What if work wasn’t just work? What if work was a vehicle to live and share a bigger purpose?
I believe there’s a flawed perception in our society that in order to live a life of purpose we have to leave our jobs and go solve world hunger, feed the homeless, move to Africa, or start a charity.
While these are all noble, needed causes with many who are called to do these very things, for others of us our bigger purpose can be found in the here and now, in the jobs we have, right under our noses. And when we find and live this purpose, it will provide the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life.
You may not build libraries around the world, but you can find the bigger purpose in reading to your children. You may not feed the homeless every day, but you can nourish your employees and customers with a smile, kind word, and care. And while you may not start your own non-profit organization, you can begin a charity initiative at work. After all, “charity” means “love in action.”
You can make a difference every day and touch the lives of everyone you meet. While these people may not be starving because of a lack of food, you can provide them with a different kind of nourishment that will feed their souls (and feed your own in the process).
Here are a few examples:
- I heard of a janitor who worked at NASA. And even though he was sweeping floors, he felt his bigger purpose was contributing to put a man on the moon.
- I met a bus driver who knows his purpose is to help kids stay off drugs.
- I met an administrative assistant who has become the Chief Energy Officer of her company.
- I received an email from a man in the mortgage business who sees his job as a way to help couples save their marriages by keeping their homes.
- I know a Popeye’s Chicken employee named Edith in the Atlanta Airport who makes thousands of air travelers smile each day.
The list goes on … ordinary people with an extra-ordinary purpose.
In any job our purpose waits for us to find it and live it.
I can’t tell you what your purpose should be, but I can tell you that every one of us can find a bigger purpose in the job we have.
I can tell you that every job, no matter how glorious or boring it may seem, will get mundane if we let it.
Purpose keeps it fresh. And when we are filled with purpose, we tap into an endless supply of energy.
Don’t wait until you go to Africa to start living with a mission. Don’t wait until the weekend to feed people who are hungry. Bring your mission to work, start working for a bigger purpose and nourish others in the process.