Finding meaningful work is now harder than ever. With trends that come and go like the summer’s breeze, you can find yourself working on something that doesn’t last. Now with that comes many projects done at the expense of time.
These ideas get tossed around, adopted, and actualized because of the mighty dollar. Money bastardized the meaning around products, principles, and people. It’s what drives corruption and what sways decisions. It’s for these reasons that we compromise our values and follow the wave.
With all this uncertainty chasing the dollar, one must ask, is what I’m doing actually worth a damn? If I never got paid would I still be proud of this? If I died would someone uncover my creation and pick up where I left off?
The answers to these questions may startle you, but it’s something we must ask ourselves. Living a life of purpose is slowly becoming a thing of the past, but it’s not something that we should compromise.
There must be meaning in our work if we ever wish to feel fulfilled. If what we’re doing today, makes someone’s tomorrow better then we’re already headed in the right direction. Without this sense of purpose we would be wasting our efforts on projects with no meaning and less conviction.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
For example, recently I was introduced to Jim Rohn. A powerful speaker that helped shaped the minds of many in a positive way. He had a way with words that really stuck with me, and I found myself listening to him for days at a time. He touched me in such a way that I wanted to attend his seminars and soak up all his knowledge.
As I googled him I found out that I couldn’t attend his classes, because there were none. Jim Rohn had passed away in 2009 and here I am in 2017 trying to find a way to meet the man. If this isn’t a legacy I don’t know what is. His teachings were full of purpose and had deep meaning to everybody involved. He inspired millions and it’s precisely this type of work that we should all strive for.
Now unlike Jim Rohn, there are have been many instances in history in which people’s work were only recognized posthumously. Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, and Edgar Allen Poe, are all revered as some of the best in their respective fields, but were never noticed during their lifetime.
“It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” – Jim Collins
They worked in silence, without recognition, and without compensation. Working for a deeper meaning and for their own purpose. It’s with this sense of duty that we should all find in our work, because eventually we will return to the earth, we will become quotes, and our legacy will be the only thing that’s left.
In short, When we come to a fork in the road, and the choice is either money or meaning, I know we’ll make the right decision because the cash, the cars, the clothes mean nothing, but your convictions will.