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What Difference Can Purpose Make for You?

A study looked at the early lives of 300 exemplary people who left indelible marks on the world. These were 300 world changers like Franklin D. Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, and Clara Barton. They contributed in various ways across various times and in various industries but held some things in common. What did the study find?

Among these 300 exemplary people:

  • 75% were troubled by poverty, broken home or difficult parents
  • 74 of 85 fiction writers and 16 of 20 poets saw...
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12 Quotes from My Winter 2021 Reading List

My Winter 2021 reading list was made possible by many exciting and diverse people. There were athletes and activists, scholars and entertainers, preachers and businesspeople. Some were a couple of these at once!

I'm grateful for their lessons, stories, and inspiration, which all came at a cost to them. Their marks have made their way into my life and work, and if you follow the Life Calling Institute or other blog posts, you'll see them too. 

We previously shared our Summer 2020 and Fall...

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When Following Your Passion Goes Bust

If you hang around motivational speakers, influential teachers, and inspirational coaches long enough, you’re bound to hear something along the lines of, “Just follow your passion.” As if following your passion is all you need for everything to work out. But what if you do follow your passion and then go bust?

Like I did. Several times.

Passion can be a powerful indicator and companion in life calling, but it can also get you off track. It turns out passion is...

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The Strengths and Abilities of Harriet Tubman

Photo Credit: Mark Gulezian/NPG; Copyright National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian

If you ask me who in history I would like to meet, Harriet Tubman is at the top of my list. I just finished a spectacular book on her called, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, by Catherine Clinton. What strikes me most from the book is how well-equipped in abilities, strengths, and qualities she was in order to become the person she became and do the things she did.

Unpredictable Outcomes

You may not predict...

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Faith Blog: What the Fall of a Leader Teaches About Life Calling

faith life calling Feb 15, 2021

I am so grieved and upset about the news reports of sexual misconduct and abuse by a very well-known international Christian leader. I am sorry for his victims, family, ministry supporters, and the damage this will do to the cause of Christ. This isn’t the first time a leader with a prominent life calling has fallen, and it won’t be the last.

But let his fall teach us something about our call. You don’t have to be famous to learn something here.

Depth of character matters...

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Five Traits and Strengths in the Life Calling of William Wilberforce

Today we know William Wilberforce as the great British politician who led the movement to abolish the slave trade in British territories. But did you know that it almost didn’t happen?

It’s easy to look back on a well-lived life that has made a mark in a certain well-known way and think it must have been completely obvious to him or her which way to go. But at the time, it's not that simple.

Discovering life calling takes many things, among them a process, discernment,...

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How One Unlikely Doctor Found His Life Calling

life calling Jan 19, 2021

(Photo of Dr. Nicolaides courtesy of KU LEUVEN NEWS)

Many callings in life can be traced to a singular moment that changed everything. This happened for Dr. Kypros Nicolaides, a medical pioneer and world-renowned expert in fetal medicine. Due to his cutting-edge techniques and procedures, many babies have been born who otherwise wouldn’t be.

But you wouldn’t have seen this coming from his early days in college. Born in Cyprus in 1953, Kyrpos was sent to London by his father to...

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12 Inspiring Quotes from My Fall 2020 Reading List

One of my top strengths is being committed to growth and progress in my life and others' lives. (In CliftonStrengths®, this is called Developer®). If you looked at me, you would find various ways this strength plays out, including reading books. But not just any kind of book.

I don't read e-books because e-books don't feel real to me. Reading a book is a sensory experience, like making coffee or gardening may be to others. I need to feel the book in my hands, hear the sound of...

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Faith Blog: Video Conversations on Enneagram, Advent, and Strengths

enneagram faith strengths Dec 21, 2020

Author and Pastor Clare Loughrige invited me to have a conversation with her as part of an Advent Series on unwrapping the presence of Jesus while considering the Enneagram. In addition, we also discussed the connections between Enneagram and Strengths.

Clare is one of the authors of Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram, and is the creator of the Motions of the Soul Enneagram certification program, which I attended and highly recommend. 

In our first video, we talk about Generosity:

  • ...
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I Mistyped Myself on the Enneagram

enneagram self-awareness Nov 11, 2020

After studying the Enneagram for two years, I’ve realized I’ve mistyped myself. This revelation didn’t happen overnight, it has been a progressive unfolding. But progressive as it has been, I’m still coming to grips with it.

And it's a bit embarrassing because to some, I'm an Enneagram teacher. Shouldn't I know my stuff? I will say more about this in the future, but I won’t say much at this point, it’s still too new.

I will say that for two years, I thought...

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