Tama Kieves, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, left her law practice to write and help others unlock their extraordinary capacities and create their life’s work. She is the bestselling author of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love, and Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work! and A Year without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence. Her newest book is Thriving Through Uncertainty Featured in USA TODAY, Success Magazine, and on ABC News, TEDx, and Oprah Radio, she is a sought-after speaker and visionary career/success coach, who has helped thousands worldwide to discover, launch, and thrive in the life, calling and businesses of their dreams.

Q: Is it responsible for most people to consider “finding a calling,” when there are bills to pay and practicalities?

Tama Kieves: Oh yes! Too many people need more income because they’re not honoring the passion within them. It costs money to be unhappy or inauthentic and this kind of emotional stress can also damage your health. It consumes massive amounts of energy to live the wrong life. It’s like a sunflower trying to grow in the shade. You constantly need more resources– or at least red wine– when you live in opposition to your true nature.

It’s self-destructive to ignore what you love. You are negating the extraordinary capacities within you because of a faulty belief system. You may think it’s virtuous. But its reckless to deny your greatest source of security. Think about it: If you’re this successful doing work you don’t love, what could you do with work you do love? Besides, the wealthiest people in the world, are those who followed their calling—the part of themselves that tapped endless energy. Bill Gates. Oprah. Richard Branson. JK Rowling. Really, the most practical thing you can do in your lifetime is listen to what makes you feel alive.

Q: But most people can’t just leave a job or don’t even know what makes them happy—what do you say to them?

Tama Kieves: Unleashing your calling is never specifically about leaving a job or a marriage. It’s about following an inner voice, discovering a truth that will make you unstoppable, and choosing to listen to your love more than your fear. Many of my coaching clients, explore their passions or build businesses on the side. Their calling grows organically and changes everything in their lives. I teach students how to listen to the highest love and intelligence within. Every one of us already has a brilliant innate blueprint and our own way to discover and realize our dreams.  This isn’t about being reckless and it’s not formulaic. It’s about intentionally moving into our true expression, the life that is in perfect alignment for us, and off the charts in fulfillment.

Q: Do people just have one thing that they are meant to do?

Tama Kieves: No, but they have one thing that’s calling to them in this moment.It could be taking a nap or taking a road trip. It’s about staying true to yourself in each moment.I’d say don’t define what you’re supposed to do—discover it. Follow your heat. Pay attention to what gives you energy. Get out of your head and out of Google. Get into your gut, your heart, your truth and let it pull you. You may have many passions-but there is one that you want to do right now. Or you may have many ideas. But “an idea” is not always the flaming arrow of your soul that will give you the fire to burn through any limitation.

Q: What do you consider the most important ingredient in discovering or flourishing in one’s calling?

Tama Kieves: Great question! It’s not about what we do. it’s about what we think. You might think you can’t make money. Or you’re don’t have the connections or credentials.  Or you don’t know “how to” make your dream happen. But these are warped beliefs. You are being called. You have more power than you know. You’re not here to fit into the world you know. But to discover more than you dreamed possible, more than most dream possible. Discover what’s true for you instead of taking the bad advice of unhappy people or mass consciousness. Question your assumptions. Dare to trust that you have your dreams for a reason– and that the same force that inspires this dream will also inspire the means.   

Q: How do we start following the call?  

Tama Kieves: Follow a desire. Do something you love. It will change your brain chemistry. Debating choices doesn’t rock your world. Sign up for a class or dig out your paints.

If you don’t know what you desire or what’s calling to you right now, then create time and space for listening to yourself. Don’t listen to the voice that tells you, you don’t have time. That voice is the henchman, protecting a life you might not really want. It takes an intermission to find a mission. Attend a retreat. Get into nature. Journal. Meditate.  Anything that takes you out of your familiar pattern or way of thinking. Drop self-judgment. Only self-love gives rise to a life you love. And remember, you’re not looking for an answer. You’re looking for a shift or a next baby step. This isn’t a linear path. It’s an inspired path of awakening to the love inside you that can do anything.  It’s worth everything. Please give it everything you have.