The call within the call

“You’ve gotta be able to see the beauty in a hamburger bun, “ said Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds.

Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, echoed the same theme. “I am not a businesswoman. I’m a cookie person.”

Southwest Airlines President Emeritus Colleen Barrett says it this way: “We are not an airline with great customer service. We are a great customer service organization that happens to be in the airline business.”

Sometimes when others are quick to shoot down your convictions, it is because they themselves do not have any convictions. It is always easier to mock others’ beliefs rather than choose something to stand for. Conviction is being fully convinced about your course in life without any reservation. Once you connect with your purpose, conviction is born.

It means stepping into the unknown, the true nature of impermanence, beyond the incessant attention to what works for me. It means inspiring myself with the intricate interdependence of life, such as the capacity of trees, as documented in The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Tudge, to care for the individual trees in need at any given time through a complex interconnected root system, thereby caring fully for their entire community’s capacity to thrive.

A great example is Mother Theresa, after consistently witnessing the Indian people in Kolkata suffer and perish in poverty, she could not take it anymore. She was a prominent teacher, doing well in her career but something of higher value to her interrupted that career. She later called this experience as “the call within the call,” she goes on and says, “I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. It was an order. To fail would have been to break the faith.” This was her cause, nobody would have understood it better than she did, seeing the people destitute, starving and in dire poverty forced her out of her comfortable teaching career and she went on to develop missionaries to care for the poor. And needless to say the history books remember her every day, she lived life to the fullest and left an indelible mark that no one can erase.

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