“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

No one wants to just survive – surviving implies struggling for resources, barely keeping your head above water, waking up each morning with dread and waiting for the weekend. 

Thriving, on the other hand, is confidence in what you’re doing with your life; it is a deep-rooted sense of peace and contentment in not just your job, but your career path, your vocation. Because a job is just what pays the bills; a vocation is how and where you find fulfillment in your day to day.

But how does one know when they’ve found their vocation, that thing they were put on this earth to do? 

Great question. 

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

Each person was designed with a unique purpose in mind, a role in this life that only they can play – which is both beautiful and overwhelming at the same time. 

You might be thinking, “How in the world am I supposed to find that spark? There’s a million and a half potential options out there, and I’m supposed to pick just one?”

Before panic sets in, take a moment to think about the little things in life that bring you joy. What hobby or task completely relaxes you? Perhaps it’s an indescribable moment where you really feel alive, like that feeling you get when you sink into a sunset, or when your breath catches in your chest as you reach the hiking trail’s overlook or the humble satisfaction you feel when helping another person.

Maybe you feel blissfully lost in painting, while dancing or during gardening. Do you love discovering a new recipe, figuring out what this plug and that wire do in your car’s engine or designing your friend’s work-from-home office?

The list could go on and might not even mention that thing, that moment, that activity which really touches your soul. Only you can know what it is. So take some time to reflect on it. Consider writing down a list of activities and hobbies you love, and don’t be judgemental or selective as you write. If you find joy in it, write it down.  

“When you have a passion for something then you tend not only to be better at it, but you work harder at it too.” – Vera Wang

It goes without saying that it’s much more enjoyable to work at something because you love it, rather than just because you get a paycheck for it in two weeks’ time. Sure, money is motivating and we need it to survive, but after a while, it only motivates one to get out of bed and show up. 

Not very exciting. 

A vocation, on the other hand, motivates you to get up and show up because you love what you do.

Does this mean every day is going to be glittery rainbows? Absolutely not – it’s still life, after all, with all its roller coaster corkscrews. But, when you’re doing what you love, it’s easier to throw your hands in the air during the ride than white-knuckle the handlebars for dear life. 

Remember that list of hobbies you wrote down? Utilize it as a springboard for finding your vocation. Take the activities and brainstorm jobs from them. Are you really into gardening? Consider working landscaping, in a greenhouse or on a flower farm. Do you love being surrounded by people? Perhaps working at an event venue, an amusement park or in a hospitality position would be inspiring. Do you really love the comfort of home? There are thousands of remote jobs for all skill types, from content writing to graphic design to web developing.

“Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?” – Friedrich Nietzsche

We need to stop asking ourselves, “What career should I choose?” and “What job is good for me?” and instead start wondering, “What brings me life and how can I find that in a career?” or “What vocation can I see myself chasing for a long time?”

As Americans, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, and yet we frequently settle for jobs that just pay the bills. At Real Recovery, however, we believe that quality of life is just as important as making ends meet, because it gives you a deeper sense of purpose, of fulfillment and a stronger drive to push through difficult times when your career is life-giving. So take some time to really ask yourself, “What do I want my vocation to be?” 

And if you need suggestions, give our experts at Real Recovery a call at 1-855-363-7325. In tandem with sober living services, they’ll offer guidance, motivation and real world skills so you can begin investing in your vocation today.