On Labor Day, a national holiday in the United States, most people celebrate by taking the day off work.
A long-time client and I worked together today and celebrated the joy of working on one’s vocation.
A vocation is more than a job or a career.
A vocation is a calling.
It’s what you’re supposed to be doing.
It’s your work related to your purpose – the sum total of all your life experience and skill – your passion and desire bound up in outward expression.
Vocation comes from the same root word as voice - vocare, to call.
To seek and pursue one’s calling should be the goal of all young people – to put yourself to useful work in the most purposeful, fulfilling way possible.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal.
You don’t have to be a famous person or an artist or a preacher to have a calling.
You might be particularly good at driving a back-hoe, as is one of my dad’s old friends in East Tennessee, Hugh Kyle.
He takes the same artistic pride in laying rock as he does when carving native animal totems in wood – his hobby.
Some of us write songs and share our skills with others as leaders, teachers, consultants, counselors, physicians, and the like.
Laborers, custodians, janitors, barkeeps and book-keepers – all these jobs can be part of a person’s vocation.
The key is to make your work part of your calling.
All professions have elements that are better and worse.
Nothing is all 100% enjoyable all the time. If it were, the monotony of pleasure would become a hinderance eventually.
A vocation is a calling because it is not always easy.
It requires patience, persistence, purpose – or as some say – purpose, power and will.
I like this view and terminology because it feels strong and motivates me to seek the answers to my own self-leadership questions.
What is my purpose? Overall and for this specific project in particular?
What power do I need to use to make it happen? What is my engine and motivation? What forces do I need to bring to bear to achieve my purpose?
What daily / weekly / monthly routine must I establish to get to my goals?
Will ever implies patience and persistence, and the ability to keep going in the face of obstacles – not stubbornly and blindly, but doggedly, not allowing any self made or circumstance provided excuse from stopping you from doing what you set out to do.
For me this takes shape every day, every week and every year in my Franklin Covey planner.
SCORE mentor Lewis Moorer hipped me to these handy tools, and even gifted me the 1980s era planner he used to help run four divisions of General Electric back in the day. I have been hooked on my planner ever since.
Motivation is easy when you focus. The very act of focusing is motivating.
If you want help focusing on your vocation, personal and professional goals setting, or just work – life balance, get in touch with Songlife consulting here.
For songwriters, check out the Songpreneurs Leadership Community online for group skill building.
You don’t have to do something you love all the time, but you definitely must figure out how to love at least something you do.
If you can make that part of your vocation, then you are blessed and a blessing to everyone you encounter.
Focus on what you want to accomplish and let that motivate you.
Let us hear from you in the comments.
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