Motivation Grows from Vocation

Motivation Grows from Vocation

SAS graduates will have careers stretching into the mid 21st century when social stresses will include globalization, climate change, growing income inequality and other issues.  Each graduate will need skills, talents, energy, and some luck to navigate the changing landscape.  As an older person, my hopes for a safe transition to the future are pinned on the generations assuming leadership now and in the upcoming years.

 I know the 21st century challenges will be immense for leaders at all levels.  Leaders in the social science fields of health, business, and education must insure an equitable social experience for all.  SAS graduates are preparing for tough work; and yet, they want to join the fray.  What calls doctoral learners to leadership in the social sciences?

 In my experience, SAS doctoral learners often talk about giving back to their home community and leaving a tradition or legacy of education for their children and grandchildren.  Many SAS students say the doctoral program opens possibilities for greater contributions.  In other words, a greater purpose lends meaning to their studies, work, or vocation.   And, students tell me, reflecting on doctoral commitment allows a connection to identity.

 I agree that gaining insights into identity and values is inner work.  Look back to see the values embodied in your life and what values underlie decision to pursue a doctoral degree. Listen with an inner ear and you may hear a call to serve smaller or greater communities and inspire grandchildren.

 Motivation, passion, and commitment come from getting clarity on purpose and the unique role that each is called to play.   Find that sweet spot where talents and loves (what you do well or learn to do well) and the needs of the world overlap; and, there you will find a vocation and motivation. 

 You are preparing for important work that will influence the lives of our children and grandchildren.  Stay focused and keep walking forward. I have posted some more motivational materials over at the link below.

Thank you for reading and your comments are welcome.


Barbara Fedock's picture Barbara Fedock | May 30, 2016 6:32 pm MST


Thank you for the motivational material.  When I was midddle school teacher, I created a bulletin board in my classroom, and I posted my motto "Bloom Where You Are Planted" in the center of the board.  On the first day of school, I asked my students to select and color a flower pattern.  I encouraged creative designs that inspired students to demonstrate their personalities and passions.  The board stayed up all year, and the students and I often cried when I returned the flowers to them at the end of the year.  

Motivation inspires passion, and passion blossoms into commitment.  Thank you for sharing.

Barbara Fedock

Elizabeth Johnston's picture Elizabeth Johnston | June 2, 2016 4:27 pm MST

Thank you so much Barbara!  I worked in middle schools for many years and observed students experiencing important transitions.  I admire your emphasis on the individual qualities and value of each child.  Thanks for sharing.