Scrambling for a career-defining hope, the bespectacled punter—short on sight—stabs for the attainable, within-reach vocational step, giving their entire life to this one task. They see that this career is going to ‘make them’ and that this promotion will meet the expectations of their dreams. For this thing, it seems, they were born.
How many are mistaken?
Life short-sightedness in this way is the calm exterior to the reality of a person scrambling for identity. Career is the logical choice to pour their effort and hopes into.
The trouble is, for all too few of us, career is a long step from true purpose and realisation of those dreams. Only to the genuinely called does the privilege of career make its blessing a home within.
A Better ‘Career’ – Focus on Whole-of-Life
It’s acceptable, for ninety-nine-point-nine percent of us, that we’re cut out for a normal life. Of the 0.1 percent of people who are called to a special life, a good portion of these live quite hellish lives—lives we’d be thankful not to lead.
Yet, so many of us want more from life—maybe kudos, recognition, a little more fluidity to our bank accounts—than we presently have, or look to be able to get from here.
There are many clichés that describe this short-sighted viewpoint of life.
Our biggest challenge is to learn how to be happy with what we’ve got; a sure way there is to keep in sight how big our lives already are—how long, wide and deep.
Most of us live many thousands of days and we pack several ‘careers’ into that time. Our breadth of life is enormous—just think of the diversity of people and situations we meet over every waking second; we’re placed into millions of situations. The depth of our feelings, particularly at loss, grief and triumph, cannot be plumbed.
Appreciating the whole of our lives is on the one hand recognising the complexity already there, and on the other it’s not putting undue pressure to ‘be’ someone or something else. Incongruence with our identities will not make us happier, only more disconnected, polarised, exposed... disenchanted.
The secret to inner peace and contentment rests deep within us; to the knowledge of ourselves and our identity in God.
Only through this search—to our inner selves—can we dredge up the spoil of happiness that means anything good at all.
A career is not going to do it. Only a whole-of-life focus is going to assist because it won’t allow one area of life to become more important than other areas.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.