Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Renew Your Vows to Your Career

This weekend my wife and I were honored to attend our friends' wedding. The ceremony-set in a local park on a warm, postsummer evening-was a simple and elegant testament to the values and personalities of the couple. They gazed lovingly into each others' eyes and made public vows to each other to fully commit themselves to the new relationship they were creating. Within half an hour it was over; everything was different. There was a new couple standing before us with new priorities and a new level of devotion to each other.

But, really, nothing was different. Their living situation remained the same, they had the same jobs...their lives-practically-were going to continue pretty much as it had before.

Different, but not different...I was struck by this paradox and how relatable it is to our careers.

Day in and day out we go to our place of work more out of a sense of obligation to our lifestyles than a sense of devotion to our lives. Further, we treat our careers as a sacrifice of time rather than a celebration of it. Imagine how we would feel if we considered marriage the same way.

In a strong marriages, the couple devotes themselves to the relationship and focuses on it to guide their choices so that they are optimally fulfilled. In strong, fulfilling careers, you need to devote yourself not to the how of what you're doing (your job) but the why: your goals, sense of purpose, those that you serve, and the art that you create through your actions. A stronger sense of responsibility fuels your actions, not a sense of obligation.

What are you going to take a stand for? What will you devote yourself so that you are engaging with your career dream? And how will you carry it out? Make your stand public in the comments below.

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