Have you ever woken up one morning and asked yourself, “Does what I do every day really MATTER?”
Maybe the money is coming in just fine, but it doesn’t feel meaningful, it’s not fulfilling anymore, and you wonder if your vocation is really making a difference.
If that’s you, here’s a simple process I use for myself and for my clients to help us know for SURE that the work we do is actually worth doing.
STEP 1: Examine your WHY.
Throughout the years I’ve discovered something powerful about the nature of work.
Whether in my own life or in the lives of people I’ve helped, I’ve seen that it’s very, VERY easy to find ourselves doing things that meet the needs of the moment but don’t contribute to a better future.
Here’s what I mean.
If what I’m doing today isn’t contributing to a better tomorrow, it’s only a matter of time before I “wake up” to the truth that I’m probably wasting my time, perhaps even wasting my life.
Not only that, but if what I’m doing right now is only making things better for me, I’m probably missing my calling.
But, when I can connect my work to a deeper WHY, to a “big-picture Purpose” that makes the world around me better, that adds meaning and fulfillment to what I do, no matter what the work may be!
Not only that, but I’ve seen time and time again that the people who are driven by a deeper WHY usually also get better results.
If you want to know for SURE that your work really matters, connect it to a deeper WHY.
STEP 2: Examine your WHO.
I like to say that “Purposeful work adds value to the world by meeting human needs in human ways.”
It’s the idea that all real value comes from meeting needs, but if we want our work to have true significance, the WAY we do it matters.
That means knowing WHO we are doing it AS, who we are doing it WITH, and who we are doing it FOR. (My apologies to the Grammar Police.)
Consider your customers: you may be serving a market and meeting some of their needs as consumers, but are you meeting their deeper needs as people?
If you’re delivering a product or service but aren’t treating your customers like individuals, relating to them as people, and engaging with them from a place of honor and respect, are you really doing a good job?
Are you really doing work that matters?
Next, consider your team: you may pay them well, give them flexible hours, or offer whatever other perks people say they want, but are you meeting their deeper needs as people?
Are you concerned with their well-being outside of the office?
Do you care about helping them live better lives as whole, or do you only care about making sure they do the work you pay them for?
If you don’t care about your team members beyond their function, are you really doing work that matters?
If you want to know for SURE that your work really matters, dig deeper to value your WHO.
STEP 3: Examine your WHAT.
Perhaps you noticed we skipped a WHO above…you.
So, if you’ve considered your market and your team, now consider yourself: do you actually LIKE the work you do?
I believe truly meaningful work MUST be done not just as a role we play to make a living, but as a calling we pursue to make a life. (You can quote that if you want. 😉)
If we’re only doing something because it pays well or pleases someone else, then we’re missing out on one of life’s great gifts: doing work that we were uniquely created to do.
For instance, in my working life I’ve done stints in web design and programming, marketing and sales, and even served in a newsroom for a while, all of which I enjoyed.
But they weren’t an expression of my calling, just jobs I did for a while.
You see, I was BORN to be a communicator!
I LOVE sharing inspiration and ideas with people that help them live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives, and people tell me I’m pretty good at it!
This is work that MATTERS to me, because it’s an expression of my authentic self, and it’s something about which I’m truly passionate.
How about you?
If there is NOTHING in your current career/company/vocation that you can say you’re truly passionate about, maybe you’re missing the boat.
To be sure, for most people there are SOME parts of their work that they don’t like, but that should be the exception, not the norm.
So, examine what you’re doing and ask yourself, “Which parts of my work do I LOVE, and which parts should I try to LOSE?”
Then take action.
If you want to know for SURE that your work really matters, connect your WHAT to your passion.
Now, I know these things are easy to talk about, but not always easy to do.
For SO many of us, we live our lives on autopilot, building companies and careers the way everyone says we’re supposed to.
But just because “everyone” says something doesn’t make it the best choice.
In fact, I’ve seen time and again that when people are willing to do something different by committing to greater things, amazing results can happen!
I’ve seen discouragement turn to joy.
I’ve seen broken marriages begin to heal.
I’ve seen health issues turn around.
All because someone got serious about their WHY, their WHO, and their WHAT, and was willing to take action.
Would you like to be next?
I think about and work with these things every single day, and if you want to explore what a turnaround like this could look like for you, I’ve love to chat!
Just click the link below to schedule a free 1-hour Strategy Session with me, and together we’ll map your next steps for a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.
SCHEDULE YOUR FREE STRATEGY SESSION:
Photo by Kieran Sheehan on Unsplash