When it comes to our occupation there are 3 ways we describe it: a job, a career or a mission.
A job is dangerous. You don't enjoy a job. It's something you're doing to get by & survive. It's mundane & doesn't offer value in your life except monetarily.
A career is also dangerous. It's just another name for "job" albeit probably provides a heavier paycheck & usually there's a specialty in a specific field. You're a professional, yes. But it's dangerous in that it's easy to get consumed by a "career". You see it all the time. You see us trudge along to do work we hate or go to school to get a degree in something that will provide a stable life. Still, in this stability, something is still missing. Our lives still feel empty.
I'll get to "mission" in a minute.
You ever notice during small talk the first thing people ask is, "So what do you do?" And isn't it funny that the first answer we give is our occupation? Why is that the thing that defines us? "I'm the district manager for AT&T." Really? That's what encompasses you? I believe we are soooo much more.
When I'm asked that now, I always respond with, "I'm passionate about..." Then after I've given my answer, I ask the person what they're passionate about. You would be surprised how much more someone opens up. You would be surprised how their face lights up & is willing to engage. Because everyone loves to talk about their passions. And trust, the conversation is a lot more interesting than hearing someone talk about their Weekly Estimated Net Usage Statistics (or WENUS...big ups for the Friends reference).
The life I wanna lead (& the kind of example I wanna set for my son) is a life with a mission. I want to add value to the world. I want to know that when I wake up every morning I'm doing something that I not only love but that it somehow leaves the world a better place than I found it. This is it...the one life on earth that you have. Do you want to spend it at a job or spend it with a big mission in mind?
How about you? What kind of occupation do you have? Is it a job, a career or a mission? If you tell me you love what you do but it's a career, reframe it. Think about WHY you do it & you'll find that there's a mission there. Cuz who knows? You might have a "career" as an accountant but you love the hell out of it. That means that you DO have a mission...to help people navigate their financial lives. In the same token, you might have a "job" or a "career" & it brings you no joy whatsoever. I also understand you can't just get up & go. In that case, it's even more pertinent that you find a mission ASAP. You may not be able to do it for a living (yet) but you can still find a way to put time towards it. Point is, without a mission, life is always going to feel empty & devoid of meaning.
Start thinking of your mission & I can bet you'll start waking up every day with more purpose & live a more meaningful life.
(Side note, I wrote this status from my own head but it was inspired by what I've learned reading the book Minimalism. Pick it up & read it if this interested you. It's pretty eye opening)