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Purpose is built JVCA

How to find purpose in your work (and day) again

We all need to feel a sense of purpose. It gets us out of bed in the morning, fills our days with meaning, gives us motivation and energy, and carries us through the difficult times. What many don’t know, however, is that often, purpose is built - not found.

Are you feeling burned out from the chronic stress that has been our lives over the past year? Perhaps you are run down or fed up of every day feeling the same, as we are stuck indoors? Maybe you feel just generally overwhelmed with everything at the moment, as you juggle work and family life at home 24/7?

If you see yourself in any of the statements above, you are not alone. Many have said that they feel bogged down with everything at the moment and don’t really know how they feel. Conversely, many others have said that they are too caught up in their feelings, whether good or bad, and have lost sight of the big picture. 

It’s been an extremely taxing year, so it’s no surprise that many of us have strayed from our purpose. With that being said, however, it’s important that we don’t let this happen for too long.

4 ways to find purpose in your work (and day) again

1 –  Connect your work to service

Finding your purpose again can be as simple as asking yourself ‘who do I serve?’ and then shifting your perspective. For example, think about who you actually serve and the benefits they get from the work that you do. Then, consciously and concretely, connect this result to your day-to-day jobs. You may just find that shifting your thinking makes your work more purposeful.

2 – Pursue excellence

How can you adapt your job to provide your clients with exceptional service (whilst also making your days more meaningful)? For example, would devoting time to learning a new skill make you happy, but also benefit your clients? Enhancing your assigned work to make it meaningful to you and to those you serve is a great way to nurture a sense of purpose.

3 – Focus on building positive relationships

Who we work with, who we live with, and who we have in our corner, is just as important as what we do. Therefore, to feel completely happy and fulfilled, we must develop and maintain these relationships. Take some time every week to reflect on your relationships. Whether it’s a colleague, or a family member or a friend, try to understand them, and why you’re grateful to be working with them or to have them in your life. Think of ways that you can help them.

4 – Reflect on what matters to you most

You can only find your purpose again if you know yourself what you want, and what matters to you. If you don’t know this, then it may be why you feel aimless or demotivated. To help you delve deep into what ‘purpose’ means for you, try the following tasks:

•         Remember your ‘why’ – why do you do what you do? Why did you want to pursue this direction in the first place? Who are you working for if it’s not yourself?

•         Review your values – if you have role models, what are the qualities/values that you most admire? Do you exhibit these qualities/values or try to in your daily life? Does your work satisfy these values?

•         Keep a ‘purpose’ diary – for one week, whenever you feel most purposeful, or energised, or passionate, write down what you were doing at the time and why you felt that way. Review your notes after the week is over and you’ll identify exactly what aspects of your work you find most rewarding.

Purpose is built, not found

Contrary to what many people might think, purpose is something that is built or pursued; it’s not just going to get dropped in your lap one day. If you want to find meaning in your work and find your purpose again, reflect on what matters most to you, and work on shifting your perspective. If you think about the people you serve and spend your time improving your skills to provide an even better service, your days will be filled with a lot more purpose.

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