Two Days

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why”
—Mark Twain

Dear Young Dyslexic,

Today I would like to discuss the religious concept of "calling." Psychologists hesitate to use religious terms because they believe they are not scientific. However, I believe there is great wisdom in almost all religions. In Christianity, "calling" is the concept that God has created each person with unique gifts and talents oriented toward a specific purpose. Out of this concept came the idea of vocation, which many people understand to be how you make a living. I believe the original meaning is much more complex and useful.

All of us strive to find meaning in our life. For many people, this quest is ambiguous and frustrating. I believe that we can find important clues to that meaning, our “calling,” by looking at our strengths and weaknesses. The fact that our strengths and weaknesses vary greatly can be frustrating and for some people causes a lot of difficulties in school. However, our uniqueness is one of our greatest gifts and offers important clues about how and where we fit in the world. My terrible spelling and inability to proof written language were a clear cue that I should not be an editor. My empathy and mathematical ability pointed me in the direction of psychology and psychological testing. My drive to understand how things work made me curious about how strengths and weaknesses affect personalities.

Understanding both your strengths and weaknesses is critical to finding your purpose or calling. And finding your calling can truly make a difference in how satisfied you are with your life. Recent psychological research is focused on the difference between trying to find happiness versus trying to find purpose in your life. A focus on finding happiness leads to some happiness but a great deal of dissatisfaction. People who find purpose in their life tend to be much more satisfied and are better able to deal with stress and disappointment. Understanding our dyslexia is an important part of finding our purpose or calling. The Dyslexic Advantage website is an excellent resource for understanding how your dyslexia enables you.

That's all for now, be well and make a bit of noise,

Dr. Michael Ryan




Dr. Michael Ryan