Posted by: bevmeldrum | September 22, 2009

Your Spiritual Discontent

African childrenAs I’ve been reading Mission Inc. I begun to ponder how we find thing that is ‘our calling’. The week before last I was speaking at a residential weekend that was looking at just that topic – 20 people came together to think about what their calling might be. It was an amazing weekend.

If we can spend our time living out our calling in life, addressing those issues that make up our ‘spiritual discontent’ and using our talents and strengths to do it then we will be the most fulfilled, exhilarated and happy individuals on the planet. That’s certainly the place I want to live my life!

In the last post What brings you to social enterprise? I was talking about how our own personal journeys often create the direction of our calling. For Kevin Lynch it was drug and alcohol addiction for Julius Wall Jr. it was:

“a combination of business, priesthood, leadership and advocacy”.

For me it’s about empowering others to reach their potential and I’m at my happiest, my most effective and my most fulfilled when I’m able to work towards achieving this.

As much as our own personal journeys have influenced the direction of our calling our ‘Spiritual Discontent’ has fuelled the fire.

What is Spiritual Discontent?

“fueling the fire that ignites your personal vision”

Spritual Discontent is the idea that we each an issues that when we are confronted with it a passion rises up inside of us and we long for a society where that issue is resolved. It’s that in society that we see and that we just can’t stand seeing.

For me its seeing people unable to achieve their potential because they are under-resourced or held back by a lack of knowledge or emotional issues that remain un-addressed. That is my Spiritual Discontent.

For the astute of you you may be feeling you’ve heard some of this before. This post is a result of my thinking around the topics of Holy Discontent (Bill Hybel’s thinking around this is the most developed) and Brian Draper’s work on Spiritual Intelligence (being aware of the spiritual realms of our being in the way that we are now aware of our Emotional Intelligence after Daniel Golman’s work).

How do you discover your Spiritual Discontent?

Consider the following questions.

  • I am passionate about …
  • When I look at society I can’t stand to see …
  • I truly think it’s unacceptable when …
  • I can’t imagine that it is right that …
  • I don’t want to live in a world where …
  • I will not stand by and watch the unfolding of …
  • I feel most satisfied and fulfilled when I’m focused on …
  • The most heart-wrenching experiences I’ve endured include …
  • There are certain experiences that always seem to increase my energy for living …
  • Certain people have the same effect; they tend to be …
  • If I could make a difference in one aspect of the world knowing that I could not fail it would be …
  • It might seem silly or insignificant, but one world-changing dream I’ve always seemed to carry is to …

[adapted from My Holy Discontent]

Once you’ve begun to identify your holy discontent the next step is to consider how your unique talents and strengths can enable you to have a real impact in your community. More on that another time.

Books to Read

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Mission, Inc.: The Practitioners Guide to Social Enterprise by Kevin Lynch & Julius Walls Jr.

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Holy Discontent: Fueling the Fire That Ignites Personal Vision by Bill Hybels

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Spiritual Intelligence by Brian Draper


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