I was getting ready to head out the door and my son, who was two at the time, said to me, “Daddy, where you going?”
“To work,” I replied.
I stopped and thought about it for a moment, trying to come up with an explanation a two year old could understand.
Trying to think of all the possible responses I could come up with, I said, “to help people.”
Now, my two year old asked the question of why to just about everything, but this time his question really got me thinking.
Why do we work?
Certainly, at its most basic form, we work to bring in income.
But don’t we work for more than that?
Maybe we also work to feel productive, contribute to society, feel like our lives matter, or express our talents and gifts.
Maybe all of the above.
While paying our bills is a legitimate reason to work, there is often a deeper reason we want to work.
The Big Mistake
The biggest mistake we make in our careers is to believe our work is about us.
When our work is only serving our own needs it becomes selfish, shallow, and boring.
Our work can often be a wonderful place to use and exhibit our talents and gifts, yet there is a condition.
Our talents and gifts weren’t given to us for admiration or self-actualization, they were given to serve others.
When we switch the focus of our work to serving the needs of others, it takes our work to another level – a more sublime level.
So if you’ve struggled with finding work you like, maybe try looking at your work from another angle.
Who do you want to serve?
Your answer to that question will tell you why you work.