Myths & Truths of Calling


By Lisa Slayton; part one of a series. Reprinted from The Wholeness Journey.


As a leadership adviser and executive coach, I spend much of my time working with leaders and their teams to build healthy organizations. One of the questions I am often asked is “what is the biggest pain point that leaders most often come to you about?” You might expect the answer to sound something like “I am worried about the strategic direction of my team or organization” or “My organization’s mission is not clear” or “I don’t have the resources- money, people, material – to do what I believe we should be doing.” Or “I am not sure what I am doing is actually making a difference”

But it is none of those things, at least not primarily.

 What I hear and see over and over again from leaders, I have boiled down to this:

Who I am and what I am doing every day are disconnected, I feel like I am falling apart.”

And this is where leadership and discipleship collide; what we have come to call in our practice, “Vocational Discipleship or Whole-life Discipleship”.


I believe that the greatest pain point in the life of many leaders AND everyday workers is a lack of coherence, what is best captured in the Hebrew word “Tamim.” There are many Hebrew words that are difficult to translate into our limited English language. Tamim is one of them, it can mean perfect or blameless (as used to describe Job, for example) but its more robust definition is that it means integrity or wholeness.

Have you ever considered that the word integrate and integrity come from the same root word? The cry of the human heart is for this deep sense of coherence or integration.

No matter where we find ourselves in the vocational journey—our 20’s 40’s or 60’s—we can experience this lack of coherence or disintegration.

For some of us the path seems clear. You have your job settled, your location, partner and community all lined up. But for many of us the pressure is real to get it figured out and you  may feel confused, anxious and alone, wondering am I the only one who is struggling?

 And we are reluctant to admit to anyone that the fear and anxiety is real.

We live in a cultural moment that I have recently heard described as a VUCA world- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. And in the midst of this massive complexity, the culture has developed some powerful myths that are hard to ignore or have crept into our minds and hearts.

In the coming weeks we will look at Four Myths and the Truths that we can trust as we navigate this VUCA world.

MYTH 1 Pursue Your Passion

MYTH 2 Clarity of Calling brings Ease

MYTH 3 God’s Will for Me is a ________ (job, partner, house, community etc)

MYTH 4 Worth is Determined By Performance

MYTH 5 Calling is Discerned Individually

MYTH 6 Calling Ensures ‘Work/Life Balance’

Thank you for reading, please reach out to continue the conversation or learn more about our work:

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