Maybe It’s Time to Find Your Calling
A lot of people are worried that their jobs will be taken over by artificial intelligence (AI). According to a 2018 Harvard Business Review article, while the concern is widespread, this outcome is not so likely – instead, AI will probably be integrated into organizations to assist humans in their work.
Yet even the prospect of being assisted by an AI that can help you understand your work tasks or perform them more efficiently can feel like a blow to our egos. Why is that? Well, for those of us who are still working, our jobs are not just an economic prospect – they are, to a large extent, the way we define who we are and what we have to offer the world.
This is exciting to me – AI collaborators and work replacements are likely to create a revolution in humanity as we use this opportunity to really understand our soul’s work. What do I mean by our “soul’s work”? I mean our callings – the work we feel called to do – which, in the most general sense, is the work we do when we are being our authentic selves. Our callings are our true work in the world – and may have little or nothing to do with our jobs.
Since the early 90s, I’ve made a habit of asking people I’ve met some version of these five questions:
- What does a “calling” or your “true work” mean to you?
- How do you define your calling?
- What is the earliest experience you can remember that relates to your true work?
- What do you do when you lose faith in your calling?
- Knowing what you know now, what would you say or do if you could go back and talk or be with your younger self, when you had that experience?
Actually, that’s not totally true. I’ve asked many people the first question and some the second one, but only a few could answer that one. Of the ones who could, I’d ask the final three questions.
Over time, I learned a lot about what people mean by a calling, and I saw people struggle with defining and pursuing their callings productively. As a scientist not trained in any way to examine human callings, I decided I would turn the scientific process inward to do so. I started creating experiments and exercises for people to use to do the science of their soul’s work – to discover, energize and engage their callings.
The result is my new 12-week program that takes what I call a “deep scientific method” approach to defining and implementing your true work in the world. That approach is based on the basic steps that I think all empirical scientists use in their experiments. The introduction of my new book, The Calling: A 12-week science-based program to discover, energize and engage your soul’s work, says it best:
“Most of us have been taught that the scientific method is a relatively boring set of steps that we should memorize and maybe try to use the night before we have to turn in our lab notebooks for some high school chemistry or biology course. Develop a hypothesis, test it by running an experiment, observe the data and form conclusions, and try to write down what we think the teacher wants to hear.
This version of the method is remarkably powerful, of course. But it’s not the heart of the scientific method in its original form. It’s not what I call the deep scientific method, which I believe is used by virtually every scientist who actually does experiments and creates models. The deep scientific method is way more fun and way more powerful. It’s based on the idea that what scientists do is discover and learn to understand processes, not things. In other words, scientists are always studying change, and trying to understand change.
The deep scientific method goes like this:
Define a process you’re interested in,
Energize the process by building a model of it, and
Engage the process and watch it change the world.
The deep scientific method is magical. It is play with a purpose. This kind of play doesn’t just help us harness chemical transitions, predict astronomical events, and cure medical conditions. It can also be applied to the processes we are focused on here: self-actualization and self-transcendence.”
I hope you can join me in this important work. If you’d like to learn more and read what people are saying about the book, please visit the website at TheCallingProgram.com.
Julia Mossbridge, MA, PhD
In addition to being the founder and research director of Mossbridge Institute, LLC, Dr. Mossbridge is a Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a Visiting Scholar in the Psychology Department at Northwestern University, the Science Director at Focus @ Will Labs, and an Associated Professor in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her focus is on teaching and learning about love and time, and she pursues this focus by speaking about love and time, leading projects, conducting research, and coaching technology executives and engineers.