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


  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










1,035 thoughts on “A Life of Purpose

  1. True purpose is not about what we do but the quality we bring to what we do while we are here on this planet, and this affects us all. An appreciation for ourselves and what we offer is key too. When we loose connection to purpose, as it seems many have, life just becomes about going through the motions, devoid of joy and vitality.

  2. When we approach work like you do Rebecca we make work about people and about the quality we are bringing with our presence already lets stand the quality we will bring to the tasks we do. I can sense that working in this way will one day be the normal but until that time we have to make it our normal so others are able to be inspired too.

  3. I can feel through your writing Rebecca that you have a maturity in your approach to work that brings a surety, a confidence and a thoroughness, in fact a true responsibility. You let yourself care about your work as much as any other part of your life and no more. Bringing this steadiness and sense of purpose is a blessing to any workplace and when we allow this for ourselves the quality of life is heightened and we all get to feel a harmony and a flow where appreciating and enjoying are a natural consequence.

  4. My sense of purpose has changed in recent years and now embraces a bigger picture than it once did. I can feel that a true purpose is about all of us, not just myself and those close to me. This leads me to ponder whether we can truly be fulfilled in life unless we are aware of this big picture. One of the consequences of embracing this bigger purpose is that I feel I am more ‘me’, more connected to the all that I truly am – which I sense is innately linked to this shift in awareness and purpose.

  5. A life of purpose is the only kind of life to have. And the quality of that purpose must be well-discerned too. The ultimate purpose of course of us being here on earth is to evolved back to where we come from – which an umbrella for the more detailed purposes i.e. to live in brotherhood which includes the way we move and conduct our relationships with people, and the environment.

    1. Ah Lyndy, so beautifully shared, and spot on that the purpose must be defined in terms of quality! For we are masters at giving ourselves a reason or purpose to do something but done from a quality that is not truly evolving…hence now an opportunity to re-visit this and bring through true purpose, all the while having so much joy with this – the same joy that you, Lyndy bring with each comment and movement – absolutely delightful!

      1. It is a delight to be in shared purpose and communion with you dear Henrietta , and all our brothers on earth.

  6. I know many people who work long hours and hardly ever take days off even when feeling unwell, but are they engaged life? I am not so sure. We often think that purpose is about achieving a certain goal, or at least getting closer to it. How fulfilling is a life lived without knowing ourselves?

  7. A Life of Purpose. I love the title of this blog. Recently it was mentioned about our younger generation being the ‘screen generation’ and how this has a knock on affect for them (and society) in life whereby there is not much interest in life, no willingness for hard work or grafting or ‘working your way up the ladder’ so to speak but instead a generation that want things immediately and if they do not like something walk out or give up. So conversations and discussion like these are really needed and at being 19 you can be an amazing role model for these young people showing them not only is there a different way to live but when you live like this .. a life of purpose and commitment just how good if feels.

    1. We can indeed find the tendency of easy, quick and fast in our societies which we also find in our work places. When things become difficult, and need some thorough work and takes a considerable amount of time, the tendency in people is to walk away, dismissing the job as not being something for them. But what does this show to us. Is it the way we educate people or is there something deeper to look at, for instance the way we have organised our societies and work. To be honest it is not always fun at work as the way work sometimes is structured in a way that is not appreciating people for who they truly are and what they can offer in their individual expression. In general there is only attention for the output and how quick you can do the job, less time and less expensive, the greater the profit mentality, which is in complete denial and dishonour of the people doing the work and therefore not valued, something we do need as human beings to feel purpose and appreciation for the contribution we do bring.

  8. A work-force with your sense of life purpose, Rebecca, would be phenomenal and businesses would flourish. But instead we have the shocking statistics that show that most of the work-force don’t even like their job. I agree that addressing the root of the problem needs to begin with our youth, and maybe even earlier, where an introduction to a true way of living and working will offer our future work-force a solid foundation that will support them as they step out into the world.

  9. Quality of purpose is such a key aspect of life; we can have purpose just for self-gain, to get by as comfortably as possible in life or the other side of the spectrum and totally dis-regard ourself and only think about others… Or we can have an all-encompassing purpose, where we value each and every one of us equally and work in true co-operation with one another, something that unfolds as we go, ever evolving and responding to what’s needed next…

  10. What I have observed in the workplace is that when we are really committed to our jobs we get to feel the lack of commitment in others and the delay that this causes. There can also be a push back towards those who are committed so that they do not expose those who are not delivering what they are capable of or employed to do.

  11. I fully agree with what you write Rebecca, work is so much more than that job from 9 to 5 we have to do to earn the money to live from. As you say, it is more about our expression to the world, to contribute that which we are given back to our societies in whatever occupation this will suit best. When we bring this quality knowingly to our work we cannot else then be actively engaged in the jobs we are doing.

  12. ” 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? ”
    How lovely to read the writings , and what a wonderful support you will be for humanity thank you.

  13. Could you imagine how our workplaces would look like if this was taught from an early age – “How to work in a team without competition, comparison and jealousy”??? Satisfaction and productivity would skyrocket I reckon’.

  14. When I look at a lot of what is taught to kids in schools it lacks purpose and meaning for them. This then encourages the checking out as they do need to have purpose to learn how to bring out and share themselves in life and to also recognise that they are part of something bigger than just themselves. The competitive nature of schools confirms that seperation, lack of true purpose and individualisation- which is all against our true nature.

  15. Purpose is important for every living being. Even for dogs…our little dog was bored and unhappy in our home and has spent some time with some friends who have needed a bright little spark in their home to help them overcome some challenges. To feel her today when her purpose has returned, she feels amazing and so settled, knowing she has a job and a job that only a heaven sent dog could do! It is no different for us as people – without a purpose we are lost, and that true purpose comes from our connection to God.

  16. We are so often brought up to study and get a job for security, or for prestige, or for money etc…but in the process we can forget that we are configured in a particular way to bring our specific qualities for another and others to feel and be inspired by. Our qualities are our divine right, and this in itself is our purpose (to show this all around), and so it matters not what we do, so long as we can bring these qualities to the fore. And then there is such a time when a particular job presents, and then we get to realise how all along, each step of the way, we have been trained up just for that. This is the amazing divine constellation when we live the truth of who we are.

  17. We are born to work it is an innate directive within us. Disengaging from this purpose signals a disease within society that is crippling our ability to commit to daily life and the joy of work. What was missing for me was the education in how to make my life about people, connection, respect and self-care. Restoring these qualities to my life has enabled my innate love of work to re-surface, a quality that puts a loving purpose in my stride and has removed all reticence towards committing to this inherent expression.

  18. What a waste in every sense that so many people are not engaged in their jobs and so few are imbued with any true purpose above one of basic survival. Human life is not about survival, it is about so much more and the survival construct prevents us from seeing the purpose of live.

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