Find Your Reason For Being
- Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, December 4, 2023
Merely 'to do' is not enough. It's not sustainable. But 'to do' with a sense of passion and mission, where these emotional drivers converge with the practical components of your profession and vocation, is where your true reason for being can be found. Here's how.
Noun: An intense desire or enthusiasm for something.
Resolving network security issues at 1 AM on a weekend may not be your passion, but being the one the client calls because they know you're the only one they can rely on to find the answer makes it all worthwhile.
Slogging to distant cities and giving presentations at trade shows isn't something most people have on their bucket list, but meeting new people and seeing their enthusiasm when you explain how your company's product or service can improve their lives lifts your spirits.
Some folks shirk when faced with a tough challenge, a task against the odds and requiring an extraordinary amount of grit and determination to overcome. But not you.
You know it will be hard but you have faith in yourself that you'll find a way no matter what, and nothing can compare to that feeling of accomplishment when you're on the other side saying, "I did that!"
They say there are only two other people on the planet that know the subject matter as thoroughly as you, but one is retired and the other sold all their belongings and joined a cult. You're not the kind of person to take charge or to gather everyone together in a group cheer, but when it comes to knowing answers — the answers — you go to sleep at night assured that you will have them. All of them.
Noun: a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.
Not everyone knows what their mission in life is. Some never find it, and that's a shame. Others find their mission almost by chance. They come upon a circumstance or challenge that speaks to something within. They feel a sense that can only be described as, "I feel as if my whole life has prepared me for this moment."
Your mission isn't just an opportunity, a practical convergence of preparation meeting opportunity. Your mission is something you feel in your very soul.
Your mission is not just your education and training coming into its own. It is when your unchanging and inborn personality finds its purpose.
[The Core Values Index™ psychometric assessment is really good at helping you find your purpose.]
Noun: a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.
If things haven't gone well, you may find that your profession has become the exact opposite of your mission.
If your mission is what you feel, then your profession can be described as what you do.
If you have developed and learned skills to a high enough level to get paid to use those skills, then that can be described as your profession.
Your profession is what you do, regardless of how you feel about it. If your profession is also your mission — and bonus points if it's also your passion — then you're way ahead of the game.
Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life, so the saying goes. But what if what you love IS your work? Now you're getting somewhere.
Noun: a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation; a person's employment or main occupation, especially regarded as particularly worthy and requiring great dedication.
When someone is professionally good at something but doesn't enjoy it, we call them "reluctant heroes."
What is it called when you develop the skills and training required to do something professionally, and are fortunate to discover that you seem to be highly suited to that profession? We call that vocation.
In sports, some athletes are genetically predisposed to being good at it. They have the body type, the correct kind of muscle fibers, or even the rare ability to carry twice as much oxygen in their blood as the rest of us mortals. This convergence (there's that word again) of physical characteristics and opportunity to shine creates an athletic form of vocation.
Perhaps you have found your occupational niche where your personality feels ideally suited to a particular career. That is the ideal definition of vocation.
Bring these four attributes together — passion, mission, profession and vocation — and see what you find.
- If you combine your passion and your mission, that is what you love.
- If you combine your passion and profession, that is what you're good at.
- If you combine your mission and vocation, that is what the world needs.
- If you combine your profession and vocation, that is what you can be paid for.
All of these things brought together create what the Japanese call a "state of ikigai" or "reason for being."
Have you found yours?
Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.
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