Work Is Love Made Visible (Part I)

Work has gotten a bad rap. Just reading through the definitions of work you come across phrases like, “effort expended on a particular task” or “the results of a particular manner of production.” And I think it’s true that most of the employed population consider job and work as synonymous. While it can be, work can be so much more.

I break work into three categories; a job, a career, and a calling. Most definitions of work are actually defining a job. A job is something you do to survive. For most Americans a job provides them enough money to do the things they really enjoy when they are not working. One job is just about as good as another as long as it provides the money, time, and security to pursue a life outside the job.

A career is like a job on steroids. It usually requires a greater investment than a job in terms of time, money, education, and planning. Careers are built over years or decades and in many cases over a lifetime. A career lifts us beyond the survival mode and allows us to thrive in our community. The career should be a stepping stone to a calling.

A calling is different from a job or a career in that it is uniquely suited to that individual. A calling requires a masterful meld of talent, experience, wisdom, and intuition. It springs from a strong intrinsic urge to express one’s inner essence in the outer world. It is enlivening and inspiring on every level. A calling is a labor of love. Kahlil Gibran , following his calling as an artist, writer, and poet, had this to say, “Work is Love Made Visible.”

Without exception every one of us has a calling. As children we were excited about growing up and becoming an astronaut or a veterinarian or a ballet dancer. These were the newly sprouting seeds of our calling. Discover of Transformational Theory, George Land researched how this spark of creativity is lost through the years. It shows in 98% of adults (mean age 32 years) those tender shoots are ground under the “forget your dreams and grow up” heels of adulthood. You may have forgotten the excitement and joy they brought into your life. You may have ignored your calling all these years but it is still there and it can be recaptured in a heartbeat. Of course you owe it to yourself to dig up, dust off, and begin living your calling. You also owe it to the rest of us. Anything less is a crimp in the heart of humanity.

(In part two of this post I would like to consider how you can realize your calling.)


Beyond Happiness; Frank Kinslow

Breakpoint and Beyond; George Land, Beth Jarman

Eufeeling!; Frank Kinslow

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