There comes a time in your life where you start to wonder is this all there is? If you’re starting to ask yourself the question, “what do I really want to do with my life”, you’re in the right place. We’ll connect the dots between how your work, career, and vocation all fit into this life plan.
What do I really want to do in my life? What do I stand for? Who am I?
You’re asking these questions because even though your survival needs (eg., food and shelter) are satisfied, you are realizing that your spirit may have been ignored along the way. When you start to become dissatisfied, this is when your spirit starts to emerge. You begin to tap into a higher order of thinking that you want to bring into your life. You want to know how to bring spirit into work so that your mind, heart and soul is fully lit and you become a full being.
You’re not born to do a job.
There’s a hierarchy to the work you do that you may not realize is always at play. The first order of the hierarchy is to get a job. The second order is a career. The third is then a vocation.
When you think of a job, this job is the survival part of your life. It’s the Sunday scaries and the complaints when you’re at home. It’s when we feel powerless to change the environment and we think of how quickly we can clock in and out. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing – this 9-5 attitude is the reality within our cultural norms. The thing you do have to know about this is that you can experience spirituality at work even in this kind of job. You’ll learn new things, meet great people, create meaning, develop a sense of community and what your talents are and are not. This is available to you in every single job. You’ll get to the point however, when you start to feel like you’re not learning anymore. You realize that even though your survival needs are being satisfied, your spirit tells you that it’s time to move on.
As you move on and you string more of these jobs together, you now have a career. A career in which you are earning an income. The main difference between a career and a job is that you are now looking for longer-term advancement opportunities, promotions, increased pay and responsibilities. You’re setting goals, looking for training, and may even have a healthy competition with others in the workplace.
These all sound good. So why am I dissatisfied?
One of the reasons you’re likely dissatisfied now is that you’re actually looking for a vocation, not a career and you don’t realize it. One of the clear signs that you’re looking for a vocation is that you feel like you need to to be of service. You want others to be more than what they are. You want to help or heal the world.
When I began to identify my calling, my vocation – it started with the thought that I wasn’t having the impact on the world that I knew I could, and that my gifts were not being utilized. For years, I had this latent sense of dissatisfaction and this was the voice of my soul telling me that it was being ignored and that my passions were starving. I was good at the work I was doing, better than average even – but I wanted to be best in class and not only that – I wanted to have an impact while doing so. If you sense that your passion is waiting to unfold, then you’re in search of a vocation, not just a career. If you start to ask yourself, “what am I doing here” or “why have I been born?” you’re asking yourself about your vocation. Instead, you think it has to do with your next career move or what your career should look like, and that you’ll be happy once you figure that out. Am I right? I know this because most people come to me asking about their next career move, when in reality they are seeking a vocation.
Don’t get me wrong, you will be happy once you figure out your next career move. Not only will you be happy, but you’ll then have the space to start asking the next question which is, “what am I REALLY here for?” My work here is to guide you through not so good to good to great. I want you all to be happy in your careers. And if you’re already happy in your careers, I want you to know you can create an even greater sense of fulfillment when you’re ready by stepping into your vocation.
Stepping into your vocation is a spiritual process of self discovery. This is when you begin to do the work of integrating your physical and emotional needs into a whole self, where you can begin to live a life of more service. We begin to ask ourselves, “what would we do if money wasn’t a concern?” or “what would we do if we knew we couldn’t fail?” or “if I knew I was worthy to do anything, what would I do?” These questions bring out the inner child, the victim, the saboteur and all these different patterns of behavior that keep us from living out our inner desires.
Overcoming these patterns will require you to do something that looks a bit crazy. This is a good sign. When this inspiration starts to emerge, your ego and your higher self will be battling you for attention. Your ego will tell you that you will fail, you’re alone, you’re going to run out of money, and you end up in this cycle of fear. Your higher self and spirit is telling you that you have talents and a potential. A potential that is being awakened by your vision. By definition, you don’t know what this will look like exactly and you haven’t done this yet because it is new. So yes, you will be new at this. But the mistake you will make if you listen to this fear is that you’ll keep yourself living in the past. If you keep using the past to try to create a future, you’ll stay in this karmic cycle of where you are today.
Anytime you look at your history, you’re going to run into your ego. The spirit and higher self will give direction in terms of inspiration. Yet having no history can also be a positive thing. It’s a matter of perspective. You don’t know what your abilities will be and this is where all these patterns of your inner child can be used for good. You can start to see why there’s play and newness here and how amazing it’s going to be. With a shift in perspective you’ll realize that having no history here means there’s less healing that you need to do to make this happen.
Your job is to maintain the vision
It’s a full-time job to consistently tap into that part of yourself where your passion lies and tend to it every single day. From a spiritual perspective, the purpose of life is the journey of integrating all the parts of your spirit that have been splintered apart after you were born. Each experience you’ve had contains so many jewels of wisdom and your life is collecting all this wisdom that you’ve discovered in your life path. Not only that, the journey of becoming conscious is to find parts of you that haven’t been absorbed and bring them in consciously and fully. For example, any difficult or challenging experiences we’ve had tell us what parts of ourselves we still have to heal. I remember that the times I’ve envied others is because they showed me what it was that I also wanted. There was something in this person that I desired to fulfill my soul and I realized that because anytime you’re not responding to someone in an empowered way, this seemingly negative experience is really the perfect experience. The experience that asks you and me to look inward instead of outward for power.
You are on a spiritual path
You’ve decided that you want your job to go through the transformation of changing to a career and then to a vocation. You’ve asked for a process to occur inside of you when you think you’ve asked for a career. This spiritual path often contains a feeling of betrayal or dissatisfaction with your work and the world. You’ll start to lose a sense of trust in the world or the system and you start thinking, “this isn’t my path”. That’s when you wake up and you realize that your desire for a career or a vocation is really to find that the power exists inside you instead of outside of you. You start to realize all the ways in which you’ve let the outside world and your patterns and beliefs dictate how you live. You begin to examine these influences and identify your limiting beliefs and the patterns that are not serving you. You need to take a hard look at your patterns.
From a spiritual point of view, the question is this: can you be trusted to carry out the visions you’ll receive? Will you be able to manage the energy you’re going to receive through your system? Will you serve others or will you serve yourself? The Universe is saying to you, “don’t worry about taking care of yourself, we’ll take care of you – but can you be trusted to work with us?”
You’ll feel alone and that’s ok
The first feelings of this process are often ones of aloneness and how others don’t understand what you’re going through. There is a reason for that. This is your process. Your transformation. Others aren’t supposed to understand you. You’re not even supposed to know what it will all look like in the end. All you do know is that this isn’t it anymore and that what used to satisfy you isn’t what satisfies you today.
First things first
The first step is being willing to identify that you’re dissatisfied and that even though you may not have the capabilities for the next, new thing – you know that what you’re doing now isn’t it. The second step is to act on your inspirations. I know that financial concerns are real, but trust me when I say that acting on your inspirations can take many forms and that when you are determined to follow the guidance you receive, you will be supported. Practically, you need to develop the skills and meet the people you need to meet in order for you to move onto the next step. These opportunities will come into your life, sent by the Universe, when you say yes to your dreams.
There are many questions to ask to get clarity and keep you focused, but we’ll start with these two:
- What opportunities do you feel are emerging that you would like to explore?
- What intuitive feelings do you have coming forth right now?
If you have a journal nearby, write the answers down now. Get started on listening to your true desires and clear on what patterns are holding you back from acting on them. Listening to your intuition isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
Well that’s it my friends for today’s episode. If you liked this topic, you’ll love my new 4 month Intuitive Leadership coaching program for the spiritual achiever and soulful leader. I’m also hosting a free 3 day livestream series on what it means to be an Intuitive leader, lead from intuition and how to co-create a life of more meaning, fun and purpose. Go to www.mayempson.com/intuitiveleadership to sign up for the livestream. Hope to see you all there!