On Living Your Calling

The words below were supposedly written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.  They seem to be based on a composition originally written by Kent Keith in 1969, but the second half has been re-written with a more spiritual outlook.

We all have motivations for the things we do in life.  They are both light and dark.  We do things to seek approval or admiration, to avoid punishment, shaming, or criticism.  We do things to get someone to love us, to keep someone around, out of guilt and obligation.  We do things to make a living, to survive, to be safe, to protect those we love, to garner power, to advance our status, to compete, to prove something, for attention, for pleasure, for revenge and for glory.

How fortunate we are in the times when we do something out of joy or love, because it calls to us, because it wells up from our deepest Self and is an expression of our Soul Print.  There are things in life that we must do because if we did not, we would not be living the life we were born to live, our calling, and our destiny.

In the times when we pay a price for doing what we feel most deeply called to do, when the work is hard and unrewarding, when others criticize or misunderstand us, these words may be of comfort.

Mother Teresa’s Creed


People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

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