December 6

There might be false starts and
do-overs.  You are entitled to
experiment before you find
your calling.

Jane Pauley


Today's Meditation:

It's interesting to see just how many people start their careers extremely early in life--in their teens if they head to college with a certain degree in mind--and end up burning out rather early because they end up doing something that may bring in money, but that doesn't fulfill them in any way.  I've known plenty of people who aren't at all happy in their jobs, yet they feel that they're stuck in what they're doing and can't get out, especially if they now have families who depend upon their income.

One of the most fortunate things I ever did was spend three years living and working in Europe.  There I found that many, many people don't consider starting a career until their late 20's, after their studies and after their travels.  They don't consider their first choices of careers to be their last choice--the people that I met knew that it might take several tries to find just the right career for them.  And that perspective helped them to be able to be honest with themselves.  "No, this job really isn't for me" is a very valid response to doing certain types of work.

There's often a lot of pressure on us to start our careers and start earning an income.  If we bend to that pressure too early without finding out about several different types of work that we may be suited for, there's a good chance that we'll never be able to work in the areas of our true callings.  And when we find our true callings, then we're able to earn a living doing something that we truly love, and when we love our work, our contribution to that work can be much, much stronger.

You are entitled to do-overs.  It's one of your rights--and often needs--in life.  If you don't take advantage of this right, then do your best to love the work that you do find, even if it may not be your true calling.

Questions to consider:

Why do we often feel pressure to start our careers earlier?

What kinds of things do you really love, and do you feel that you're really good at?  Are you working in that area?

If you could do things over, which field(s) would you go into?  Why?  Are there opportunities for you to work in that field or those fields now?

For further thought:

What you need to do is think of work as "vocation."  This word
may seem stilted in its tone, but it has a wisdom within it.  It
comes from the Latin word for calling, which comes from the
word for voice.  In those meanings it touches on what work really
should be.  It should be something that calls to you as something
you want to do, and it should be something that gives voice to
who you are and what you want to say to the world.

Kent Nerburn


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