How To Find Your Vocation?

The trick is to find your vocation hidden in your life.

-Jeff Goins

I recently read, “The Art of Work”[1] by Jeff Goins and came across this wonderful quote.

How exactly does one find his or her vocation hidden in life?

Let me offer some suggestions.  Slow down!  Listen to your life.  Observe your life.  Take in all of life with all of your senses:  taste, touch, smell, sight, auditory.

I think it is also very important to exercise your sixth sense – your spiritual awareness.

How exactly does one tap into the spiritual dimension?

A contemplative practice will dip into your spiritual awareness.  My practice is centering prayer.  Centering prayer is four simple steps.

  • Select a sacred word as the symbol of your intent to open to God’s presence and action within.
  • Sit comfortably.  Close your eyes.  Interiorly introduce your sacred word as your intent to open to God’s presence and action within.
  •  When you become aware of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, return ever so gently to your sacred word.
  •  At the end of the centering prayer session, remain in silence for a minute or two before you resume your daily activities.

For many, extended times of silence is very difficult.  Do not become discouraged.  Start small.  Take baby steps.  Perhaps initially you will only be able to handle five minutes.  Gradually increase the time frame of your session to fifteen or twenty minutes.  Slowly incorporate a second centering prayer sit into your day.

Centering prayer is one path I recommend.  There are other contemplative practices that you might wish to consider.  Let me list a few:  Christian Meditation, prayer labyrinth, chanting, walking, painting, photography.

All of these seem to have one common denominator.  They all entail “letting go” of the endless monkey chatter that goes on within your mind.  You ever so gently let it float away.  You open to something else that is beyond words, thoughts, emotions and even physical sensations.

How does a contemplative practice help you discover your vocation?  A long term, daily contemplative practice slows you down.  When you slow down, many, many neat things can begin to happen.

You begin to notice things with all of your senses that you previously did not see, hear, smell, taste and physically feel.  You become more present.  You become more aware.

You listen to someone whose opinion is much different than your own.  Things no longer need to be placed in categories and labelled right and wrong or good and bad.  They just are.  Everything belongs.  Things that once bothered you seem to no longer annoy you.

You begin to notice things you enjoy to do.  You begin to notice things that you are good at.  You might be asked to perform a new task and you surprisingly seem very open to try this new opportunity.  You begin to have a new excitement for life.

The amazing thing is that all of these things were always there.  You simply have discovered how to see them.  You have learned to see with new eyes.  You discover your vocation in your day to day life.  Your vocation is no longer hidden.  It patiently waits for you to see it and move forward in life with it.

Go Further:

Jeff Goins, The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do

Jeff Goins, Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age

Chris Ducker, Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business

Christine Valters Paintner, The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom

Christine Valters Paintner, The Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice

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 [1] Jeff Goins, The Art of Work, A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do, (Nelson Books:  2015)

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