At least, this is how it works for me... which is really all I can ever share, and hope it has some broader applicability so others can benefit from my incessant self-reflection.
How you will know when you’ve found your calling (or whatever you wanna call it):
It will seem totally you. All the major and seemingly discrepant threads of interest and skill you’ve developed over the years will seem to converge. The dots will finally connect. And the result will look like something only you could possibly do (or even enjoy). Your friends and family may also say, “Huh. I can see you doing that."
It will feel really good. There will be a deep resonance of things “clicking” together and just feeling right. You’ll be able to tell by this sense of quiet, seemingly unfounded faith you have in the vision, and it’ll give you a sense of ease and enthusiasm. It’ll feel nourishing.
It may sound crazy to others—or to your rational brain—but it’ll make sense to some small, quiet, calm place within you.
It’ll make you feel strong and confident in your life in general. You’ll carry yourself with purpose, and it’ll be magnetic. Decisions about a lot of things will become easier to make, and you’ll seek happiness less in others (in relationships, in egoic pursuits) because you’ll feel like your soul is already being fed.
Nothing about it will feel like work. Even drudgery will seem annoying but doable. And this may be the thing that keeps you stuck where you don’t feel like you should be, because you may look around and see everyone enjoying what feels unfulfilling to you. They may have found their own “why” and the work they’re doing may feel meaningful to them, simply because their vision for their own path is different. Don’t be confused or deterred by this; just stick to what makes sense to you.
Anything that diverges from it will feel like work. Whether they’re opportunities, jobs, projects, no matter how glamorous or outwardly satisfying—if they conflict with the core values of your calling and don’t even feel like stepping stones on the path there, you’re more likely to drag your feet, only to be re-energized by whatever is in alignment. This can often look like spending your time outside of work (or even at work) daydreaming or engaged in one consistent thing that feels like play.
The journey itself will feel life-giving. Even if you can only make out the contours of your calling, your dream life, even this will feel like you’re already doing it. The journey—and not just the destination—will light you up, which may confuse your rational brain (which may be used to feeling scared and unhappy whenever there’s uncertainty or when you’re not “there” yet with a goal) but it will give you a childlike sense of excitement just to be playing and exploring.