Best You Guru™

Vocation juxtapose Avocation


We are socialized to pursue a vocation to pay the bills and consume what is advertised. People speak of their desire to pursue a vocation of passion but many become discouraged by society in favor of the pursuit of consumption. Art, music, and literature have been removed from classrooms in favor of more business-friendly subjects. Vocational classes have been removed because of the so-called lack of demand for Blue-collar occupations. In many school districts, Highschool football stadiums flourish while the arts are vanquished. 

Students are discouraged from pursuing studies involving art, music, literature, or humanities because of the absurd assumption that they will not be able to earn a living. Unfortunately, millions of Americans pursue a vocation with a plan of earning enough to pay the bills. This leads people along the path of servitude instead of uplifting people to the fulfillment of potential. People are informed that a passionate vocation is a luxury and not realistic. Children are socialized to accept the belief that lower expectations are realistic. People are socialized to accept the idea that an avocation is something a person pursues pleasure. A vocation is something that is a must in our pursuits and an avocation is to be pursued part-time or incidentally. 

Life’s Pursuit 

I maintain that your avocation should be the pursuit of your life. It is the very essence of your being. You are born with your truest avocation. Your vocation could be your avocation. There are those among us that have found a way to make their avocation a vocation. One of my truest friends has accomplished this with his life. He knows of no other way to live. He lives his authentic identity. Your vocation should never become your identity. Your identity may become your vocation. A vocation maybe something that pays the bills in support of your avocation. But your identity should always contain your avocation.       

Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.” 

Oprah Winfrey: “If you want to fly, harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling.”

There is no secret you need to discover. There is no perfect job. There is only the perfect you. You were born with the perfect passion, the perfect mission, and the perfect purpose. “The crime which bankrupts man and states, is, job-work; -declining from your main design, to serve a turn here or there. Nothing is beneath you if it is in the direction of your life: nothing is great or desirable, it is off from that. I think we are entitled here to draw a straight line and say, that society can never prosper, but always be bankrupt until every man does that which he was created to do.” Ralph Waldo Emerson    

Pains of Life

There are two great pains in life: The pain of discipline and the pain of regret. It takes discipline to live your authentic identity. It takes discipline to resist the seductive temptation of conformity. I ask you to suffer the pain of this discipline. The pain of regret is too heavy a burden upon the soul. Do not wait until your last days to realize the opportunity that was given to you. Do not regret lacking the conviction to live your authentic identity. 

 Action Step

When asked what do you do? Do not respond with your vocation unless it is your avocation as well. When asked, respond with your passion. 

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David Ponsler is one of the finest Blacksmith artists in the world. He has been featured in international magazines, his work displayed in museums, he has lectured and taught at seminars and universities. Review his website. 


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