short, I am a fierce believer in helping people differentiate their passions from callings to say lightly (as an aesthetician, I often times play therapist, too). But something is missing. People’s problems are deeply rooted in many, many ways… But I do believe there is a way to help heal. One person, one connection at a time. With intentional truths. To help make the world a better place. Slowly but with integrity.

    I’m not sure how you feel, but I’m beginning to think that, yes, my few significant life failures, including the dream of an olympic hopeful, all shattering, literally, right before my eyes, is perhaps what kept my heart open to “my calling”. The knowing that not only am I meant for a far greater purpose than for all that I have “worked at” thus far, and not in that millennial-way, but rather feeling that TRUE and REAL balance in life. If that makes sense. Maybe that’s another paradox that us early 30-somethings are struggling with, yet another “label” to add to the many in our “PC” world. Sigh.

    Like you mentioned in another article (the one that I stumbled across that lead me to read more :)), the internet is just FILLED with, well, EVERYTHING. And anyone that has access can, as you said, write. But only the somewhat wise are able to understand the “fishy” signs. It’s sad really, and discouraging a bit. But hey, I’ve always loved a challenge.

    Just as you described in this post, “Possessing the level of directional confidence is often found in the skill of discernment. One’s intuition to take into consideration the implications (near and far) of their actions. But furthermore, it often requires a painful “falling out of love” with an idea–to almost uninvite it from our brain. It’s this level of discipline and self-control which leads people to their life’s work, instead of busy work.” First comes awareness, then commitment to face self (and any skeletons in the closet), then discipline and rot repetition of work, to build true talent, expertise, and authority. Ah, such a simple but profitable concept.

    But even the best of us can get caught in the “discipline” stages, it’s not easy. And it’s not fun. But that’s where the winners and losers divide. It’s what creates champions. And it looks like you’ve figured that out as far as directional wise with helping others launch their dreams. Rock on. As for me, I know it is time to sell the business and begin my calling.

    The painful part, you speak of? The Un-inviting part of the brain? “But why don’t you just keep the business until you get on your feet with this other one?” or “But you’ve worked so long and hard at this career, for 10 years, you really are ready to just give it all up?” Oh, I feel you. Since October of last year, I invested about 10k into the business with hopes that it would “cure” my discontent. Everyone pushing me toward making more money. But I blame my level of discernment for being very weak and my direction (which I’ve always known what it was, but lacked courage to try) was “lost” under the false pretenses of “success”.
    But that was up until about a month ago. And phew! Glad that’s all sorted out now! As you said “no” to the retreat business plan, I’ve made my decision to follow my calling, also!

    One of my favorite authors, Saul Bellow, wrote: “In the greatest confusion, there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as our education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves–to that part of us which we make final judgements and put everything together…”

    And you, Dale, have exemplified this process beautifully! I must give thanks to God that I stumbled across your blog this evening. Another one of His divine workings, surely. Gosh, I just LOVE those moments.

    And thank you for affirming (in a different post that I was reading) that it’s okay not to be money-driven when it comes to creating greatness. I’ve struggled with this “expectation” to “make lots of money” but as an empath, healer, and writer– well gosh there are so many more fascinating things in this world than money! Haha. So thank you for that! And thank you for your time with reading this long-winded comment. :).

    I truly wish you the best of luck with your newfound calling and hope that it brings you and your family to great heights and possibilities ever after. Sending you great energy for this 2017!

    Warm regards, Alicia

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    • What a journey, Alicia! Thank you for being willing to share your thought process and a sort of manifesto with me (and everyone else here!) I believe in you. Let your conviction keep pushing through your doubt. Keep crushing!

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  26. Julie Crowther says:

    This article was fantastic. We’ve been on a wild wild journey that will need to be shared one day… for now, We are wanting to revisit this concept of calling vs passion… We would love to know more..

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    • Thanks Julie. Hope you picked up our books on calling they will support you on that journey.

      Reply
  27. Amy says:

    Shared this with my colleagues and referenced it in our business meeting. Thanks!

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  28. Barbara Ariho says:

    I am reading this later but i think even the timing is right as i try to make decisions. I am especially drawn to the idea that what is the smart move is not necessarily the right one and the need for that ground or as you referred to it, the moral compass to provide a drive to differentiating calling from passion. I obviously have to appreciate how much of a struggle it will be to favor one over the other or even the complexity in making that decision.

    Barbara

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  29. Interesting read. At a place in life I am torn to make a leap or stay where I am…what do I want to be when I grow up!

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    • You are not alone – many struggle with the same process, Mehndi! Keep seeking wise counsel; keep chasing after it.

      Reply
  30. Silvina says:

    You should have, I lived in Whitefish MT for years and it is an amazingly beautiful place. I hope to someday buy a summer home up there.

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  31. Marnie says:

    When you wrote the word “exclusive” referring to your cabin business idea, I felt a little uneasy. From what I’ve read if your stuff it always seems so all-inclusive, and definitely not exclusive. I’m glad you decided against the exclusive cabin. I think you’ll be a cyber house church pastor some day.
    I love your writings, but they are only really useful if you already have that grand idea/calling. Why are there so many people like me that seem to feel like they are always just in the edge of their big break. If only they could find their calling. If only I could. I have a hundred good ideas. And why doesn’t God give you a calling that you are also passionate about? For example, if you were passionate about your exclusive cabin in the woods, if that’s what excited you and consumed your thoughts and you would obviously be very good at, why wouldn’t God make that your calling?
    Thanks for your words.
    Marnie

    Reply
    • Marnie, thank you so much for sharing that. I totally agree and am glad that God gave me wisdom to turn from it. Maybe a better idea in a better form will be given to me someday! And the newest little books I released this month definitely deal with that pain point you’ve mentioned. Check them out in the shop!

      Reply
  32. Dear Dale,
    Sorry to be one of the skeptics, but your writings are really inspirations and by nature have to be somewhat vague. But while reading your articles I get pop up for subscribing to your free book 2 to 3 times per article. I subscribed, yet still haven’t received that book, its been days now.

    Having said that I still have a lot of respect for your perseverance and I do look upto you!

    Reply
  33. Frances says:

    Thanks for the great article! I’m retiring from the military after 20+ years of service and in the process of getting to decide what’s next. First, I don’t have to jump to a job right away which is a good think and second, one of my retirement benefits is going to school using the post 9/11 GI Bill but I’m struggling in choosing my major. I’m stuck in between following my calling (I know I’m called to ministry but cannot put my finger exactly on what/where/when) and my passion (entrepreneurship.) I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting my time going to school for something that’s not in line with my purpose and calling in life; (although learning is never a waste of time, right?)

    Reply
  34. Kitra says:

    I’m not sure if I should share much here. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on my complicated life situation. To briefly explain: I’m 32, come from an abusive family, been homeless to get away from it. I have had a lot of difficulty making friends, the few I make have settled into their family/work lives. I am working full time at a very tiring job, just to keep a roof over my head. I don’t have any family, can’t go to church because of work, when I’m not having the life sucked out at me at work, I’m alone all the time. I don’t know what my calling is, I know what my passion is, but I feel helpless in making that happen. It’s hard to explain any of this here, most of my story is too dark to share publicly. Anyway, in summary, I am worn out, don’t have anyone to turn to for help and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to find a purpose.

    Reply
    • Kitra, thank you for sharing what you did and know its so hard to feel so alone in walking through the intense pressure and trauma that your life has been filled with. I know you’re capable of great things, because you’re alive. I recently wrote a book about finding your calling and knowing how to pursue it as a precursor to my next book, Launch Your Dream (which puts that plan into action.) Check it out if you’re interested: https://shop.startupcamp.com/collections/books/products/find-your-calling

      Reply
    • kerripepper says:

      Kitra,
      I am praying for you!! You are going in the right direction!! Don’t give up!! I don’t have any answers for you I am sorry to say, but I do want you to know that I am adding you to my prayer list!! Keep fighting! Its worth the fight!! I will pray that you get another job that allows you to attend a church….otherwise, get online! there are churches that have their sermons online!
      I know that it is a hard struggle (don’t have space to share) but, God will not turn His back on you!!! Stay the course! You are so loved!!

      Reply
  35. Katie Smith says:

    I want to start by saying thank you for writing this short article. I have been struggling with the word “passion” as recently I was told I am “too passionate.” My job requires a certain amount of passion, but apparently there is a fine line. In any case, I was made acutely aware that what I am doing is not what I’m “meant to do,” but have no idea what I am meant to do. It’s a tough place to be after pouring out my soul for over ten years…

    Reply
  36. I really like some of the stuff you shared in this article. Its kind of ironic by my wife and I have been in a simular boat with what we feel our calling is, to run and facilitate a ministry for pastors that are in need of encouragement and support. We have been struggling with some of the aspects of how our dream will unfold. Your post has really given me some things to think about. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for sharing this, Matthew! You’re on the right track. Best wishes with your ‘thinking’ through it. 😉

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  37. Sadie says:

    When are you going to just be a pastor already?

    There isnt anything else you could be spending your time on more valuable unless you are working on nonprofits behind the scenes 😉 You already have the money you need.. now you can work for Him. He could come any day.

    Just food for thought.

    Reply
    • Just waiting for the qualification in 1 Timothy. My kids aren’t old enough yet. Also, on a journey. But yes will be pastoring on a grand scale Lord willing.

      Reply
  38. Tony says:

    Thank you Dale for this article it’s been very helpful

    Reply
  39. Fantastic article! I think this applies far beyond business logic and into the framework of marriage and family as well. As a mother I can easily parent from passion, that comes natural to most moms. But parenting from calling, toward that unique vision I have for my family, in light of my specific God-given strengths, requires an entirely different disciplined effort. Thank you for articulating that so well!

    Reply
    • Such great feedback, Katie! Thank you for sharing how this uniquely impacted you. I appreciate it.

      Reply
  40. Miranda Schmitt says:

    This is such a difficult concept to differentiate between, and still I struggle with finding what the difference means to me personally. I’ve had a wonderful concept for a business idea and have thought as it fulfills my passion. Thank you Dale for writing some guidance on how important it is to understand your passion(s) and life’s calling.

    Reply
  41. Julia Adams says:

    I love how you always bring the concept of ‘busy’ up. This is something I constantly find myself struggling with and getting sucked back into.
    Thank you for your consistency and your wisdom; and for sharing your faith on this platform.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Julia! I appreciate that. Glad this resonates with you. Keep pushing for consistency. You’ll find it!

      Reply
  42. Marlena says:

    Hi Dale,

    Just wanted to say thanks for writing this article. Over the last few weeks I too have been struggling to choose my direction and feeling like I’m at a fork in the road between passion and calling. still figuring it out but this article was helpful.

    Reply
  43. WP says:

    Loved the article. I think one specific thing stood out for me personally. This idea of “falling out of love” and “uninviting” the idea from your brain…..as maybe a way to fine tune it somehow. I am definitely in that phase. Have overanalyzed and overthought to a point of exhaustion. And slowly….I have felt some erosion take place. After also reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”….I have wondered if my muse was leaving. But I will think of it differently because of what you have suggested here. I will consider this idea that the temporary questioning/letting go….is only meant to strengthen it in the long term. THANKS!

    Reply
    • Its so great to hear that this article has assisted you in your processing. Keep going!

      Reply
  44. Anais says:

    So many successful people share how you must overcome every obstacle and simply drive, drive, drive towards your end goal – with blinders on – 100% determined to succeed no matter what the cost along the way. It is refreshing to read your words, a successful man, who admits there is room for a change of heart and re-direction during the journey.

    My question is, how do we know the difference between an obstacle we are meant to overcome and learn from, something that we were meant to experience in order to grow, and a deterrent that is detracting from what we might think or believe is our calling?

    Reply
    • Mike Hansen says:

      Of course a big part is knowing the calling. Then evaluating what’s in front of you. Obstacle: it contributes to the calling and will ultimately move you toward it. Deterrent: go around, and leave behind because by nature it will move off the path in some way.

      Knowing the narrow scope of your calling seems key to knowing how to handle what arrive in front of you. This article is a great place to start in not towing down the scope.

      Reply
  45. Misty says:

    Awesome! Thanks for this 🙂

    Reply
  46. Summer says:

    Perfect. Exactly what I needed in a nice, shirt, quoatable. Thanks!

    Just considering a cool option that would def. keep me from pursuing something else-the thing I think might be my calling, and is certainly my passion.

    Reply
  47. Lisa says:

    This subject is right where I am! I have been out of work for some time now, and in looking to find the right job, I realize I want to find my purpose! However, I have no idea what it is. I have applied for literally hundreds of jobs, and God has not given me one of them. I am at the place where I think it’s safe to assume he has something different in mind for me, but I am floundering around trying to figure out what it is. I have always had a desire to own my own business, but I don’t have a brilliant idea or a passion that is a viable business idea. It is good to know that you have found your purpose and mine is out there somewhere.

    Reply
    • Keep pursuing your passions, Lisa! Don’t doubt in their viability. If you have a desire to own your own business, walk in that direction. Seek some consulting, because your great idea might just be waiting in someone else’s brain.

      Reply
    • Paula says:

      I am right where you are, Lisa! I have also been out of work for some time, applied for many jobs but none have gone anywhere. God has always supplied my jobs in the past and I know He will again this time, but I have no idea right now what it is. I would love to own my own business, but what is it? There is something out there for me but it feels just beyond my reach right now. Thank you Dale for the article – just more confirmation that I will find what is next for me.

      Reply
      • That’s awesome, Paula! I’m so glad this article could be confirmation for you. Keep pursuing it!

        Reply
  48. LC says:

    Well said, Dale. You speak with wisdoms beyond your years.

    So how does one know what he/she are meant to do?

    Look forward to your reply.

    Thank you,
    LC

    Reply
    • Thanks, LC! I appreciate your words. I have a book coming out soon about figuring out what you’re meant to do, or finding what your calling is, and that might be a great support and answer to the questions you have.

      Reply
  49. Veronica Ramirez says:

    Thank you so much for these words. They have blessed my heart. A subject I have been meditating on the past few weeks and like you said it has been a struggle to detach myself from what I want, to what I am called to do! Great confirmation from the Spirit through your words. Thank you Dale!
    Veronica

    Reply

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