A Life of Purpose

Some research released late last year shows that only 13% of employees, sampled from more than 140 countries, are “engaged” in their jobs, invested in or focussed on helping their organisations or work places to improve (1).

It also shows that 63% of people are “not engaged” – or simply unmotivated and unlikely to exert extra effort – whilst the remaining 24% are “actively disengaged” or truly unhappy and unproductive.

This research confirmed for me the reality I have seen in day-to-day life that for many, work is simply a way to earn money to get by, and that life is lived in anticipation of the nights out, the weekends and the yearly holiday. The thing is that it not only causes problems for the companies with decreasing productivity, increasing sick leave and absences from work, but this has a knock-on effect on the country and the world as a whole. The product and services offered by each company is affected by the quality in which the staff works, and this in turn affects the customers. If the businesses that make up a country – in fact, the world – are built on a foundation of 87% of their workers not being engaged, or worse, actively disengaged in their jobs, this has to be having a negative impact on every aspect of our society and life.

This attitude to work also has a personal effect because when you have no real purpose to what you do in life, why get up in the morning? Is it any surprise so many people struggle to sleep, or that so many people are partying and drinking much harder, perhaps to escape everyday life? When we consider the fact that most people will work a 5-day week for the majority of their lives, and therefore, on average, spend about one third or 30% of their life at work (2), could we then look at the rapidly increasing rates of suicide and consider that 87% of people not happy at work could be a contributing factor?

Could this begin as far back as childhood? The way choosing a career is approached is often from the point of view of either money, social standing, as in what is well thought of, what those around you want you to do – or, at the best of times, what you are good at or think you may enjoy. The only problem is that children and teens get so little exposure to the actual working environments they are thinking of entering that, in reality, they haven’t got a clue about what they are going into and what the job looks like on an everyday, routine basis. The education system doesn’t have the support and space to prepare children for real life, both on the purely practical level of:

  • How to get a mortgage
  • Pay taxes
  • Open a bank account

As well as these examples, on a more personal human level:

  • How to respect people
  • How to work in a team without competition, comparison and jealousy
  • How to have a loving relationship and long lasting marriage
  • How to raise children lovingly
  • How to look after and care for yourself, and this list also goes on.
Children are educated to get good grades, to perform and to make the schools look good with high-grade percentages. How are these young people prepared in any way for the real world?

Another factor is that when your career is chosen based on any of the above reasons, it doesn’t give you a purpose, a reason for wanting to do that job that is meaningful, or a sense of what you can bring to the world by doing that job.

Thanks to being a student of Universal Medicine, I have grown up with the support and guidance to connect to and know who I am and, through that knowing, be able to feel and express what strengths and qualities I bring to the world: my love of people, my ability to communicate things very effectively, my initiative, my true teamwork and leadership skills and my innate love and understanding of certain subjects.

Now they might just sound like stuff people write on a CV, but I have felt and seen how those things are a part of me and the way I naturally work. I have been given opportunities to do work experience in all the different work environments I was interested in, to get a real life taste of what I might be doing. And most importantly, the way careers were discussed in my family and with friends was not to do with salary or what would make my mum proud, but about what each line of work brought to the world – be it the amazing work of a lawyer, who represents truth and who can bring a stop moment and a rebalancing to a person who has lost their way and is doing wrong, or a nurse, who can provide the true loving care needed for someone who is sick, or even a cleaner, who lays the groundwork and foundations by cleaning so that the building runs smoothly and everyone else can do their job. No one is more or less important than another, each job bringing something very needed to the world without which the world couldn’t run.

By seeing work from this perspective, and feeling where my strengths would be best expressed, I gain a sense of purpose no matter what I am doing, and it means that I have enjoyed working from a young age and continue to do so. I may have ‘only’ worked in a coffee shop to some, but I recognise the impact I had when I worked there, just by talking to all the people I saw, and being myself, smiling and caring, touching people’s lives and serving a great cup of coffee to go with it. And now, as a receptionist, I have the opportunity to equally express my love of people and also my love of organisation through administration, being the loving first point of contact and also the support to allow the business to run itself smoothly.

Looking at my work in this way gives my life purpose and I don’t live for my days off or my holiday. It actually makes me want to go work, and commit to my job, because I know and appreciate that my presence in that job makes a difference. Can you imagine the potential we would have if we had a whole workforce with the same motivation – not to earn more money or retire early, but a wanting to work to make a positive difference in the world because of the work they do?

By Rebecca Briant, 19, Receptionist and Student of Politics, London, UK

References:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2013/10/10/only-13-percent-of-people-worldwide-actually-like-going-to-work/
  2. https://www.reference.com/math/percentage-lives-spent-working-599e3f7fb2c88fca

Related Reading
There is honour in every job
Am I in the right job?
Elegance and Purpose – At Work

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1,005 thoughts on “A Life of Purpose

  1. I know from my own experience that we could be working very hard, often long hours, and even claim that we enjoy our job and be good at what we do – without commitment/purpose. What I have been learning is to be truly committed to what I do, I need to be committed to being me as my default posture; and for me to recognise a true purpose beyond the betterment of my life, I need to know who and what I truly am which would inevitably bring everyone else into an equation.

    1. Fumiyo, I read your sharing and this part really resonated with me today: ‘What I have been learning is to be truly committed to what I do, I need to be committed to being me as my default posture; and for me to recognise a true purpose beyond the betterment of my life’.

  2. Our one and only true purpose in life is to return to Soul, the body of love that is our true expression and holds us all in absolute equality rather than seek some form of delineation from this majestic whole by way of indulging in all the separated aspect of ourselves, the human etheric spirit, seeks to be identified by.

    That is, there is a part of us (spirit) that knows in essence we are all One (Soul) but seeks to be ‘the one’ when it withdraws from the full expression of this. Thus our task is to fuse the ‘fragment’ back to the Whole it has fragmented from and this we can do by fully committing to life on Earth and bringing our all to everything we do in the very human temporal sense.

    1. Yes, it is not really dinner table conversation in many households is it! I love your stepped approach – the task is to fuse the fragment back to the whole by fully committing to life by bringing our all to everything we do in the very human temporal sense.

  3. Just a joy to read Rebecca. So much understanding and deepth to how we are as people currently and how simply we could bring true purpose to all we do.

  4. Purpose makes all the difference in life – be it in work, at home, in our relationships…when we connect to the purpose of anything, it is a joy to take the next step, no matter what that step be.

  5. ‘No one is more or less important than another, each job bringing something very needed to the world without which the world couldn’t run’ and thus we are all equal in our contribution to the whole jigsaw of human life with our own piece of quality.

  6. I don’t even have words to express how much love and joy purpose has brought to my life. My job is to be all that I am and it is a 24/7 job and the best ever.

  7. I have been feeling a greater purpose in life for a while now which is determined by the quality of the choices I make and the way I move in life, and it was with great joy the other day that I realised I no longer feel I am standing on the sidelines watching life – or as I used to think of it, looking through the window at a party I was desperate to join but couldn’t bring myself to walk through the front door. I feel I am present in my life, I feel purpose and commitment and no longer do I feel that I’m waiting for something to happen – for life to really start. I love life as it is right now and can feel the humongous potential that has been there all along and the call to bring it in full. Thank You Serge Benhayon for inspiring me constantly and consistently so.

    1. Nice sharing Lucy, and yes I do know that feeling of waiting for something to happen…. as if life was not enough, or as if we are not enough just as we are! When we are present in our bodies, we bring all of ourselves to where-ever we are, and everybody benefits, and with purpose magic happens.

  8. No one is more or less important than another, each job bringing something very needed to the world without which the world couldn’t run. Absolutely true, we all are parts of the jigsaw that make up the bigger and grander picture -with each piece being equally important.

  9. It makes all the difference when we have purpose, clarity and commitment in all areas of our lives, because at the beginning of each day, it is easy to get up knowing there is much to get on with, with purpose creating all the energy that is needed for the tasks of that day.

  10. Our education system today sets people up to feel secure, ie employable, and as long as we have a job, and have income, we are doing all-right. But what happens when the job is no longer there, especially when it was the job that made us feel secure….. ah so our education system does not prepare people with life skills, only job skills and usually in one specific area… our education system does not prepare people to be truly themselves in their true essence, so that whatever life brings we are fully equipped to deal with it.

  11. What I too have discovered is that we can often compartmentalise our lives and each part of us separately, i.e work, family life etc but maybe there is another way to look at it. What if it was the way in which we move and connect with our bodies in all parts of our lives that shows that everything is connected and that the quality in which we move and choose to move in provides with a great learning and appreciation for how we then live life? Bringing our quality of connection to all that we do and all we are with gives us a great opportunity to explore life on a whole new level.

  12. To be able to grow up and know what you would like to do, why you would like to do it and know that it has a value in service to humanity – that is worth getting out of bed for!

  13. That is indeed shocking: 13 % people actually being engaged in work. If I were prime minister, I would have these numbers thoroughly investigated, as this is, next to personal drama also a big thing that obviously impacts the economy in a very negative way.

  14. Without a sense of purpose we are lost in a sea of emotion. With a sense of purpose we know that nothing is a random event and there is meaning in everything and something to be learned from.

  15. When we connect to a sense of purpose then our work life takes on a whole new meaning and the distinction between work life and personal life changes to become all one life, that is everything becomes about the quality we are doing things in rather than what we are doing.

    1. Love what you share here Elizabeth, that when we connect to a sense of purpose, everything changes and life becomes ‘one life’, so all the hours in each day are purpose filled whether at paid work or not.

  16. By appreciating our qualities we get to feel a greater purpose, regardless of the job that we’re in. Knowing that what I bring to my work is unique and seeing how it supports others and the whole organisation is what gives me purpose: I know that it is needed, and so there is no ‘off moment’ or down-time – it’s my responsibility to live in a way where I’m constantly bringing these qualities to others at my work, all of the time, because it reminds them of their own qualities, and what they bring, too.

  17. Purpose is found in our connection to our movements and when we learn that through these movements we can find our truth, value and love, life feels joyful and fun and this then shows true responsibility and a love for who we are. How amazing would it be if these movements and ways of being were taught in schools today?

  18. ‘I know and appreciate that my presence in that job makes a difference’. When we know what it is we bring, what our qualities are, we go to work with a real sense of I can make a difference by just bringing all of myself to whatever I am doing.

  19. There is a huge difference between making work about money and earning a living ( there will never be enough) and bringing purpose to your work and your life, for purpose is the fuel that gets you up in the morning and have everything you need for that day.

  20. It is indeed shocking how less people actually value what they bring and totally lost being a great impact for this world. Thank you for revealing these facts and representing that there is a different way as a young adult from 19 years old to, to live and work from a joy of purpose for the world. Beautiful to feel.

  21. “This attitude to work also has a personal effect because when you have no real purpose to what you do in life, why get up in the morning?” This is true and I feel why so many people struggle to get up in the morning, When we have true purpose waking up is as simple as going to sleep, not only that, but there is a joy in waking up, because we see the world very differently, not one that is full of problems but one of growth and never ending expansion.

  22. Having true purpose is an open opportunity to see how our movements everyday offer a way of being that belies a world that is geared towards achievements and academia being the number one priority. But to see how the simplicity of our choice to live and work in a way that supports our bodies to the full and ultimately changes our outlook on life as we live it, brings a great deal of ease and joy to a life that would normally be filled with tasks, stress and pressure to achieve and then changes the flow and mood of how we feel, which for most of the population would be simply amazing to honour and surrender too.

  23. At the moment I attend a college in North London and every month, or so people are enrolled on these free schemes paid for by the Government. 14 people at a time per class are registered and enrolled, but very few of them follow through, and the tutor has to chase them to see if they are going to attend. So reading these statistics are not a surprise to me and confirms what I have been observing. It does make me wonder what is going on and why people do not follow through after going to the effort of doing a two-hour assessment and the day-long enrollment process to choose then not to attend.

  24. I was overhearing a conversation in the lift a couple of days whilst at my workplace… sleeping tablets were being talked about and how you could get bucketloads of them over the counter in a certain country. It got me reflecting on how addicted so many are to sleeping pills, how it is not expected and accepted that sleep needs this artificial aid and that that is simply that.
    Living our lives without true purpose means that there is a gaping emptiness constantly there. It is the most delicious feeling to shut your eyes at the end of the day knowing you have been the real you throughout the day, that you have given the day your all, that you were focussed, expressive, a bundle of joy at work – whatever it may be.
    And even if it’s been a bit of an off day where there was a holding back and a shutting down, if there is that willingness in us – that can only come from purpose – to go deeper within ourselves as to why this was so – there is a completion at the end of the day. Our sleep then reflects this intent that we have in our lives, it is deeply restful and rejuvenating which then supports the next day etc.

    Without purpose we are lost at sea with no rest-point. There is just the relentless search for something to alleviate the constant emptiness within us. Everything is turned upside down and there is no place to turn to for a deep and true rest. Which is why sleeping tablet consumption is the way it is today.

  25. When we bring purpose to our lives, it really supports to get the little self out of the way and to see the bigger picture- making it people first, connecting with them, for in the connection, we can truly support another.

  26. Have been observing the quality of my movements when I connect to purpose, there seems to be a lot more space in my days where I can make life about quality with the knowing that there is a greater plan at play and that life is not just about me but for the evolution of all.

  27. The statistics should be shocking. Yet when I think of workplaces there are usually the few standouts who really care about their work, there are the large majority who do a good job but would quit the next day if they won the lottery and love for Friday. Then there are the people who are actively working against the workplace or resisting being a productive part of the team.

  28. ” Can you imagine the potential we would have if we had a whole workforce with the same motivation – not to earn more money or retire early, but a wanting to work to make a positive difference in the world because of the work they do? ” This would be awesome and the word “work” would have served its purpose , it would then be called “service” as you are doing now, thank you for sharing Rebecca.

  29. I reckon you can always tell when you phone up a company or call centre and speak to someone who clearly does not care about or value their job. It is often because they themselves are not valued by the company they work for so taking care of people must be the first thing for any business and this should be the purpose of all life itself.

  30. “Can you imagine the potential we would have if we had a whole workforce with the same motivation – not to earn more money or retire early, but a wanting to work to make a positive difference in the world because of the work they do?” A good point Rebecca, when we have a sense of purpose we can do any job, knowing we make a difference.

  31. Purpose is so important. It makes us get out of bed and makes us feel vital. True vitality comes from getting up with purpose Lately I realized deeply that I did not have any true purpose in life, a purpose that was in my body and not coming from an ideal to change the world for the good. Yes, I loved my job, but it was more that I was stimulated by it, than I made the job about bringing a different quality of me, the true tender man, to the corporate world I work in. So my purpose needs deepening.

  32. It truly is such a shame that there are so many people on this planet that just live for the weekend, life just orgs on until Friday finish and the weekend a brief repose until the drag starts all over again. How can we exist like this without purpose, no wonder illness and disease is through the roof and suicide rate are on the up. The only way we will ever break this is commitment to life which includes all that we do.

  33. Not having a true purpose in work should be treated as a big economic problem. How do you deal with it? By at least offering people the opportunity to work in a different way, a way where they have an understanding what it means to work with purpose. It should be the main topic on the agenda of every CEO. How do we bring this topic to our employees?

  34. Just shared this article with a HR manager of a big insurance company. They have a massive engagement problem, and it is felt when you enter the building. How as a client do you want to business with such a company? You don’t. So engagement in the end impacts turnover and profit. Perhaps a reason for companies and see how engaged their employees truly are and do something about it.

  35. After a few years in the workforce, there is a huge difference now for what motivates me, vs in the past. I used to work to earn money and then waste it on clothes and bars – but these days I am in a role where there is a purpose. And this has totally changed the way I ‘do’ work. It has made me appreciate that work can be a joy to do, and it can support our bodies and others.

  36. You raise a great point that we are not raised to be taught the everyday basics of life which are expected and never even looked or cared about. It is like there is your work and your personal life and what you do in your personal life does not matter as long as you can work well. But it does and it does so hugely as what you do in your personal life affects how you feel in yourself and therefore the quality you bring to all others.

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