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text: jewelz
pic: from Sandman:
a game of you
Laurence Boldts Zen and the Art of Making a Living could be almost revolutionary in its premises, the most important one being that there is a difference between a career and a vocation. He quotes Aristotle "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation." Vocation is the vocabulary of organized religion. Depending on where you stand, it robs, lightens the load of or liberates the individual of choice. It is a command handed down and blessed by a supreme being. Boldt wants to extend this to other decisions of lifetime devotion. The carpenter, dishwasher and president will take pride and fulfillment in their work in the knowledge that their talent is at its optimal use. And all of this comes after or during arduous phases of introspection.
He writes "With your own power the battle begins. You slay the dragons of doubt, you vanquish the notion of settling for less than your best, and then you fight for yourself in the marketplace."
Not swayed by the glitzy, the powerful or the material, the honest answer can be realized in self.

No fruitful career orientation can begin without self-knowledge and contemplation, both of which require a mature perspective and heart. It is a design of personal aspirations, beliefs, values and talent. What this quest means in a world of serial careers, I donít know. Maybe itís an opportunity for many to realize their vocation after tallying up a score of trial and error.

I should say however, that introspection and finding your call in life shouldnít be administered as a panacea. A great many people canít handle the responsibility of reflection. Its unruly structure and the no-given-answers model can evoke strong feelings of inadequacy, not to mention the termination of some relationships we take for granted. Most of us, myself included, look for the answers in others - self-appointed leaders and career advisors, teachers and parents.

Thereís a lot at risk, yet no one knows what the rewards are. Are you willing to find out? Are you curious? Are you ready?

And for those worrying about financial trouble often considered in the event of a career change, consider the following; according to Boldt a 20 year-study attempted to find the source of success and found that people who earned the most were people who found something they really loved to do and stuck with it.


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