Dearly lovely humans,
It was hard for me to write this. I bowed and creaked under the pressure of doing VOCATION justice. This is all I had for a while: ‘“Vocation” comes from the Latin verb vocare, meaning “to call”.’ Straight-up amateur hour. Thankfully, I remembered Ron*.
One career and a few jobs ago, my first meeting of the day was usually with Ron, the security guard. He was in his 60s, on the portly side, with a moon-shaped face and twinkly eyes. He’d sit at the front desk, leaning on the cool black marble, reveling in the mood only an empty museum can offer. He couldn’t help but radiate peace and wisdom. That’s vocation — you can’t help but be it, do it.
❗️Important: Ron knew his job was just a job. When his shift was done, he went home to his humble house with a pretty good garden. He spent his days off working in said garden or fixing some aspect of said house . Those were his hobbies, and he didn’t try to make them bigger or more complicated than that. He didn’t have a career. His hobbies, job, and vocation were fulfilling. That’s having a vocation and keeping it sacred — separate from hobby, job, and career. His way is one way to live. Not mine, perhaps not yours, but one noble, beautiful way.
Remember last week I said (http://buff.ly/2crvvCR) a JOB is the only thing you must have? Well, a VOCATION is the only thing you cannot lose. That's because it isn't given to you. People ask, “Do you *have* a vocation?” but that phrasing is not right either. A vocation has you.
Early on in your life, the universe/God/divine consciousness/a higher power started placing a call to your soul. The call was subtle but persistent, and as an adult you may have dismissed or fought against it. I know. It asked you to be is SO BIG. It demanded you clear yourself of fear to become a living, breathing inspiration for others to do the same. But that’s scary and sounds hard; how do you make a living doing that; but there are lots of birthday things/little trips/friends in town this month; plus everyone says Netflix has done it again, and Stranger Things is insanely good**, so…
Listen. If you choose to figure out what your vocation is and let yourself be taken by it, there’s no looking back. If you meet someone who has found theirs, it moves you. It moves you because there's a part of you that that knows you can show up like that.
Your highest vocation sits at the nexus of 1) what society needs 2) your talents and 3) your passions. Figuring that out is the most important work you can do in your lifetime. Those who have done that work stick in your head. The next time you meet someone who is powerful, vibrating with energy, killing it professionally, BEING a way rather than DOING stuff, take note. They’re sitting square on their nexus.🎯
If you’re actively trying to find your highest vocation, YES. Excellent. One tip: You can’t search for your vocation on Indeed***. Vocations rarely have a neat label like careers or job titles do. Sometimes they do: “teacher” is one. There are many, many that don’t: mother, father, caregiver, healer, guide, builder, artist, leader, connector, facilitator, speaker, visionary. As a benefactor of Ron's vocation, I daresay his is to help people slow down, see beauty in simplicity. See? Can’t put that in a box.🌪
You find your vocation by paying close attention to yourself and asking questions. But NOT this harmful question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Adults everywhere ask this to kids, for fun. The poor things usually regurgitate a common career, or wisely freak out under the pressure. This is the message we send to children as early as age 2: “Pick one thing, something grown-ups approve of. Oh, you don’t know yet? Too bad.” As you can imagine, many of those kids are now fully freaked-out adults. We help no one with that question.🙅🏻
No need to fear, wonders. There's more to it, but it's basically this: find a job and enjoy a hobby while you watch, listen, and chew on these better questions:
1. How do you spend your spare time?
2. What kinds of places and activities are deeply satisfying to you?
3. What problem do you want to help solve?
4. Who are the people you intensely admire?
5. What gets you in a flow state, i.e. engages you and seems to slow time down?
6. What subject is endlessly fascinating to you?
7. What kind of books/movies/podcasts are you drawn to?
8. When surfing the Web, what are you learning about?
You may distract yourself to put this work off. It's okay. The universe will keep trying. It will keep nudging you with clues. If you pay close attention, the message gets clear quickly. If you opt to ignore, the urging will lower in volume but never quite disappear. Please, don't be haunted. Express your gifts, even in a small, secret way. It's very much needed right now.🕯
With all my love and intelligence,
* - Name changed out of respect.
** - 200% true.
*** - I promise.