by Julian Ryder, Founder + Chief Creative Officer
My dad chopped the end of his index finger off in a metal bending machine when I was eight. He was a blue collar guy and worked in a factory. His job was cutting and bending sheet metal that would end up in box folding machines. It was hard, messy, dangerous work.
The index finger plays an important role in gripping a golf club and there was a strong possibility my dad wouldn’t be able to play golf again. That was bad news because his passion was playing golf on weekends.
He was a model employee, he did impeccable work and was well regarded in the workplace. He neither loved nor hated his job. It was just a job, the place he went Monday through Friday to get him to the weekend. After recovering, he was excited to discover he could still play, in fact his game actually improved after he lost the finger.
Many years later when he retired everyone thought he would spend his days on the golf course. We were wrong. A few weeks into it he took a new position doing what he’d been doing most of his life – bending sheet metal. No one could believe it until he explained that his new position was not about bending sheet metal, rather it was about contributing to and helping expand the game he loved. You see, my dad was now manufacturing golf clubs.
A friend identified three pathways available in a working life; a job, a career and a calling. While jobs and careers are plentiful, very few people are called. At 65 years old my dad found his calling and I know if he was still alive today he'd encourage you to take this challenge:
If your job or career leaves you less than fulfilled and enlivened, I challenge you to spend time inquiring into this question— What can I commit the rest of my life to accomplishing that would enhance the quality of my life and the lives of others? Do this process with a partner, someone who will listen powerfully for all the possibilities you create. Stay with it and I promise you’ll be called.