I can not count the number of times this has been a topic of much musing and discussion in our office. What is purpose? Do our lives have a meaning? Is what we are doing as a business meaningful? Is working at LAS, our calling or are we doing this to make money and pass time?
Been there before? We certainly have! In all honesty, we are yet to figure it out. We are all in a continuous journey of self discovery, reflection and evaluation.
This blog post is not aimed to help you figure out your calling. Sorry. But hopefully it will rattle your cage and make you start thinking of where you are and where you would ideally like to be.
Many people conflate calling with identity. They confuse who they are with what they are made to do. While the two are connected, they are not the same. Identity is who you are, but calling is how you express that. It is the string that connects our dots and allows us to feel fulfilled. It is, according to most widely accepted definitions, where your deepest passions and your greatest strengths intersect.
Calling: where your deepest passions and your greatest strengths intersect.
So are you in a work environment where your passion and strength intersect? Why not take a moment to evaluate your satisfaction? A lot of people say, “I work to live rather than love to work”. That sounds reasonable, but it’s usually a rationalization tool used by those who hate their jobs so they can muster the strength to endure them. The truth is that life is too short to work somewhere you are not passionate.
Ideally we should aim to love our work and not just endure it. Yes, not everyday will be glamorous, but if you dread getting out of bed, and diving into your occupation – something must change. You should love what you do. Or at least like it. Don’t settle for just going through life enduring Monday through Friday.
Sit down quarterly or as often as you can and ask yourself critical questions about whether or not you are content in your current assignment:
- Do I love what I do?
- Do I feel I’m just enduring this?
- Has this become a means to an end [money, fame, significance], or does it give me a sense of purpose?
- Is the greatest intent of my week to get to the weekend or next vacation day?
- If someone told me that I had to quit this assignment tomorrow, would I be relieved or disappointed?
- Am I still being challenged?
- Would my friends and family say that this assignment is right for me?
- Is where I am integral to getting me where I really want to be?
- Am I dreaming about next phases more often than thinking about what is currently in front of me?
After asking these questions, if it is clear you aren’t satisfied, you have two choices: work to change the dynamics of your current assignment or begin looking for a new one. Stave off guilt and shame and grant yourself permission to be honest and take action. It’s too important.
Share with us your thoughts! Where are you in your journey to find purpose in what you do? What has helped? What advice can you give others?