By Kristen Manieri

What’s Your Calling?

I recently read a Washington Post article linking a sense of purpose to our health and longevity. Here’s a quote: 

“Over the past two decades, dozens of studies have shown that seniors with a sense of purpose in life are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, disabilities, heart attacks or strokes, and more likely to live longer than people without this kind of underlying motivation.”

But what if you don’t know your purpose? What if you feel like you just can’t figure it out or maybe, secretly worry that you’re the one lone human that didn’t get one?

Today’s guest has spent much of the past decade building a life and a business that helps people discover and articulate their calling. 

Chris Smith is the creator of a methodology called The Campfire Effect, which is designed to helps entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and teams discover a powerful new relationship to who they are and what they do. The father of five wonderful kids with his wife Melissa, Chris is relentlessly dedicated to helping his family discover and articulate their calling, too. 

What I loved about this conversation was Chris’ total authenticity and vulnerability. This isn’t someone who woke up one day and thought, “I’m going starting speaking, coaching and leading workshops about people’s calling.” Everything that he teaches has been unearthed through a lifetime of experiences, and not always great ones, that offered him the choice to be either the victim of his story or the author of it. As you’ll hear, he chose the latter. 


After I recorded this interview with Chris, I couldn’t wait to get it out to you because I had a sense that Chris’ enthusiasm would be completely infectious. He has a gift when it comes to giving people the vision and clarity to finally see what their life is for. And when we know what our life is for, I feel like that’s a super power that can make us unstoppable. 

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts from this conversation: 

1. Sharing our calling with the world is not about have the perfect pitch or elevator speech prepared. Yes, there is how we express ourselves, and that’s important, but there’s what we say when we really start to uncover who we are. As Chris says, there’s storytelling and then there’s story being. 

2. When we begin to unearth what we feel we were meant to do and say in this lifetime, we start to get a sense of freedom, a feeling of being unconstrained from what we were told we should do or should be. And from this place we can begin to see what it’s like to create with effortlessness and flow, rather than with hustle and grind. 

3. A good place to start thinking about your calling is to look back and start to thread together the big moments in your life. Notice the patterns that emerge, study what makes your highlight reel and why. See where you were most in flow or, said another way, felt most in alignment. 

4. Chris also suggests starting with the sentence I believe _______. Just start capturing everything that comes out without trying to sensor it or wordsmith it. When you’ve got a good list, ask yourself: why do these things matter to me? This exercise can help you go deeper and deeper into the core of who you are.

5. Consider your family brand. Who are you as a family? What do you believe in and stand for? Take some time to define who you are. We get so busy doing that we forget about being. Chris suggests that we pause from time to time, maybe every day as part of a ritual, and reflect on our being. 

6. Your past can shape you but it does not define you. See your past experiences, even the hard ones, as not good or bad but as something that helps us more fully serve other people. 

7. The reward of doing the work to find our calling is freedom. When we eliminate all the shoulds, when we see the stories we’ve carried around about our past as just stories, we can begin to see that we’re actually in charge of our lives. We’re the authors. This is where a sense of freedom comes from. This is the place to live an unconstrained life. 


If you’re interested in learning more about Chris, his work and his Campfire Effect program, head to christophercsmith.com/.

And if you spend some time after this episode thinking about your calling, I want to hear from you. I want to know what bubbles up. You can connect with me here. 

We’ve got just a few more episode coming up in Season two and I can’t wait to share them with you. If you’re feeling called, perhaps you can share them with people in your life. 

This life I have right now, this life your living right now, it’s finite. There’s an expiration date. I want to live as fully as possible, which to me, means living as consciously as possible. That’s the entire point of this podcast. If that speaks to you, dive into a few more episodes and don’t hesitate to reach out with guest suggestions. 

Until next time, 

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