A few years ago, a woman approached me after I finished a keynote presentation.
In the speech, I had mentioned the importance of living with intention. That point made an impression. She realized she had not been intentional, particularly as it related to her career. As it turns out, she was a doctor with a very successful practice. She was extremely busy and making more money than she had dreamed possible. “If I’m honest, I think I became a doctor because my father was a doctor.
“But I hate it,” she continued. She was good at what she did. Ever dreamed of launching your own self-hosted WordPress blog? As I later reflected on her situation, I realized job satisfaction requires three components. Passion. If you have all three of these components, you can experience genuine career satisfaction. Do what you love, love what you do: An omnipresent mantra that’s bad for work and workers. Photo courtesy Mario de Armas/design*sponge “Do what you love.
Love what you do.” The command is framed and perched in a living room that can only be described as “well-curated.” A picture of this room appeared first on a popular design blog and has been pinned, tumbl’d, and liked thousands of times. Though it introduces exhortations to labor into a space of leisure, the “do what you love” living room is the place all those pinners and likers long to be. There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. Superficially, DWYL is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise.
DWYL is a secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. Aphorisms usually have numerous origins and reincarnations, but the nature of DWYL confounds precise attribution. How Van Gogh Found His Purpose: Heartfelt Letters to His Brother on How Relationships Refine Us. Long before Vincent van Gogh became a creative legend and attained such mastery of art that he explained nature better than science, he confronted the same existential challenge many young people and aspiring artists face as they set out to find their purpose and do what they love — something that often requires the discomfiting uncertainty of deviating from the beaten path.
In January of 1879, twenty-six-year-old Van Gogh, who had dropped out of high school, was given a six-month appointment as a preacher in a small village — a job that consisted of giving Bible readings, teaching schoolchildren, and caring for the sick and poor. He devoted himself wholeheartedly to the task and, in solidarity with the poor, gave away all of his possessions to live in a tiny hut, where he slept on the ground.
Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don't have one true calling. How to Find Your Calling. What’s your passion?
What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to be when you grow up? Do these questions make you shudder? If you are at a total loss for how to even begin to answer the dreaded ‘passion’ question, you are not alone. Let’s kick off this post with a quote from the novel The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. “God doesn’t call the equipped. God equips the called. And you have been called.” So, with this post, I call on you. Born for This by Chris Guillebeau This is the book that can change the rest of your life. John Dewey on How to Find Your Calling, the Key to a Fulfilling Vocation, and Why Diverse Interests Are Essential for Excellence in Any Field.
“Someone has a great fire in his soul and nobody ever comes to warm themselves at it, and passers-by see nothing but a little smoke at the top of the chimney,” young Vincent van Gogh despaired in a letter to his brother as he floundered for a calling.
The question of how to find our purpose in life and make a living of what we love is indeed a perennial one, the record of its proposed answers stretching at least as far back as Plato, who believed that it was the role of education to uncover each person’s talent, train its mastery, and apply it toward the flourishing of society. More than two millennia later, philosopher, psychologist, and education reformer John Dewey (October 20, 1859–June 1, 1952) — one of the finest minds our civilization has produced, whose insights on how we think and the real role of education continue to refine the human spirit — addressed this abiding question of purpose in his 1916 masterwork Democracy and Education (public library). How to Discern Your Calling [Podcast] What keeps you going when the going gets tough … when you want to quit and walk off the field?
I recently had an experience that made me dig deep and reconnect with my calling. I share it in this episode. But I’m not alone. Tough times are inevitable for each of us. If you aren’t clear about your calling, you will cave in and quit. Click to Listen Subscribe to Podcast in iTunes The word “calling” comes from the Latin word, vocatio. It has four attributes: It is external.