Some people profess that they have a “calling,” a specific job or purpose that they have been called by a higher power to do. In the modern sense, a calling is a profession that someone feels is purposeful, helps others, and serves as a channel for his or her passion. Research has shown that having a calling is an important factor in life happiness. But how does knowing what your calling is compare to actually doing it? To answer this question, Ryan D. Duffy of the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida recently led a study that examined how living one’s calling related to life satisfaction.
Duffy theorized that participants who were living their calling would be more satisfied with their jobs, more committed to their careers, and have higher levels of overall life satisfaction than participants who were not actively living their callings. He examined a diverse sample of adults, some of whom were indeed living out their life purposes, and others who felt called but were in jobs that did not allow them to pursue their purposes. Overall, Duffy found that living a calling was strongly associated with positive outcomes. Specifically, although having a calling and knowing what one is meant to do in life did increase life satisfaction slightly, living a calling led to significantly higher levels of career and life satisfaction.
Duffy also examined how job satisfaction affected life purpose and discovered that those who were living callings and highly satisfied with their jobs also felt that their lives had more purpose than those who were not actively engaged in their callings. Additionally, those who were living on purpose were more committed to their careers than the other participants. Duffy believes these findings have many implications for individuals and employees. Organizations that want to have committed, passionate workers should try to align employees with their preferences, those activities that they feel most compelled to do. Employees could work with career counselors, mentors, or spiritual and religious advisers to help discover their callings. Duffy believes these results also provide critical information for clinicians. “On the basis of the present study’s results, it is anticipated that if a client’s sense of living a calling increases, so might her or his satisfaction with life,” he said.
Duffy, R. D., Allan, B. A., Autin, K. L., Bott, E. M. (2012). Calling and life satisfaction: It’s not about having it, it’s about living it. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0030635
© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.