Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Art of Manliness: Finding Your Calling Part IV

We've talked about what a vocation is  -- and what it isn't -- and why bother trying to find ours. Today?

The Art of Manliness
The Art of Manliness (Photo credit: Chandra Marsono)

Part IV: Discovering Your Vocation

We start with a formula that sure looks simple at first glance:
Your True Vocation=Your Gifts+Your Passion
Right. Super-simple.

So, first we have to find our gifts. Because that's been so successful in the past.

One tip the McKays give is to try to separate the signal from the noise. What do you do for you, as opposed to what you do because you're "supposed to"?

Consider the following questions the McKays pose:
  • As a boy, what did you love to do? Write? Read? Sports? Working on models? Playing with a chemistry set? Spending time outdoors? Pretending to be a solider or a spy?
  • During school group projects, what job did other students assign to you, or did you volunteer for?
  • What aspects of your current job do you love, which do you loathe?
  • What kinds of projects and jobs at work and at home do you get excited about? What kinds do you dread?
  • Have you ever talked to a friend about a topic, a dream, or an aspiration and everything just clicked inside of you, and you felt a surge of excitement throughout your body?
  • What things do you see other people doing that make you ache with jealousy because you wish you were doing them?
  • What issues get you really fired up?
  • What dream has nagged at you for as long as you can remember, the thing that always pops into your mind no matter how many times you dismiss it?
  • What fills your thoughts in the quiet moments when you’re riding the train or lying in bed? What do you think about incessantly, what captures your imagination? Politics? Spirituality? Relationships?
  • If time, money, education and any other obstacle was a non-issue, what kind of work would you choose to do?
  • What were you doing the last time you totally lost track of time?
I'm not sure that last question is as valid as they think it is -- the emphasis is theirs.  After all, how many of us have "totally lost track of time" messing around on Pinterest, or playing Solitaire, or watching reality TV?  But the rest of those questions are actually pretty interesting.  I might even consider hitting some of them up as essays.

What gifts do you have? How did you discover them?

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