What is a vocation? It is something that you can describe as occupation. It’s an occupation to which a person is especially drawn, or for which a person is suited. A Vocation is different from a job. Vocation is something that makes you not only occupied. It is something you can exercise your best skills, talents, and abilities. It is an activity that you enjoy and love, a part of your identity.
Of course, they’re people lucky enough to have a ‘job’ which is their vocation. But mostly it doesn’t happen by chance, but by searching, trying out, exercising, tasting it, and going with your gut feeling. This is the way to recognize your real passion, your way to living it out.
Sir Kenneth Robinson, one of the world influencers in education, calls it: The Element. When you are in your element, you don’t need to eat, drink, or sleep. You forget work-life balance. You are absorbed. It energizes you, fills you with happiness, pride, interest – you feel alive when doing it.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it: The Flow. When you are in your flow, you are using your existing experience, skills, or abilities and you are also learning something new.
Confucius once said: When you find your vocation, you will never need to work again. And so it is. That is the difference between working and being in your vocation. You connect your talent, abilities, and skills with your desire, your passion and it is effortless, it doesn’t feel like working.
When you ask people what they strive for in their lives, most people answer happiness. How can your happiness be achieved? Studies show that the major part of happiness is made by the clear idea of one’s purpose. To know what I am and why I am here. What I bring to others and what difference I make to the world.
The Japanese call it ikigai – “the reason to get up every morning”. Your life purpose. For some, it can be their occupation, if people love what they do. For others, it can be the care of their children if they are fully present in it. It consists of passion and joy of doing it. It absorbs and fulfills you, and enables your potential to develop. It gives you satisfaction and self-value.
In our workshops, we do an interesting exercise. We let our participants go back to their childhood and remember their most favorite game they played. This is a way how you can get connected with this part of your brain, which is often not asked about, but still possesses many valuable leads for critical decision making, like career choice in this case. Following this exercise, you might find a clue to a hidden desire, which you have not been able to follow and had to give way to something more practical or to a dream of someone’s who influenced your choice.