A lot of people talk about purpose. They tell you to follow your purpose for work and life and do whatever you’re passionate or meant to do in life.
While I agree that we have to follow our passion, I think a lot of people are missing the point on “purpose.” It’s not simply to do what you’re meant to do. There’s a bigger meaning to that word.
The Meaning of Purpose
When speaking about purpose, many people have a narrow definition of it. They talk about doing something for which we as individuals were created to do. In other words, many people speak of purpose as some cosmic undertaking.
This is a bit of a mistake.
Many successful people in life, and by the way, I’m not using that term narrowly to mean financial riches, work at what they believe is their purpose in life. That’s good for them, and many thought leaders tell you to find your purpose and chase it with everything you’ve got.
But, I would argue that many others do not work at what they would think is their life’s purpose, yet they are also successful. The success is possible because they do their work “with purpose.”
Working with Purpose
Have you ever wondered how some of the poorest people in the world could be so peaceful and happy? How about others who have a terminal disease and yet as they face certain death, they can live their lives above that reality? And, what of others still who have suffered great tragedy and somehow can survive and even thrive?
Upon reflection of these lives, it’s too simplistic to think their purpose is to bear their circumstances nobly.
How could people with great poverty or difficulties possess wealth beyond measure?
The reason for this is simple.
They live their lives with purpose.
Every moment in their lives is purposeful.
So, what does that mean in reality when many people aren’t doing what would seem to be their life’s purpose, but yet they are still able to be successful and have a meaningful life working with purpose?
- Working with purpose means you are compassionate with yourself. It means that although you might want to be at C, but are only at A, that’s okay. It means that you understand that achievement of any kind, large or small, does not come in one fell swoop. It comes with consistent work.
- Individuals who live and work with purpose understand that the mere fact that they are doing will bring them some challenge. That’s how life works. Yet, if their goal is something they truly desire, then they will be patient, and when the inevitable problems appear, they will draw on their patience, learn and keep going. They are people who are resilient and don’t let setbacks consume them.
- The wealthiest people understand that working with purpose means they find meaning in their work and their lives, whatever that may be. We, humans, are curious creatures. Most of us want to know and learn. But, many of us miss the meaning that comes in the simplest acts. The person who has the dirtiest job in the world can be one of the wealthiest because he understands the meaning behind his work and the contribution to the whole. On the other hand, the CEO of a company who has a vast fortune of riches may totally miss the meaning of working with purpose.
Purpose is a beautiful word and one that we should all make a point to hold in our daily lives. When you hold purpose in your hand and mind each day, you are reminded of your importance in the day to day. And when you work with purpose, your wealth grows immeasurably as even the simplest act can take on new meaning.
Posted: March 22, 2017
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