Choosing a vocation


Respected Guruji, I am currently an Engg. student but unable to pass exam as I don’t feel curiosity and interest while studying the subjects, as I am on my verge of changing my career, will meditation help me to recognize my talent and work with that, if yes, then how?

—Vivek Rana, India


Dear Friend,

You are certainly asking the right question, one that more people should be asking as they embark on adult life and career!

Meditation — more specifically the intuition developed through meditation — can help you to find the right career. Paramhansa Yogananda addressed this exact question:

One thing that must be your first concern: you must find your vocation. By contact with the Cosmic Vibration in meditation, you will be led to the goal, you will be led to the thing you ought to do. Concentrate upon that thing, make yourself proficient in that.

Success in a career depends on doing something that interests you — something that you are avid about.Yogananda pointed out that the interests that we have when we are young are often (not always) coming from our past lives and samskars, uncolored by peer pressure or the pressure of society and parents.

I found that comment interesting because when I was in high school I was torn between two careers which both expressed interests that I was avid about: writing and gardening.

Later in high school I had an inner experience which confirmed quite clearly the direction for my life, and I made the strong decision at that point to spend the rest of my life and career as “a yogi seeking God” — even though I had never even met a yogi at that point in my life or knew how I could make a “career” out it! I think that if I had gone to my high school career guidance counselor, or to my parents, and told them I had decided on a career, they would have thought I was crazy.

But I did trust my strong inner guidance and it turned out to be the right thing for me to do. But what is also interesting is that two of the things I’ve most enjoyed doing as an adult, and which have been part of my ‘job’ at various times, have been gardening and writing (my first fourteen years at Ananda were spent as a gardener). So there is something to the idea of tuning in to true interests that you had when young.

In the meantime, until you know what that is, you still must act in this world and put out energy in some direction. As a friend once put it, “You can’t steer a parked car!” So yes, meditate on what is right for you. But also start acting in small ways on your interests to see if they can lead to a career.

If you can find a vocation that you are absolutely avid about, and spend your life refining and perfecting that skill, you will be so very successful on many levels, including happiness.

I’ll end with more words of wisdom from Yogananda:

Selection of your vocation must be in accordance with your inner interest, instinctive inclination, and intuitive meditative guidance. Do not try to seek success in a business that you hate.