Find Meaning and Purpose at Work – I Don’t Think So

The biggest mistake we make about meaning and purpose is believing it is outside us.

You could be a medical missionary in the jungles of Brazil and still feel like you’re missing something.

Purpose is about who you are, not what you do.

Image of a curious squirrel looking at the screen.

Work doesn't give you purpose. You give purpose to work.

We live purposeless lives because we’re looking in the wrong place.

You don’t find purpose. You bring it with you.

Work doesn’t give you purpose. You give purpose to work.


Why are you showing up for work every day? That’s your purpose. It might not be noble, but it’s your purpose. Or it might be benevolent or self-centered, but it’s your why.

Suppose you show up so you can buy a new car, home, or vacation. If you work for vacation, pleasure is your purpose. Perhaps you show up to take care of your family.

Purpose is your reason, not simply what you do.

Feelings and purpose:

Purpose doesn’t make everything feel good. Parenting is meaningful work, but it isn’t always fun. Sometimes it drives you nuts.

Purpose and power:

You might hate your job, but you put your head down and pull like an ox because it serves a higher purpose.

Purpose and freedom:

A person with noble purpose is free in every situation, even if it’s painful.

Circumstances don’t give meaning and purpose. Incompetent people, for example, are an opportunity to a leader whose purpose is people development.

Find or Bring:

We live purposeless lives because we’re waiting for the “purpose fairy” to tap us on the head.

Don’t wait for purpose to find you. Bring it through the door with you.

Choose how you show up. Some people show up to make things better. Others show up angry and frustrated. It’s all about what’s inside.

You find meaning when you bring purpose to work with you.

What is the difference between finding purpose and bringing it with you?