Vocation motivation; The Heart Place:
Why do we choose to do the work that we do? What purpose does our vocation serve in our life and how do we use our vocations to motivate us to greater change throughout the various systems of our lives. I've worked with many individuals and families that use their work setting and focus as a retreat against the emotionally laden unspoken things in our lives that we cannot "fix".
Rules at work are so simple and clear; our work environments are the place of the "head", where we do our best for 8+ hours and then we come home to the "other stuff" that we have less control over. In our home and family settings we cannot "fire" someone, we cannot "fix" someone, we cannot "exchange or return" our parents, child, loved one. Yet so much of our work and vocation is a reflection of this "heart" place; a response to the encouragement of our parents, the distance of our siblings, the competitiveness of our friends.
Interestingly, vocation motivation happens regardless of the "issues" of your family; there are very few families that I work with where a substance user is not somewhere on the genogram but that doesn't mean this substance use is a motivating factor; sometimes the motivating factor for your vocation is a parental divorce or a disabled sibling, it might even be the suicide of a friend or loved one. Something draws each person to their work and makes it their place of retreat.
Vocation motivation and life's lessons:
Personally, I've wanted to be a therapist since I was 15 years old and I cannot imagine a life without the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from being a therapeutic practitioner. When one steps into that role, you are given permission to delve into the lives of others and see what works and what does NOT. I get to be the "fix-it" person for people that step into my sacred space and office. I also get a chance to practice the coping and mastery skills that I've learned throughout the years. One of the greatest secrets in the therapeutic community is resilience as previously mentioned. This resilience give us the strength to say "I'm not giving up, I can cope the best way I can, but I am not giving up." When we don't give up on our family, friends and self we find better ways to live in that "heart" place.
This weekend I had a chance to see the National Football League Hall of fame inductees and their teams get emotional and move into that "heart" place for the recognition for their vocation notivation. Regardless of the arena, the place we are most accountable to is Home