No good life is possible unless it is organized around a vocation. If you try to use your work to serve yourself, you’ll find your ambitions and expectations will forever run ahead and you’ll never be satisfied. If you try to serve the community, you’ll always wonder if people appreciate you enough. But if you serve work that is intrinsically compelling and focus just on being excellent at that, you will wind up serving yourself and the community obliquely. A vocation is not found by looking within and finding your passion. It is found by looking without and asking what life is asking of us. What problem is addressed by an activity you intrinsically enjoy?
This is a 4" x 4" painting of my friend Margaret working in her studio; it was commissioned by her boyfriend as a gift to her. We both appreciate that she is an artist truly pursueing her vocation. She serves her work. As a result she gets to make a living as an artist and serve the world with surprise and beauty.