If you grew up evangelical, you probably heard a lot about your “calling” early on in life. Like during the final session at a youth conference, when the speaker gave an inspirational message about God’s plans for your life. You were young with plenty of time to figure out who you were meant to be, so it was exciting and mesmerizing to think about all God had created you for. But now, as an adult, even the initial thought of “calling” can be overwhelming and anxiety-ridden.

We’ve set up unrealistic expectations for ourselves where our calling is concerned. These expectations often keep us from embracing what we were created for. Understanding your calling may not be as complicated as you’re making it out to be.

From Bo Burnham to Tim Keller, here are nine uplifting quotes from inspirational people to change the way you think about your calling:

Martin Luther King Jr. on Excelling in Your Calling

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Tim Keller on Why Calling Matters

“Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the best, will come to naught. Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever.”

Frederick Buechner on Discerning Your Calling

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Bo Burnham on ‘Making It’

“Take a deep breath and give up. The system is rigged against you. Don’t take advice from people like me who have gotten lucky. Taylor Swift telling you to follow your dreams is like a lottery winner saying, ‘Liquidize your assets, buy Powerball tickets. It works.’”

Bishop T.D. Jakes on Fueling Your Passion

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”

Steve Jobs on Your Future

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Os Guinness on Making an Idol of Work

“Do we enjoy our work, love our work, virtually worship our work so that our devotion to Jesus is off-center? Do we put our emphasis on service, usefulness, or being productive in working for God—at His expense? Do we strive to prove our own significance? To make a difference in the world? To carve our names in marble on the monuments of time? The call of God blocks the path of all such deeply human tendencies. We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone. We are not called to special work but to God. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no one and to nothing above God himself.”

Maya Angelou on Living What You Love

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

Dorothy Sayers on Work

“Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.”

Like content like this? Go deeper with articles covering faith, culture, life, and more in each collectible issue of RELEVANT Magazine. Click here to subscribe to receive our print issues in your mail.