What do you define as meaningful work?
For most of us, our work has meaning if it enables us to fulfill our purpose. A clear purpose gives us focus, direction and motivation. We use the lens of purpose to consciously choose our work and we feel satisfied and rewarded when our good work bears fruit.
But now, the world’s turbulence and destructive dynamics challenge us . . .
- We witness suffering increasing among people everywhere.
- We cry out in protest at the injustices and inequalities exposed by frequent tragedies.
- We rage against the insanity of leaders indifferent to the suffering created by their self-absorbed pursuit of power and wealth.
- We feel acute pain at the grievous loss of species and planet caused by human greed, arrogance and indifference.
- We experience natural disasters close to home as nature’s irrefutable laws play out in climate catastrophes.
- We feel overwhelmed by anger, grief, despair and loneliness.
We live and work now in a world of sorrows and tribulations. How do we respond?
Do we withdraw in fear, seek self-protection, grab what we can for our own brief pleasure?
Or do we engage with this world, connect with its harsh realities, and resolve to keep searching for meaningful work?
In the past, we self-determined our purpose. We defined the contributions that would satisfy us, we decided what would make life meaningful.
We expected the world to welcome us as bright and committed people eager to contribute.
We didn’t notice that our purpose was an imposition on the world, demanding it give us what we wanted, not thinking to ask what the world needed from us.
This world needs us more than ever. It needs our skills, our caring, our perseverance. We still want to contribute. We still want our contribution to be meaningful. But who gets to define meaning? It is the world, not us. Meaning is defined by the situation, the person, the moment.
To discover what is meaningful, we need only ask this simple question:
What is needed here? Am I the right person to contribute to this need?
This is a huge shift. We stop asking the world to give us opportunities to fulfill our purpose.
Instead, we look to the world to tell us what it needs from us.
Such a profound shift requires our deep attention. This Contemplative Journey offers you the time to go deeply into yourself—past, present and future—to discern where you are needed. And then determine where you can best contribute.