Are you longing for a career that fills you with a sense of purpose? You are not alone! Most people want to make a meaningful difference with their work. While searching for a career that aligns with your purpose can sometimes feel elusive, here are three wonderful ways to find meaning right where you are.
Become Aware of the Difference You Make
Whether you are aware of it or not, you are already making a difference every day. The way you greet your neighbour, smile at a stranger, soothe your child, laugh at your friend’s joke makes a difference. Your moment-by-moment thoughts, feelings and expressions are making a difference.
I was recently reminded of this truth, during my early morning qi-gong practice at the beach. When I spotted a pile of dog pooh, I called out to a nearby dog owner and asked if he had a spare plastic bag, so that I could clean it up. As he came closer, he picked up the dog pile with the words: “Now the world is just a little bit better.” I thanked him and we both smiled. Yes, indeed, this small exchange of kindness and care made a difference.
Take a moment now to reflect on your day or week. Jot down moments when you were making a difference, or you witnessed someone else making a difference.
Ask Yourself WHY
Get into the habit of asking yourself the WHY question throughout the day. It creates a little pause for you to reflect on the impact of the activities you are engaged in.
My husband and I once contemplated hiring a cleaning service for our home, but somehow it didn’t feel right. When we asked why it didn’t feel right to get help, we realized that cleaning is one of the ways in which we nurture our home. We now feel an even stronger sense of purpose when we engage in all the activities involved with keeping our home clean and beautiful.
How about you, what do you notice when you reflect on the activities you regularly engage in? What’s the impact of these activities that instills a sense of purpose in you?
Notice What Inspires YOU
There is yet another wonderful way to connect with your sense of purpose, pay attention to what inspires you. Who are your heroes? What about these people inspires you?
One of my heroes is the character Maude from the movie “Herold and Maude.” In case you haven’t watched it, this cult classic from the 70’s pairs Harold, a disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and loveable, eccentric 80-year-old Maude. They meet at a funeral, and develop a taboo romantic relationship, in which they explore the meaning of life with a fresh perspective. I admire Maude’s joy for life, her free spirit and her way of living according to her own principles.
How about you? Take some quality time to reflect and journal about your heroes and their qualities.
As Mahatma Ghandi said so wisely: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” What’s the change YOU want to see in the world? Let yourself write about the causes you feel most passionate about. As you review what you’ve written, look for common threads and what they say about your sense of purpose.
Now that you’ve explored these three wonderful ways to find purpose, you are well on your way to creating a career and life aligned with your purpose.