"Jobs fill your pocket, but the way you look at your job, fills your soul."
In a recent podcast, one of the HR leaders gave a beautiful acronym for the future of work: M A P (Mastery, Purpose and Autonomy). Today I will focus on PURPOSE in my blog since this is something that is very important and many professionals I meet, come up with this statement now and then: "I don't find meaning & purpose in my role!" To that I say, welcome! I was in the same space and I didn't find meaning and purpose too in my role. To me it was mechanical, routine and purposeless. Yes, because I looked at it that way. My perspective was fixed and I saw only that side of the role. In fact the reality was that some rigidness had to shift inside of me; some aspects had to be embraced; some old thoughts had to be discarded and many more. But, I am glad that I went through that transition which eventually brought me closer to my purpose and gave meaning to my work. I have realized that there is no perfect role/career. It is entirely how you see it and how well you connect with what you see. Once you are in sync with that, you have found your purpose and meaning.
Almost a year back, there was a point when I wanted to give up what I was doing because I felt I couldn't add value and didn't find meaning & purpose in my role. But today, I am doing the same work and find deep meaning & purpose in what I am doing. And with that realization, the way I serve my customer community has shifted massively. With that realization, I have grown as a professional and my capacity to give has increased manifold; I don't get drained, I become rejuvenated after every session. How is this possible when I am doing the same work; everything remains the same except for the way I relate to it and the way I look at it?! Do note that this is absolutely different from a sense of not being able to connect yourself with the role. When you can connect with the role, when you get a sense of being able to make a difference; yet when challenges come; if you get a kick inside to give up; that's the time you need to sit in that discomfort and ask: Is meaning & purpose missing in my role or I am not being able to see and figure out meaning & purpose in my role due to my inability to break free from normal ways of doing things? Am I getting bored with the role or the way I am performing the role?
YOUR MEANING & PURPOSE IS HIDDEN IN THE WAY YOU PERCEIVE YOURSELF IN RELATION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING
Today, as I was coaching one of my clients and I asked this question to him: What is that one thing that you are proud of from your career? The reply impressed me and reaffirmed my believe in my client. The reply was: "I am proud of the fact that I am contributing towards maintaining the security of our nation, I am serving & protecting my nation. My purpose is to ensure that every product that I scrutinize is 100% quality proof and efficient enough to enable our soldiers to protect us from external threats and invasion." Can you guess what my client's role is? He is a embedded testing professional. This is what gets him going and gives a sense of purpose which is: service to the nation, protecting the nation. Look at the beautiful interpretation of his job! Had he considered himself just as a testing professional, his drive would have been less. He would have looked at the same scenario as something very routine and boring. But, the fact that he looks at it from an absolutely new angle and new perspective is what makes him stand apart. No wonder that he is a high performer, a great leader in his field and making a dent in the Universe. Today, I learnt a beautiful lesson from my client. He has reaffirmed my belief in the fact that it is how you look at your role and your contribution towards that role that makes all the difference.
THE ORDER IS: WHY, WHAT AND HOW
This also reminded me of John F. Kennedy’s stories. It was the story about when he visited NASA and saw a janitor mopping up the floor. Kennedy asked him what his job was at NASA and the gentleman said, “I’m helping send a man to the moon.” Look at the difference and the way one perceives the thing. This is exactly the "WHY" that Simon Sinek, the renowned motivational speaker, organizational consultant & the best selling author of the book, "Start With Why" talks about. When your WHY is so profound, your results are bound to be extra-ordinary. It's never the other way around! The order isn't this: How, What and Why; but this: Why, What and How you do it matters & makes all the difference.
FIND MEANING AND PURPOSE IN YOUR ROLE
So, let's uncover how to find meaning & purpose in your role? Well, do you still need to uncover or you have already figured out by reading the script above?! You are the best person to uncover your answers. All you need is to reflect on the following questions:
Do feel free to write to me or comment with answers that came up for you. I invite you to challenge your thinking, the way you look at things and how you conclude it.
Love & light,
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals