How to Make Sure Your Work Really Matters

How to Find Your Delightful Passion & Purpose: Work You Love 101 (#21)

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Today, I’d like to encourage you to find a way to be of service.

Related to my last prompt about using the triple bottom line, explore how your passion and purpose can benefit others.

Why is this important?

There are many benefits associated with helping others. For instance, the study I mentioned in yesterday’s article

“suggest that compassionate goals contribute to decreased distress because they provide meaning and increase support given to others.”

Kelsey Luke has gathered an impressive list of the health benefits associated with volunteering, including the following:

“A study of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) found that people who provided service to others had a lower mortality rate than those who did not. Long-term volunteers tend to live longer lives than those who do not volunteer regularly.”


Is there a way to be of service (❤️) while getting paid (💲)?

While volunteering can be an extremely valuable activity, it isn’t the only way to be of service and to help others. In an ideal scenario, a large fraction of everyone’s work time would be spent with activities that are of benefit to others.

As I wrote in a previous article,

I believe that work and love are, or should be, interrelated.

(Side note: I think in this context, the words “service” and “love” pretty much mean the same thing.)

This sentiment has been beautifully expressed in one of Khalil Gibran’s poems:

“Work is love made visible.”

Through bringing work and love together, we as a culture can move out of what I call…

The money-or-meaning dilemma

As I explain on my website, here’s how this dilemma might express itself in your own life:

When you are stuck in this dilemma, it feels like you need to choose between safe, but unfulfilling work or doing what you love, but being financially precarious.

The money-or-meaning dilemma is a deeply seated belief — but that doesn’t make it true.

For instance, it is heartening to see that more and more companies are finding a way to both make money and make a difference. For instance, check out B Lab which certifies companies that use business to solve social and environmental problems as B Corporations.

Something similar is possible on the individual level. And, the first step is to…

Start to serve — no matter what you do

TL;DR: We often derive our deepest satisfaction and fulfillment from what we can contribute to others.And ultimately, a passion that is not serving others in some way is meaningless.

As Martin Luther King Jr. put it:

“Everybody can be great because anyone can serve.”

The idea

If you have found something that you love to do, find a way to do that while being of service to others.

For instance, if you love to make music, you might decide that you would like to inspire your audience through your songs. Or, if you are a grammar nerd, you can use your editing skills to help others shine in their writing (such as my friend Pavita from pavEDITa — whom I didn’t ask to proofread this particular article so all grammar mistakes are mine).

How can you apply this to your life today?

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Did this resonate?

This is one of 101 prompts for connecting with your passion and purpose. Follow this publication to make sure you don’t miss any.

You can get my free Work You Love Bundle here.

Fav topics: passion, purpose & productivity. Devil’s advocate. 🇩🇪 in the 🇺🇸. Past life: BigLaw, academia. Free course: do what you love →

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