Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Art of Manliness: Finding Your Calling Part V

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In Parts I and II of our series on vocation we talked about what a vocation is.
In Part III we put forth an argument for why every man should pursue his vocation.
In Part IV we discussed how to find your vocation.
In this final installment in the series, we will discuss the obstacles men face in going after and embracing their true vocation.
Thank you, Brett and Kate McKay, for writing my recap for me. I took a few liberties with your links.

So, as the McKays said above, today is:

Part V: Obstacles to Embracing Your Vocation

We've discussed obstacles before, and some of them are pretty heavy. I'm not just talking about the standard, oh-it's-silly, I-don't-believe-in-myself, what-would-people-say kind of obstacles, although those are real and can be scary.

I'm talking about, "To make that a reality, I'd need to devote 80 hours a week to it, and the only way I can even begin to do that is to quit my job, but I do kind of need, you know, money and insurance and all that good stuff."

The McKays cite psychologist Abraham Maslow as they make a list of the fears that keep us from succeeding:
  • The fear of the unfamiliar. Yeah, OK, I'll  give you that one. Self-explanatory.
  • The fear of change and sudden pain. Sounds like the same thing, to me, but sure. 
  • The fear of losing control and identity. Still sounds pretty much the same, just a bit more specific. Chillingly more specific, if I think about it too long. Hell, I overthink getting my hair cut. Identity is kind of a thing. Well, you've been reading along, you know how it is.
  • The fear of being set apart from others. I'm not as sure about this one, but I see the point. I never have felt quite like I fit into any given group (introversion doesn't help), but the prospect of not fitting in going forward is more a cause for despair, not fear. Your mileage may vary, of course.
  • The fear of being ridiculed. Definitely, although given that we're discussing a blog about manliness, it brings to mind a quote from Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear: “At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.” So, you know, there's that.
  • The fear of responsibility.  Yep, and pretty much leads to:
  • The fear of failure. Oh, that's a big one for me. I'm having flashbacks to high school, worrying to myself, "Everyone wants the person who's best at something. Nobody wants the person who's second-best at everything." I wasn't even an athlete and I had somehow absorbed the disgusting "Second place is just the first loser" mentality, so I was terrified of coming in second. And I'd guess it still ripples to this day.
  • The fear of our own greatness.  I know this is a thing.  I just don't understand it. I'm sure I even have it; it's common enough. But I just don't get it, at least not in any way I can articulate
The McKays then give us a list of all the things we do to keep from facing these fears. I don't know about you, but if I'm doing them, I'd rather figure out how to stop than learn how else I might do the same thing I'm trying not to do.  Assuming that last sentence makes as much sense on your screen as it did in my head, anyway. Crap, now I'm feeling self-conscious.  Thanks, McKays.

So! Solutions!


There aren't any! Make a five-year plan and hope you don't fall into any of your old traps!

Terrifying.  Happy Halloween, folks.
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