Monday Motivation: Does your desire for security keep you from your calling?

Admin Featured, Monday Motivation 34 Comments


I’ve written about this concept before in my post Are You Driving Your Life or Is Your Life Driving You?, but today I have a bit of a different message for you. 

Do you feel like you are answering your calling in life?

This is a big question, I realize that.

But here’s the thing: your calling doesn’t need to mean some final, end-all-be-all career or type of work that you’re doing. It can be a “for now” or a circumstantial thing. It can be an interim, on-your-way, getting you to that next stage thing. The journey – or the path you take to fulfilling what it is that you are called to do – that’s what I’m talking about.

Do you awaken in the morning with a burning passion to do whatever it is you have lined up for the day?


Yes? Great! That means you’re on the right track. Perhaps you are building a business, taking care of your kids, work at a job where you are excited and motivated every single day to achieve more, help more people, etc. Whatever this looks like for you – fantastic – keep doing it!

No? Hold up… why not? What is it that keeps you from acknowledging that this is it. This is your life – your shot to do what you want to do, day in and day out, and love it.

I know there are things that come up, tasks, responsibilities, etcetera, that we can’t avoid. I’m not talking about those things. I’m talking about making a conscious effort to choose what it is you will be doing every day.

Choose to do something that you feel is like a force of gravity pulling you into it – and you can’t deny the force.

I was making a six-figure salary at the last job I had before I decided to quit, make $0 and pursue my calling. I knew I needed to help people to learn how to be healthier, but the first time I tried it was with a meal delivery business, and it wasn’t the path for me. It wasn’t my calling to be doing the work for others. I simply wasn’t thinking big enough.

I am a teacher. I am a leader. And I have a burning desire to help others to live healthier lives by making better choices every day.

I could not deny that I was waking up every day with this passion but I was punching a clock at a job where I was pushing pixels around on a screen, surrounded by people who did not share my passion for health and wellness at all. I didn’t want to choose that environment or that career any longer.

I have a feeling a lot of folks out there are living a life that’s expected of them.

Perhaps its parental expectation – to become something or fulfill some requirements they have of you of becoming an adult. Many people are expected to move through life in an order, and without that order, that checklist of completed life-rituals, success isn’t there. You graduate college, get a job, move out, get married, buy a house, have kids, a dog, perhaps even a white picket fence?

Or maybe it’s that the people you are surrounded by are all doing what you’re doing – and maybe you even all complain about it to one another?

Maybe you just never considered an alternative? Maybe that thing you have this inner excitement about – or think you might be really good at if you tried – it just seems too scary to pursue. It seems like it should be a hobby, not a career, because you  (and everyone around you) think it’s sort of crazy to be someone who does that (gasp!) for a living!

There is absolutely a risk involved when you step even one toe off of the beaten path, explore the unexpected, or create a life that scares not only yourself, but others around you.

MM_callingShoutFear is a terribly demotivating force. I’ve seen so many people become paralyzed simply by thinking about all of the things at which they might fail in trying to take a risk, make a change, and live a different life.

Don’t get me wrong, what I’m asking you to do isn’t easy. It can be the scariest thing in the world to come face to face with the reality of hard work – and the demands that come with answering your calling.

But guess what? It’s the most rewarding thing in the world – spiritually, emotionally, and, eventually, financially. This doesn’t mean that every person who follows his or her calling makes tons of money – but it means that the success and satisfaction you find in the daily life you’ve created begins to add up to more than any dollar amount ever could.

What good is a big paycheck when you hate what you need to do every day to get it?

If you spend 40+ hours a week to earn this money, then what? You live for the weekends when you get to finally do what you want to do? I just can’t fathom this life. If this is you right now – stop and make a plan. It doesn’t mean you need to quit your job, but you sure as heck had better evaluate what it is you want to be doing.

I tend to think living up to expectations others set for us leads to a life that is paradoxically successful.

drivingYou have the money, the car, the spouse, kids, house, fancy cable tv, etc… but are you happy? Are you truly happy? Why don’t more people view joy in everyday life as a measure of success?!

So many people think that somehow things will improve, their feelings of success or joy or fulfillment will increase if they simply stay the course and continue to achieve and reap financial rewards of this path.

But if an alternate path is never considered, how do you know? I have no questions or doubts for those who are on whatever path they’re on if they say “I’m happy, content, and I feel I’m doing what it is I’m here to do in this world – in this life – to the best of my ability.” If you don’t feel this way – a chance in choice is necessary.

Do it now. 

hedgehogLGI wrote about creating a hedgehog here. Read that post if you feel you have a calling, but are not quite sure what to do about it. There are some clear cut action steps to take. I realize that many folks think to themselves “sure, I have a passion for this thing I think I should do, but I can’t just up and drop all of my responsibilities to pursue it.”

I’m not saying to stop paying your mortgage in order to pursue your calling in life.

What I am saying that you sure as heck should be making a plan for how to pay your mortgage while pursing it. You have to.


Have you taken a risk and answered your calling? 

Tell me about it in the comments below.

  • Nathan

    I love this post. It’s exactly the type of lifestyle I want to continue as I look to earn some money. I went to Uni, graduated and I’m now at a 1-day a week job in retail. On the side, I’m working on my real ambitions which is a career in design. mainly product/furniture design. (I graduated in Architecture but that’s a fairly hopeless and jobless career in this economic climate). Sure I don’t have much money, I don’t have a £20K car or somebody to share my life with, but I’m happy. I love waking up as a free man and know that I can do whatever I want today. I think a lot of people dream of this but they don’t want to give up or can’t give up the other things. It’s a lot to do with money but you can earn money doing things you love!

    It’s liberating to know that some people have the same feeling and believes about the way of life as I do. Everyone I know have a job they hate, are overweight or upset about the way the look or feel and have a huge mortgage which will only be paid if they stick to the regimented 9-5 5-day a week job. Sure they have some money, but that only means they have more to spend on material possessions and not caring at all about their health. they are still unhappy with their lives for the reason you mentioned; going to a job you hate just for that paycheque. (of course I’m biased about “being healthy” but most people have no perspective on what really matters.)

    These days, it’s like nobody takes responsibility for where they are in life or the obligations they have. Everybody else is to blame and they can’t escape the prison-like life that they have (loosely) chosen. I know how hard it is to find what you love doing, what’s harder is trying to get paid for it. Believing in what your true desires in life are is the one thing you can keep laser focused on and not be sidetracked by the voices of others. It’s about YOU! Not what society, the government, friend or family expect from you.

    Thank you for sharing this Diane.

    • admin

      Thank YOU for sharing your story!!

  • Rich

    Great post. I am at the point now where I have a plan on what I want to do, I just need to find the will, drive and make the effort. Beginning seems to be the hardest step.

  • Julie @ Homegrown Paleo

    I needed to see this today Diane! Actually, I needed to see the hedgehog post…I’m passionate about a few things but not sure what/if my calling is. I do love what the other commenter said about working with people who hate what they do so they can buy crap that they think makes them happy. Simplifying my diet led me to look towards others areas in my life that could be simplified as well. Love this.

  • Christianne McCall

    Thanks for this article! It is exactly where I am now. Hating where I work, but scared to make the jump due to $. I have 3 kids so its scary. I am persuing my Health Coaching career and just putting myself out there with emails and resumes. I will change jobs and take the step to something new and better!

  • mims

    yes, I am slowly phasing out of clincial medicine ( which I only do parttime anyway) and startign a company to help small gardeners deal non-toxically with plant diseases and pests. Talk about white knuckle, but I am almost 52, burned out on medicine and looking for a radical change. Been at least five years on the process, it takes a long time making the shift. Amyhow, I think alot of people do not have an intersection in the above Venn diagrams, meaning they stay in the expected life because they never find that sweet spot, out of no real fault of their own.

  • Tracey Delo

    I hope you don’t take this as creepy, but I feel like you and I would be great friends if we ever met :) this is just what I needed to hear!

  • Britt

    Hi Diane!! What a fitting post for my Monday Caltrain commute. I’m with ya…still not sure where to start but know I want to! I’m so grateful for your positive, helpful presence and glad you’re doing you!

  • Arsy

    This is exactly where I am at right now. I actually just put in my notice at my high tech job. I am very excited for the next phase of my life/career, but also nervous! Something you said during an interview with Jimmy Moore a couple of years ago, is what planted the seed in my head that I can actually make a change in my career, regardless of the mortgage, the family, etc. Thank you for all the positive work that you do!

  • Melissa Hughes

    What a great post! I took a risk, at the end of 2010, which has resulted in a whirlwind two years, and now has me closer than ever to aligning with my passions and identifying my “true” calling. This really resonated with me, and reminded me to appreciate the experience that has come with the risk. My husband (then fiance) and I left our careers at the end of 2010, to travel to New Zealand, with plans of moving and residing there. I was very ready to leave my (“successful”) real estate career, had thoughts of grad school, but put those thoughts on hold to enjoy the adventure of traveling with the man I had been waiting all my life to meet (and didn’t think existed…lol). We experienced a fairly traumatic earthquake in Christchurch, two years ago last week. It jolted me in so many ways. And, likely, was a large part of the stress that I believe was a catalyst for the development of my autoimmune issues. Long story short, through that process, I found “Paleo”, and, ultimately, used the Autoimmune Protocol to accomplish significant healing and resolve my health issues (rather than following the conventional medical route, with the doctors, the pills, etc). I am now happier and healthier than I have ever been, yet still can see “room for improvement”, as I work to be the best me I possibly can, and shine my brightest possible light into the world. I am just recently ready to move forward, full throttle, refocusing my “career” in a new direction and pursuing some far more soul-satisfying and meaningful dreams than my real estate career ever offered. Very exciting times! You are a complete inspiration! Thank you, for all the fantastic work you do, educating and inspiring people to lead healthier lives. It is posts like these, that have very little to do with food, that remind me what a well-rounded, complete Rockstar of a woman you truly are! Thank you!

    • CathyN

      Melissa, good for you. I am also a Realtor (managing broker and thoroughly burned out). I’m in my sixties, and in the process of changing my career. It’s very scary, but I’m determined. Your comments have cheered me on. I wish you all the best

      • Melissa Hughes

        I wish you all the best, Cathy! I know it is scary, on some level. But, I also know the determination required to be successful in real estate, so I am more then sure you will handle it beautifully!

        I will be completely honest, watching what the banks have done to our economy and country really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. After working for some of them in 2009, I got very burned out, and really just did not like what I was seeing happening. I feel like the real estate industry was a huge catalyst for the downfall of our economy.

        My passions also lie elsewhere, with food and health. While I didn’t completely know that when I “left” the business, I am so thrilled at how everything is unfolding, despite many challenges along the way. I couldn’t be happier to KNOW I am “on the right path”. I’m cheering you on in your transition!

  • DJ

    My friend Karly and I both recently decided to take a leap of faith and made a radical changes in our careers. We talk about this on our first blog and podcast episode entitled “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” at I was once afraid of not being able to support my kids or of embarrassing myself by trying something new for a career. Then as I got a little older I became afraid that I wasn’t living my life. Just doing what I was supposed to do rather than what I wanted to do. I decided to take some time off from my job as an attorney and try new things and spend more time with my daughter and my husband. I do not regret it for a single moment.

  • Jennifer St. Germain

    Great post, Diane. I really love all your Monday Motivation posts – food for our bodies, food for our minds! Thank you for being such an inspiration. I work at lululemon & recommend your book to people several times a week. :)

  • Abby

    I can totally relate to this post. I quit my job as a teacher about 8 months ago, because what I really enjoy is educating people about fitness. I am not in the fitness retail business, but I am unhappy. I am not the business owner, but just a “worker bee” who gets paid a slim hourly wage while the “Queen bee” jet-sets to foreign countries. I would like to obtain my personal training certification and become and yoga instructor, but fiances don’t allow me to do so right now. However, these are my goals and I will make them happen!

  • Lisa McKay

    Thanks for this wonderful motivational post! Gonna read about the Hedgehog now to discover what exactly my calling is…and how to go about doing it instead of dreaming about it.

  • Amanda

    Thank you so much for this post, it was extremely timely. I’m struggling with this journey myself. My husband left his corporate job last year to pursue his dream. It was a huge decision considering the pay cut, but he’s never been happier – and I’m so proud of him.

    What sucks is I feel stuck in my corporate job now. I’m left wondering – How can I follow my dream while he’s following his?

    I think I’d like to become a yoga instructor, and maybe one day open my own studio. Of course this would be a mega pay cut too.

    For now my focus is getting a new job without the hour long commute. Without the commute maybe I can still work full time while doing the yoga instructor course.

  • Jennifer

    This is a great and inspirational post! I work full-time in commercial real estate, and teach Pilates part-time, and recently got my CrossFit Certification. Fitness has always been my true passion, but I have been scared to take the full leap into the unknown and leave the security of my full-time job, until recently. Recently, I have begun to think a lot about manifesting my intentions and following through on my passion and dreams, one step at a time. As I have started to put my plan into action, be more intentful, and follow my passion to delve into fitness more full-time, opportunities have presented themselves, and doors are opening. That feeling is truly amazing and satisfying. I try to remind myself everyday that the only limits are the ones that I create in my head. Thanks again for the great post!

  • Yolanda Huber

    This really hit home for me a few years ago when I first started following you on your Balanced Bites page and I bought The 21 DSD!! I even did the exercise you recommended with the circles :)
    It helped bring me to where I am today!!! I finally started listening to “My Calling” :)
    Thank You!!

  • Margaret

    Thanks for the great post! It can be tough to create your path in your career, but it is so satisfying to feel like you’re living your strengths and helping others along the way.

  • Susan McCauley

    Thanks for the great post! It really motivated me to stay on my path of following my passion of building my nutrition practice. I quit my executive high paying job (in the middle of a recession) a year ago to go to Bauman and now as I am coming up on completion, I need to keep pursuing my dream. The lure of the money I can make doing my past career (accounting/computers) is there but I feel dead every morning when I wake up just praying for the energy to get out of bed. When I’m researching or studying or creating meal plans or working with clients, I bounce out of bed ready to take on the day. Thanks for the reminder that we need to put in the hard work and make some sacrifices for our dreams to come true!

  • Charisse

    Decided to revisit Practical Paleo tonight while watching The Biggest Loser (I’m The multitasking queen) – and first thing I opened it to was “a few words on stress management” where you ask “Do you feel like you’re driving your life?” Then I decided to hop onto the web and see what was happening on tonight only to find this post. Hmmmm… the World trying to tell me something??? LOVE you, balanedbites and Diane!

  • CathyN

    Thanks, Diane. This is perfect timing for me. What an encouraging post. I have been working to change my career (I’m 64 years old). I obtained my personal trainer certification with a view to specializing with the over 50 crowd. I have been afraid to go for it, since I’d probably be the oldest trainer in a gym, and I’m not exactly overburdened with self confidence. But you have inspired a small flame of bravery in me. I have nothing to lose, why not just do it.


  • Mary

    Inspirational, Diane! Your post came to me just when I needed to see it. I am currently in the process of transitioning from my “former calling” as an RN to my “new and improved calling” in the health & wellness space (CNC). I’m so delighted to see younger people using the word “calling.” I thought only us “Boomers” used that term. See you soon in DC.

  • Melissa Hughes

    And, might I also add – I did go check out the Hedgehog post after reading this. I found it REALLY helpful! Something I didn’t realize I needed, to help me in narrowing down my focus as I move forward. Infinite gratitude to you, for everything you do!

  • LeRoy Gardner

    Diane you may not remember but on a phone conversation two years ago you said, there will come a time when your business requires more than part time of you to reach its potential.

    We were working on trying to get you out to Elevate in Texas.

    I have not forgotten and that time came. Thanks from Katy, TX for those words as a new business owner those years ago. Keep doing what you do!

    • admin

      I remember! :) I’m so glad that I was able to motivate and inspire you!

  • Sara

    Can only agree with all the other comments, great post. I really needed to read this. Thank you!

  • Rachel

    I am a nurse and recently changed departments! I went from a very busy inpatient cardiology floor to an inpatient post surgical/stroke rehab unit!! I’m super excited. I also own a personal training business, sell Mary Kay and Doterra essential oils. I mention all this because I love the freedoms I have from owning my own businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super busy. I work one day a week at the hospital. The rest of my time is spent doing what I love: being a mom and helping others be the best they can be, inside and out! I hope to one day become a nutrition counsellor so I can further help my clients and friends! Thanks for this post :-) it was the kick in the butt I needed to keep pursuing my dreams of financial independence :)

  • Iris

    Wonderful post about figuring out your passions in life! Many of us are at that point in our lives where we have some master plan on what we want our life to be like, but have not figured out how to do it. Once we all find the power and make the effort to start doing what we want to do, we can lead a better life.

  • Nancy

    You’re so inspirational and motivating Diane! You hit every mark, everything that seems to hold us back from moving forward in following our deepest desires or dreams, for what we what to do in or with our lives.
    My husband and I started working together slowly to build up our own business. He works full time and I’m disabled with a creative mind and a desire to express myself. We have started our own jewelry design company. We make everything ourselves. After one sale to an individual who bought a few pieces as gifts, a jewelry party has been booked. A gift recipient was so impressed by the quality, that she wants to host a jewelry party. We never even imagined doing something like that! We just hoped to start a web site soon. The lovely and generous act of giving a gift, may well be what launches our little company. We’ll be forever grateful that they both felt compelled to buy our jewelry and take a chance on us! We don’t know what this may become, but just knowing that another person appreciates our creation(s), means everything.

  • Nicolas

    It’s really amazing how we have shifted everyone’s attention
    from the only thing matters in life –EATING. Yes, this might come as a
    surprise, but eating is the only purpose of life yet we have been confused from
    time in memorial. Every single animal except humans have two purposes in life 1st
    is eating and the 2nd is mating. We human however think that there is something
    else we need to do, to buy a car, to get mortgage all are things invented by
    man to profit from our hard work when indeed all we have to do is worry about
    the food we eat and the water we drink. Think about it for a second before you
    go judge this comment. Food and water is the only thing that can keep us alive
    in this planet besides air which is free. We can’t eat out car, our house or
    our clothes. Visit and like my page on facebook
    and I will soon send you my manuscript on what real living is all about. Stop
    reading so many books that only make u spend money – life is meant just to be
    lived we are the only animals who have gotten away from this principle. See you
    at my facebook page.

  • Erica

    What about leaving a job that does NOT give you a big paycheck, that does NOT fulfill me, but I am really good at it? Any advice for something like that? Even though I don’t get a big paycheck, in fact I’m barely able to survive, it is still hard to leave something that you have been well-trained for, and are good at, but do not enjoy.

    • balancedbites

      Hmm… you aren’t fulfilled OR making great money- I’m not sure why you’d want to keep doing that job. Most skills that make a person great at a job are pretty transferrable. Maybe work on your hedgehog and start looking for something new to do that will make use of your skills :)