I very so often, you will find a motivational speaker waxing eloquent that “once you have found your purpose, you will never work another day in your life”. What a lie. Before I explain what the lie is, we have to consider at least two ways that that statement can be taken.
First, there is the aspect of the genuine concern that people are “toiling” while unfulfilled. There is a connotation of trudging, sweating and being totally unexcited and passionless with what you are doing, but you have to do it. It is as if it is a sentence.
Take a handcart pusher for example. Can they tell you that “I was born to do this?” If given an opportunity to do something else with their lives, something that:
Would they give it a wide berth? I bet they wouldn’t.
The most unfortunate thing is that it is not just the handcart pusher that is trudging. There are hundreds of thousands of people in ties and suits that are toiling away uninspired. I bet that is why a motivational speaker will come to you and tell you that “Once you have discovered your purpose, you will never work another day in your life”.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in ties and suits that are toiling away uninspired.
The second consideration of that statement is that people have a wrong philosophy about work generally. People think that work is:
That’s why people will entice you with the shiny objects and shortcuts of life. They dangle before you something that promises a “breakthrough” without banking on your work, your control, your supervision and your involvement. And guess what? That’s how we get conned all day long.
I believe that we have to change the philosophy of work entirely. Think with me for a minute. Imagine a life without work. Imagine all the pleasures of the world (and how will they come without work?) given to you when you never earned them.
Do you find yourself drawn to the concept of not working but enjoying life? Frankly, what human being wouldn’t? It is interesting to note that our bodies seek coziness, comfort, pleasure, ease and breeze but our spirits seek fulfilment, contribution, purpose, joy and happiness.
And therein lies the greatest conundrum in humanity. In our fleeting years, we try as much as possible to get the best out of life largely through our bodies, giving it all that we want and crave. In the end, however, we find out that that’s not what we are looking for.
We use shortcuts to obtain things and we get a moment of a high and just like a drug, that high dissipates in minutes. Then we need another high and then another. All along, the route to fulfilment is through the spirit, but we have neglected it all along.
Now, here is the greatest paradox in life: That fulfilment comes through the spirit but it is done with the body by the vehicle of work. That’s a mouthful. In essence, we were created to be fulfilled, and the only legitimate way that we shall be fulfilled is when we are working…whether we are paid for that work or not.
In essence, we were created to be fulfilled, and the only legitimate way that we shall be fulfilled is when we are working…whether we are paid for that work or not.
All around us, and yay, even within us, there are seeds. Potential. We are not born complete. The world is not created complete. It has systems and structures that support it, but there is always a room for things to be created, inventions and innovations to be made. It is work that channels all that stuff.
You can now see why that statement is absolutely wrong. It is a lie that “once you have discovered your purpose, you will not work another day in your life”. Because if you do not work another day in your life, who will innovate? Who will create? Who will contribute? Who will grow? Who will develop?
We have to come to the level of loving work so much so that we believe that work is something we were primarily created to do. We have to believe that without work, there is no joy and fulfilment, no matter how much we try to hoard and accumulate stuff.
For more information about the subject of work, check out this link.