« Advanced Secret of Success -- Be a Contrarian | Main | Government Statistics »



Well said! Couldn't agree more! Keep up the awesome posts (whenever you feel like it, of course).


If anyone has pointers for me, please let me know via email.

I've been in the same field for 13 years now. I've known for 2 years that I want out. My situation is one where I am absolutely crippled by TOO MANY interests. So many that I have no idea what might actually last a few years. I am not a scattered person, but I am so interested in learning (at least cursory) so many different things, that I am blocked and feel like I am going to perpetually spin my wheels. That is, I will continue to cram my non-work time with happiness, learning, exploring and my work time will be well-paid misery like so many others.

It's occurred to me over the last week, and I don't know if such a thing exists, that I seem to need a talented coach's help specific to this matter.

I've read so many books by this point, including the author's, that I could start a store dedicated to them (and no, that's not what I want to do).

I need a Life Transition Personal Trainer and Consultant. No, not another psychiatrist.

Mark R. Brown

If you took the ACT test (and the majority of college-bound students do), then check the backside of your score report for the 'World of Work' analysis. ACT takes the answers to all of your 'Interest Inventory' questions, mashes them up with your high school grades and your ACT scores, and comes up with a pretty good analysis of what you'd both enjoy doing, and actually be good at doing, out there in the real world.
Disclaimer: I work for ACT. And yes, I enjoy it and am good at it. :)

Melanie Fuscaldo

I loved the exercises for finding your calling! Thanks. As a Life Transition Coach I have a passion for helping people live their dreams--in career, retirement, health and relationships. I use exercises like these and suggest ways to eliminate self sabatoging behaviors--like not being able to move forward because of too many interests etc. ( We all sabatoge ourselves in various ways). Finding our own unique interests, skills and values is a first step in the process of moving into work that brings us joy. And what a difference that can make in our lives and the lives of those we connect with!


I find it difficult to take money for my skills and talents. Although I forward news and in depth infos to a list of 115 people for years now on a daily basis I feel too shy to take money for it. I am afraid I will lose friends, nobody wants to pay for it, etc.

Any advice?


I find it difficult to take money for my skills and talents. Although I forward news and in depth infos to a list of 115 people for years now on a daily basis I feel too shy to take money for it. I am afraid I will lose friends, nobody wants to pay for it, etc.

Any advice?

june darling

Fred, I came here after reading your deceptively disguised DEEP book - outstanding and profound - I thought it was going to be a few quick thoughts and laughs. What a wonderful surprise. I wasn't expecting a blog - my first experience with one. What I DID want to know was more about Soma Press. I have a coaching book (almost completed) that I would like to self publish or get published which is in COLOR (lots of original art). I find that's a problem because of the expense in copying. I got the idea that you had experienced some difficulties in getting your book published and were going to help other authors by starting some avant garde type of publishing company. Did I misinterpret that?

David Salahi

Along these same lines, Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness, has a web site (http://www.authentichappiness.org/) that has a free questionaire you can take that is designed to help you determine your key strengths. There are over 200 questions so set aside some time when you go there.

Highly recommended.

David Salahi

David Heath

I am 42 and unemployed on a little island of the south coast of Australia. Some may say that since I have nothing to lose then it is the perfect time to start a new career. Well my problem is that nothing I am interested in makes any money down here. And even if it did I have almost no resources to start following my dreams anyway. Any career change requires training and training costs money. You guys in the US should understand that. I feel hopelessly and uterly trapped. I am even forced to use free internet access at the local welfare office to get this online because I cannot afford it at home.


I'm sure low-education, low-income single moms who suffer sexual harrassment all day at their low-wage waitress jobs will be deligthed to learn that "at the intersection of their passions and talents, there should emerge a service, or a product, or an artwork, or a body of information that can be spun off commercially."

Come on everyone! "Pursue your passions!" I'm sure the garbage will pick itself up and hotel bathrooms will clean themselves magically too.

Fred Gratzon

Let me get this straight, Terry. You seem to be suggesting/advocating that the purpose of life is for everyone to do stuff they hate so that it creates more unpleasant work for other people to do. Then everyone is equally unhappy, unhealthy, and unfulfilled. Plus the real benefit is that those poorly educated single moms who suffer sexual harassment, the ones you seem to be championing, can continue as low-paid waitresses. Geez, Terry, what a enlightened vision!


Come on Fred... Of course I don't think that "the purpose of life is for everyone to do stuff they hate"; that's misrepresenting what I said.

I find it irritating and contemptuous when gurus come up with solutions that boil down to "if you don't like your life, just change it!" Jeez, thanks for the tip, Einstein.

Like it or not, there are people who hate their life and cannot change it for various reasons, most often because other people depend on them. For example, taking a break to go back to school is often impossible for them. They play the cards they're dealt and try to be as happy as they can be.

Suggesting that 'eveything is possible, you just have to put your heart into it and follow your dreams' is, for 99% of people, a dangerous and hurtful delusion. It's best to learn to appreciate what you have and, whenever opportunity presents itself, better your life as much as you can.

Fred Gratzon

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .

Hiren Shah

Interesting. It's good to see somebody try and be so specific in something so vague. HRD consultants in 28 countries, Morgan and Banks say that the maximum problem are with Nische people who are good at a few things.

New ways must be found out to discover one's vocation in life as it has to do a with a major part of waking life and the reultant discontent can permeate other areas of life. Since it has to do with basic happiness, there should be a movement all over the world to ensure that each person finds his calling in life.

I myself wrote a couple of articles which have appeared in India's best spiritual magazines. Here is a link to one of them - http://www.lifepositive.com/Mind/work/work/job-satisfaction.asp. I also have a blog by the name "Make your passion your profession" which is there in the link below.


I need a project on way to success. Can u help me?

Mark Jones - The Life Calling Coach

Hey Fred - I've noticed in my work with people that you need more than just a list of passions, gifts, and unique aspects of your personality. My life calling formula includes the following:
Your dreams + Your passions + Your emotional wounds + Your meaningful mission = Your Life Calling

What I've found is that if you neglect the later part of this formula from the equation you are often unable to overcome the internal inertia that plagues most people who set out to start a career based on their dreams and passions. Hope that adds some spice to this dialogue. http://www.artofthesoul.com


"First, make a list of all your gifts. In other words, what talents or characteristics do you possess that are special? What makes you unique?"

If I knew what my unique talents, my meaningful mission, my characteristics etc. were, I had no problem of finding my calling. This is exactly the problem. How to answer the question: what are my talents etc? So please tell me how to figure this out!!!


Well its nice to know u have to list the things you are good at then try to do them more often...someone once told me if I use my talents more often they become skill which i would be happy,,working with...well how do I really get started


How do I really get started?

Well, what is holding you back?

In the end it comes down to lack of commitment, the final push.

Here is a drastic metaphor:

You can read all the books about committing suicide. In the end you have to jump from the bridge if you really want to die bad enough.

Same holds true with starting a business. When you want to start something new it's a completely new thing you never experienced before and which you can't train or learn without actually doing it anyway.

So how do you get started?

You have to jump. That's "all" you have to do.

Download a sample business plan and copy it.
Do the research in your field of interest.
Do the math.
Look for vendors.
Propose your business to all your friends and their friends. Call prospectie customers.
Register a domain.
Buy a website (don't do it yourself - use your time for selling your product).
Get business cards.
Write a list with all to-dos and goals. Prioritize.
Do one step at a time.

If you do all this you're already "in". And as soon as you're "in" you'll be doing whatever it takes automatically.
Good luck!

kristian hahndel

hey great blog,
i been personally involved in human development for many years and i am absolutely passionate about improvement, in my life and the lifes of others. I love your post and the strategy to identify peoples own calling. I can honestly say that this can benefit alot of people. Thankyou. I love to share my own personal experiences in my blog over here if your interested.


Hello, my name is Kristy. I am 26 years old. I am as lost as they come. The reason why I say that is because I have been like this for a long time. I recently decided to go back to school (yay me). It was all fine and dandy but I ended up withdrawing because I wanted to change majors and I moved outta state and now I am even more confused to where I want to go. I mean I know that I want to be a criminal investigater, but as for where I want to reside is impossible to figure out. Let me give you an idea of why I have such a dilemma. I also have a 6 yr old daughter, in Nebraska. She lives with my folks.(long story)She has been there for almost 4 years. I just recently decided that I am ready to take on motherhood again, but I am torn between where to live and how to make the transition of her with them to living with me and being a family once again. I am in Chicago and I just feel so lost and cant find my way back, I want my life back, I have been off track for about 3 yrs now, ENOUGHS enuff, ya know. I need some advice, Please give me any kind of input. How do I make this all right. Oh another thing, my mom and dad support me on bringing my daughter into my life, but it is going to be very hard for them, which is understandable, but I dont want to hurt anyone, thats kind of why I have stepped away, but I knew this day would come eventually. Anyways, you see what I mean? I need some much needed advice, thanks, I appreciate whatever you can throw my way. Thanks again, Kristy


i am a girl,age 17. my problem is my parents and my other family member did not encourage me to choose what i want to be. i am so stessful with this. can u please help me, i really want to success in my life with doing what do i like.


If youre in UK based check out careershifters.org - i attended a one eve group session in London which was a good starting point and fairly priced. It wont solve all your career issues but a really good starting and being with other people with similar dilemmas is really comforting.

Artists Way by julia cameron is an interesting book (not just for artists but helps open ur mind.

Evening classes in general are a great way of trying new things without committment and exploring possibilities.

Its been a long long ride but after working on spreadsheets for years and years and not knowing what i wanted to do, im goin back to art college and working PT in a design firm doin admin -

hope this helps


To the girl who is 17, first of all chill out and stay positive.

IF there is no way out of your situation..and if you are forced down a professional route which is not your first choice... you can still use it to your advantage when you get the chance to follow your dream. Before you know it, you will be an independent adult so at least try and do little bits towards it every day on the side, in preparation for when you are living your dream.

I was in the same position as you a long time ago, and funnily enough the skills I was forced to do gave me a competitive edge in the job market for my dream career.

so hang in there....


I have always believed that childcare was my calling, however I have a few barriers in my way that prevent me from working with children in a childcare setting or in home services. I have a disability and I also have one arrest record that seems to never disappear.
Its really hard not having a career, I just sit at home and avoid the fact that I have a degree in something I can never do. I don't have parents but I do adore children I would like some ideas on what else I could do with my time.


@Jeff - its ok, your condition has been identified and recognised: you are a "scanner" (and what a relief it was when I found out that that was what I too was "suffering" from!). All is revealed in a book by Barbara Sher called "What do I do when I want to do everything?" (ISBN 978-1-4050-9341-2). There are many variants of scanner (I'm a "cyclical scanner" myself) and this book gives good advice on living with this unusual approach to life, which is often seen negatively by non-scanners, which makes scanners feel bad about themselves. But never fear, this book helps you see that we are quite remarkable. And there are tricks you can adopt to make life a bit easier.


@David Heath. Hi there! Your situation does sound a bit dispiriting, but as soon as I read your post I was immediately interested in "I wonder what its like living on a little island off the south coast of Australia?" So for you its a dispiriting place, an everyday place, but for me in dark, cold, autumnal England it sounds a bit like one of those desert islands from kids books of adventure.

If you're a bit "down in the dumps" it might be difficult to re-frame your experience to get a handle on how exotic it sounds living in a place like that, but clearly here's somebody who's interested in where you live, and who would love to know more.

I'm not saying that answering the interests of people like me would give you an instant home business, but websites like Google's Blogger would allow you to tell the world about your island at no cost to yourself, which I for one would love to read.

Maybe you could look at maps.google.com or maps.live.com and find your island on their map of the world, and then put in a digital pin there, and put the link in your blog, so people like me could see exactly where it is.

Don't know what to write about your island? Well I'd be interested to know how the heck I could possibly get there. Is there a daily ferry? Which port does it leave from? How long does it take? How much does it cost? Do big airliners land there, or is it a little airstrip with little planes? What things do the tourist office arrange, e.g. fishing, snorkelling, whale watching? Which part of town has the budget accommodation, and what sort of prices do they charge? Does the national Australian Tourist Board mention your island as a potential destination for people like me visiting from England, or is it a secret hidden gem? What are the names, addresses and phone numbers of the bed and breakfast places, and do any of them have web addresses I could look up here? Can I stay on a farm there? Can I go on guided trips into the bush? Can I see sheep shearing on a ranch?

What do the international travel guide books say about: (a) your part of Australia; and (b) your particular island (e.g. Lonely Planet guides) - is it shown on any of the maps in those books?

All I'm saying is you're sitting in a place that is of interest to people in other parts of the world, and you could become seen as the key person who knows about it, and maybe some way of earning income will appear as a result of telling people about it. Its just an idea.

You can also type-in information about your island at a website called: http://www.virtualtourist.com/

Click on CamKC to go to my webpage.

Don Weyant

Napoleon Hill once wrote that the key to success is for you to "find out what you really love to do, and then find a way to make a good living doing it."

What mission objective lies within your heart? What principles and values are guiding your life? Who do you feel called to help? How can you step into your power and start doing that?

Stop thinking in "this OR that" mode and instead think "this AND that.When you join them together, your passions and expertise will create a business or career that satisfies you and is as one of a kind as the prints on the end of your fingers.

Yes, this is a big subject for any blog, but just one more thing to add. Even after you find your passion, never stop learning. You can always excel more when you put your knowledge to good use.

Jason Webb

Great post and ideas! I’m going to share this with the rest of my team as we work more with enterprise-level clients.

Thanks and Regards/-
Jason Webb


For sure, this is the most important thing. to find your calling is everything. It is the first condition which will bring you to success. You should love your work. There is no other way.


You know, it is the most difficult task to do is to find out what you like doing most of all. sometimes we like to do something but when it turns into our constant work we get bored from it and want to do something else again. For me, this is a very difficult task. But I'm working at it.


I want to become a motivational speaker! Your article is so empowering and practical! I created the lists and it really feels right. I'm gonna put all this into action and do what I love! :)

May all your desires be realized in this world.



Very good post. After years of working somewhere I hated, I finally overcame the fear of change and made a career change. Now I do what I love and am good at.

Thanks again for sharing.

Joe Barnes

Some great ideas for finding your calling. In agreement, I would add that a person may have a few different 'callings'throughout their life time. Don't just get hungup on one.

Fred Gratzon

I totally agree. I see each step as part of a grand evolution.

The comments to this entry are closed.