What stage are you at in having clarity about your calling and purpose? If you have clarity can you recognise which components you have already and which you don’t?
Firstly, imagine the process you would go through in baking a cake. The first step is that you would decide what type of cake you are going to bake.
For some people I coach they come to me with no idea what type of cake they are baking. In other words they do not have a long term life vision and have no clarity about their life purpose. Why is this part important? Without knowing the type of cake, it’s impossible to have a recipe and know which ingredients to prepare. In the same way without knowing your life purpose, how can you know what activities you should be doing now and how to prepare.
A life purpose combines not just what you plan on doing, but also how you plan on being. These two enable you to plan a process which lines up with your core values on getting there; In other words its, not just about the cold hard description of the job role, but the whole picture of your life. So the first step is to decide on the type of ‘cake’ (your vision).
Building a life vision by the very word ‘vision’ points towards having a visual description. Think about these questions. Where on the planet do you envision yourself being in your life vision? What will the group of people you’d like to serve? What needs do you burn to address? What type of environment will you be working and living in? What will your typical week look like? What type of role will you have? What family and friends are around you? What type of people will you be working with? What will the out workings of your vision look like? What will be built? What is your emotional response to it when you visualize it? What makes you feel most proud and satisfied? Where is God in the midst of it all? What will be left behind long after you leave this planet?
Becoming specific in imagining possible answers to these questions and many more, helps you build a clearer vision and decide what type of cake you are baking.
Working back from that now, think about what ingredients you need in order to create this. It is surprising how many of us firstly have not decided on the type of cake. Without knowing this end goal how on earth can you begin to know which ingredients to buy and prepare. The ingredients are like the components of your life that you put together in order to get you to the end goal.
Sometimes I meet someone who has real clarity of their vision but they have not taken the time to really clarify the ingredients they need to create it.
The ingredients of a life vision contain vocational and life skills that you need to develop in order to build your vision such as; people I need to partner with, knowledge or experience I need to gain, skills or spiritual strength. You may well be aware of which of these you have and which you need. But also most of us have blind spots. Sometimes we may have highly developed skills in a particular vocational area and we know we are an expert, but there is a screamingly obvious character or other flaw which is holding us back. This could be blocking the favour we need to move us forward. I have a coaching tool I use to help people assess their readiness once they know their life vision. I call it the skills wheel, and it assesses ‘readiness’ in both vocational areas and other life and spiritual areas.
Once you begin to realise you have most of the ingredients you need and you know which type of cake you are baking oh what joy! Next is to discover which ingredients to combine, in what order and by what method. Knowing our next steps really is as simple as baking a cake sometimes. We just need to know which ingredient to use next and how to combine it all. Many times the order is not important, other times it is.
So in reading this what stage do you feel you are you at? Firstly, do you know what type of cake you are baking? In other words do you have clarity of your life vision and purpose? Clarity will mean you have language and can articulate it in a way that you understand and connect with it in your heart.
Secondly, have you figured out the ingredients or components that you need to create this life vision? Maybe you know some of them but not all? Could you go to a wise friend or coach to figure out what you have and what you need? How confident do you feel that your list of ingredients is complete? This is a journey so don’t be embarrassed about not having all the answers. But it is easier than you think to get there.
How you start to combine the ingredients together to get the cake is part of life’s wonderful interesting and intriguing journey. It may not be as you think. The end result will be somewhat like your original vision but you may end up cooking some other cakes you did not expect, or the cake may end up looking quite different to what you expected. The most important thing is that you are on the journey and not stuck! Purpose and vision combined with practical application is a powerful combination. So as long as you are in the process of baking the cake, pursing your life purpose, you know you are on the way to enjoying something tasty!