By Amber Rae

A calling, according to Google dictionary, is “a strong urge toward a particular way of life…”

For me, I’ve always felt urged to challenge the conventional notions of success. A traditional life path didn’t resonate with me, so I’ve been on a mission to redefine the way I live, work, play, learn, and, ultimately, love.

How these urges show up for me is typically in the form of a soft and persistent whisper. I’ll feel drawn to explore a new city, to learn more about an industry of interest, or, sometimes, to make a drastic life change. Because of this, callings aren’t always easy to follow. And often, they’re difficult for people around you to understand.

But if I’ve learned anything over the years from following my calling and listening to my heart, it’s that this whisper is always guiding me forward in a way that serves me and the world.

By following my calling, I’m continually provided with new ways of giving more love to the world.

A quiet whisper once led me to quit my digital marketing job in Chicago and move to San Francisco to explore start-ups. A year later, it urged me to sell all of my belongings and move to New York City without work lined up. It urged me to publicly share my journey and experiences through a blog. It enabled me to work with authors like Seth Godin, companies like Apple, and start-ups like Photojojo. It got me published in Forbes magazine, on the front page of The New York Times, and on ABC World News. It led me to accidentally start a life design consulting business, which ultimately led me to create a life accelerator called The Bold Academy.

Most recently, this past August, I felt a whisper to book a ticket to Los Angeles. I felt ready for love and a relationship, and for some reason, I felt drawn to travel there. The trip led me to meet a woman who invited me to move into her beach house for a two-month experiment. This caused me to spend more time in San Francisco, which led me to meet and fall in love with an incredible man. This man (who is now my boyfriend) introduced me to a new friend, Mike Del Ponte, who shared with me questions around finding your calling, which inspired me to write this post right now.

My friend Mike is pursuing his calling with the recent launch of his new company Soma, which aims to revolutionize the water industry using sustainable design. He shared with me three essential questions that were passed down to him and helpful in finding his calling. I hope they help you identify what’s important to you so you begin trusting your whispers too.

  1. What gives you joy?
  2. What are you best at?
  3. What does the world need?

What I’ve learned is that soft whispers often lead to beautiful journeys and a life worth living. We may have hundreds of callings in our life, but each whisper gives us a chance to experience an aspect of what makes us come alive.

Amber Rae is Founder and CEO of The Bold Academy, a life accelerator designed to accelerate your performance and potential. Applications for Bold Academy San Francisco are open. For more on Amber, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.

*Photo Credit: luca.sartoni