It's Monday morning and you may well be back at work - so let’s talk about work and jobs. As sociologists and psychologists and meditation teachers have noted, people not only do a job for money, but so they can contribute something of meaning to something bigger than themselves.
People are happiest when they feel like they are of use - to someone, anyone.
Being of service is crucial part of our make up, a crucial part of our happiness.
Now - there is bullsh*t and rubbish that is devoid of meaning and use in ANY job. Some have more than others, much more - and I know certainly I’ve worked jobs where I really couldn’t see any point in what I was being paid to do.
This can be soul-destroying.
Some days you'll even just want to say "to heck with it all!"
You want to be of use, and yet it seems it matters not what you do, what improvements you suggest, the whole machine grinds on regardless, unchanged, unstoppable. You need a wage and yet the wage you are getting doesn’t seem to cover the sense of purposelessness or indeed, what seems to be the destruction of your soul.
Stressful this gets, yes it does. Oh my, if I had a penny for each time I heard this same story I’d be able to go out for a modest lunch right now.
So what do you do about meaning and purpose and what not?
Often psychologists will say find a job that gives you meaning and a sense of control.
This is well and good - and important to do IF you are able to do that - but it also assumes you are a tool. If you excuse me, a tool in all ways of the word. Through no fault of your own (because that's what we are taught), you’re waiting for something to be given to you. You're allowing yourself to be defined by the outside: "I am my work".
And the problem with this viewpoint is all that is good comes from the outside. Here, you will always be left short. The fact is you are so much bigger than your work.
How about claiming your own sense of meaning and purpose regardless of where you are and what you do?
I’m talking about taking the power back. Of not letting your work define you so much as you being able to define your work - regardless of what you do.
Certainly there is room for choice - to get a new job, to start your own business. However, always and most importantly is your ability to define the situation or circumstance you find yourself in.
Because what you focus on grows. So your job is full of bullsh*t and you can’t/don’t want to quit … can you find meaning and purpose regardless of it?
Can you accept, tune out and find satisfaction somewhere else? Just get through the day with the minimum of effort and find a way of contributing in some other way?
It’s important because you want to be free to define your world. See when you are letting it define you, and flip that around - make another choice.
Crucial to meaning and purpose and an effortless life this is because you will always be faced with things you don’t like, in circumstances you might not understand.
Whether you let these get you down, to destroy your soul? That CAN be up to you.
Take the power back.
Go well! Arjuna
PS. Freedom of choice? It’s a huge concept, isn’t it? Owning your choice on at least your attitude makes a ginormous difference to how you live.
And although it’s simple for me to say, it’s a real deal. You can develop the skills to have complete freedom of choice.
Here’s 108 ways - ideas - (free) that mean you develop this: