We have been told from our infancy that we can do whatever we want. We have been surrounded by myths where the princess gets the prince, where things come together, where we find the dream job doing “what we have always wanted.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? We should be able to do what we want and get paid for it. Or better yet, we “deserve” it. Do we? And why do we deserve it more than the citizen of Nepal who has to work as a farmer or else his family starves to death?
Doesn’t he deserve to be happy doing only what he wants? Or what he is designed to do? “Well, I can’t help his circumstances there. Only he can figure that out.” Maybe. Or maybe he is onto something that we all need to be reminded of.
Perhaps we can use our natural gifts and talents in any number of careers. Perhaps it is not really about “what” we do. Perhaps it is about “how” we do it anyway. What if we really began to think of vocation as “how” more than “what?”
We tend to focus on external “what’s.” It’s easier. But not more accurate. The internal how’s and why’s are where we find a sense of power. It’s where we find our you-ness. It pulls us from the dog-eat-dog competition that we often reduce career to.
When we go inside we begin to see a whole new world of ourselves, our calling, our identity. If we are only a “what” then the dog-eat-dog reality is the truth. All our “what’s” are competing for the limited number of “what” opportunities available.
Many few the world this way. We are merely cogs in a system. Economic only. Fighting for us and ours within the limited spoils of the system. In this view there are no other significant realms of reality. Just physical “what’s.”
Thankfully that is not the end of the line. We are free to think different from that reality (which has not always been the case). We don’t have to see ourselves as a necessary evil within a necessarily evil system. It’s just not reality.
That’s what going on the inside is all about. To some it may seem like escape but really it is just establishing our power. We are enormously powerful individuals with the will and the strength to change just about any situation with our will.
Some will insist we have to think our way out of it. Changing the way we think is extremely important. But it is not so much the philosophies we may or may not adopt or our politic. This internal framing is something far more fundamental.
It starts with the obvious but overlooked reality that we control what we think about. We literally get to choose which “windows” are open in our brain. It will not usually feel like this, but it is most certainly true. We can think how we want.
And we are what we think. Or put another way: whatever we focus on we become. Our thoughts need a destination. This is the limitation of thinking. We don’t “figure things out” independent of our soul, body, and spirit. Our thoughts govern, but soul leads.