Do you want to create meaning in your life? Are you looking to do something meaningful and leave a mark in the world?
I’m pondering on the question… do I want to create meaning for me, or for the world?
Some people think art is meaningful — art makes people smile and connects us to our feelings. Music lifts us up, and creates community.
Some people think saving lives is meaningful — there’s only a handful of jobs when you don’t answer a call, people can die! Firefighters, doctors, or people caring for critically ill patients. It’s so generous that not only the person being saved benefits from in, everyone around benefits, too.
Some people think working one-on-one is meaningful — changing lives one at a time, and hearing how you made a difference can be very rewarding.
Some people think impacting millions is meaningful — one isn’t enough, or ten, or a hundred, impact comes from volume. When you are changing lives on this level, no one could argue with the impact, right?
I think they are all meaningful! The problem isn’t about what you’re doing, it’s that you have “meaning-envy.” Somehow what other people do are always more meaningful than what you’re doing.
The reality is we can create meaning in anything and everything, and we can take away meaning if we choose to.
There is no absolute, it’s all a matter of perspective. And when it comes to creating meaning, it’s all about you. If that’s meaningful to you, you are free to screw the rest of the world.
Your work in this world is as meaningful as you make it. — Marie Forleo
I used to think working in the bank is the most meaningless job ever. I wasn’t making a difference in the world, I didn’t have enough power to make a difference. The only solace I had was that I was making the lives of people I work with easier, but it wasn’t enough for me.
A friend gave me a different perspective that completely changed how I view my banking past. Do you know why banks exist? Because it gives access to capital to people who need them. Rich people take advantage of that, but more importantly, normal people like us need access to money if we want to create a business and build our dreams. In fact, lack of capital is the primary reason why third world countries are third world countries.
That just made banking a lot more meaningful. I can only have this first world problem because of what banks have done to my world.
I have the luxury to do what I love because I have access to capital. And the industry that I hated for a long time enabled that for me.
We often can’t see how our job is meaningful, because we aren’t connected to the bigger purpose of what we do. If I put myself back in that bank, I can now connect the dots. I wasn’t creating processes and pushing buttons, I was helping people to build their dreams. I have a part in helping millions create dreams. I think that’s pretty meaningful and impactful to the world.
What’s meaningful to you isn’t meaningful to someone else.
What screws us up is when we want validation from the world on our own meaning. A lot of people think being in a big bank is more meaningful, but not for me. Changing lives one at a time on the personal level is where I find the most meaning and satisfaction.
A different perspective is all you need to create meaning in your own life. I’ve created a worksheet to shift your perspective so you can start seeing the meaning that already exists in your life. Get it here.
I want to hear from you. What will you do to change your perspective today? Comment below to show me some love.
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