“Making the work you want to make means finding nourishment within the work itself.” -David Bayles and Ted Orland, from Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
I think that this quote is quite relevant to my notion of heeding your calling. The thing that I feel called to do is writing. I gave up on writing for quite some time because I was trapped by the illusion of overnight success. I felt like I was working my butt off for little to no gain. I was failing to appreciate the journey I was on. I deviated from the path I was meant to be on because I had this stupid idea that I ought to be making money RIGHT NOW because I’m a talented writer.
Nothing happens instantaneously. Success does not go hand-in-hand with instant gratification. The need for instant gratification will drown you, your calling, and your innate gifts in a quagmire of frustration, resentment, and it will cause you to give up.
Don’t concern yourself with external pressures. People may say that you shouldn’t consider yourself successful until you’re making money at whatever you’re doing. I disagree. I think that you should only consider yourself successful if whatever you’re doing fulfills you spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you don’t walk away from your work feeling a positive charge–a spiritual boost–then you aren’t doing what you’re called to do.
Don’t confuse your calling for a way to make “easy money.” Do what you’re called to do for its intrensic rewards. Do it because you love it, and the rest will come when the time is right.