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How Passion Differs From Your Calling

August 7, 2019


Filed In | Inspiration

Finding out that my passion as a violinist was not my calling broke my heart (for a moment in time). As they rolled me to the operating room, tears streamed down my face. I wasn’t afraid of surgery; I was afraid of losing my calling in life. I played the violin ever since I was a child—later in life was part of a symphony orchestra and even played at weddings. The summer after high school, while tossing a football with friends, I caught the ball poorly and broke my left index finger in 3 places. The left hand, when playing violin, is highly important since runs along the fingerboard choosing musical notes. Just like that, within seconds, a future playing violin was over.

Little did I know, that a lifetime of paying music trained me to be excellent at time management (which is essential to wedding planning). A wedding is a well-orchestrated group of vendors coming together, following structured timing, to create a day that is an organized yet highly meaningful symphony of love. My first wedding, at age 18, felt as natural as breathing (or in my case playing music). Flash-forward 16 years later, I have identified 3 way in which your passions can be different from your calling in life:


Passions are personal talents and interest that are discovered and cultivated. Passion, by nature, is selfish— it’s doing what you love! Calling is greater than passion, it’s purpose. Purpose is selfless, you are sharing your gifts with world intentionally. Money or fame is not the focus, although that is likely to follow for some. Picasso said it beautifully,

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.


Passions can end or your feelings towards them change. Be it an accident, change of interest, distraction, or even fatigue, things we are passionate about can come to end. I also know several people who turned their passion into a career and years later feel burned out and no longer excited about it. When something you love to do becomes something you need to do (means of income and survival), your sentiments will change. A Calling is a way of life in which the focus isn’t how you feel but the feeling you instill in others. The impact you have on others, by way of your calling, will outlive you. Maya Angelou said once said,

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you saidpeople will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Passions are WHAT you love to do and HOW you do it… calling is WHY you do it. “Why” is your belief, your cause, and your purpose. Leadership expert and author Simon Sinek teaches,

“People (businesses) know what they do, some know how they do it, but very few know why they do it.”

I’m conclusion, passions can differ from your calling. It’s undeniable that innate gifts and talent we are born with eventually lead us to our purpose, but knowing the difference passions verses calling will help you live the life you were intended to for yourself and others.

Post Photo | J-Anne Photography

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