Why What You Do For A Living Matters

A Beautiful Afro-American woman juggling multiple objects over the air

What do you do for a living? That’s a pretty big question, isn’t it? Our job, our career, and how we earn money to finance our life is a big part of how we define ourselves. It’s often one of the first pieces of information we share after our name when we meet someone else. It’s a big part of our identity and of our feeling of self-worth.

We also spend a lot of time “on the job”. Between the 40+ hours we actually spent at work, lunch breaks, commutes back and forth, and of course getting ready for or unwinding from work, this takes up most of our working hours. With this much time devoted to our job, doesn’t it make sense to do something we enjoy and that brings us happiness?

This is why it matters what you do for a living. You’re spending a lot of time training for your job, on your job, and thinking about your job. While not everyone will end up following their passion and working in a job that fulfills their purpose in life, it is something to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to go into the workforce or are switching jobs. Sometimes, a change can be a very good thing.

On the flip side, we need to have a job that pays the bills so we can support our families. If you’re a single mom, you may consider your purpose to be to spend as much time as possible raising your kids. Your dream job may be stay at home mom, but with no second parent to support your little family, that may not be possible. This is when it’s time to look outside the box. Maybe you can find a way to work from home, or bring your kids to work with you. Maybe you can work two long overnight shifts as a nurse on the weekend while someone watches the kids and be there for them the rest of the week. There are ways to make your job work around your purpose, no matter what it may be.

Keep in mind that things don’t have to be perfect. In fact, they seldom are. Perfection is not the goal. Leading a happy and fulfilled life is. Think about your current job. Does it work for you? What works well, and what doesn’t? What small changes or tweaks can you make to improve what you’ve got? In other words, think about how you can change how you make a living to align with your purpose in life. Then make a plan to implement those changes.

Note from Donna: If you want to know more about a fulfilling and lucrative method for earning a living, watch this video about the exciting opportunities spreading the word about Young Living Essential Oils:

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The Connection Between Purpose and Happiness

When we start to make a difference and live a purpose driven life, something amazing happens. We become happier and more fulfilled. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. It doesn’t have to be anything big like going on a year-long mission trip or setting out to cure the world of cancer. Even small gestures that make a difference can have a big impact on how you feel.

When you help a fellow student pick up a stack of dropped books, run an errand for an elderly neighbor, loan a great book that’s had an impact on your own life to a friend, or remind a fellow grocery shopper of a left bag, it feels good doesn’t it? We like to help out and make a difference. It doesn’t matter how small the act is.

We have been social creatures who rely on each other for millennia. Over the course of that time our bodies and brains have evolved to give us positive rewards for helping out and making a difference. In other words, it feels good to live with purpose and make a difference. It makes us happy.

It’s one of the biggest reasons why living with purpose is such an important goal. At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy, or at the very least happier than we are right now. Looking at popular media and advertising in particular, it seems that the key to happiness is more material goods. We’re made to believe that bigger and more expensive houses and cars, more clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics, workout gear and the likes are what will makes us happy. If only we can buy and accumulate enough “stuff,” we’ll feel better. Sadly, quite the opposite is true. The more you own, the more you have to worry about and take care of, taking away valuable time that you could be spending on something else.

The key to happiness isn’t to own more. It’s to live a purpose driven life and making a difference in the world. It’s one of the reasons why minimalism is becoming so popular. When your life and mind isn’t cluttered with all the extra stuff, you feel calmer, more in control, and have the time and mental energy to figure out your own purpose.

A purpose driven life is one lived within our core values. It caters to our need to cooperate and work together. It strengthens our confidence and makes us feel needed and valuable. All of this leads to an increased feeling of happiness. The moral of the story is stop buying stuff you don’t need, stop chasing that high-paying job that makes you miserable for 60 hours a week and start living your life with purpose.

What Is Your Purpose?

The first step on this journey towards living with a purpose is deciding that it is a worthwhile endeavor. I hope the first two blog posts in this series have convinced you of that. The next step is to figure out what exactly your purpose in life is. It’s a pretty big question, isn’t it? I wish I had just the right answer for you, but the truth is that our life’s purpose is different for all of us. There is no quiz you can take that spits out the answer. It’s something you have to discover for yourself. I do however have a few thoughts to share with you that will guide you along the way. In the end, your purpose is very much like true love. You will know it when you’ve found it.

What Are You Passionate About?

Start by thinking about all the different things you are passionate about. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of your current work or career, a cause, a hobby, or anything else you can think of. Make a list and keep adding to it as you come across more ideas. Maybe it’s restoring old cars, redecorating your home, or sewing historical costumes.

What Do You Value?

Another good approach for coming up with potential “purpose” ideas is to think about what you really value. What’s important to you? What do you feel would make a difference? Maybe you value the right of every child to grow up in a happy home and make it your life’s purpose to raise foster kids or adopt. Maybe you value animal rights and make it your mission to raise awareness about the low number of wild giraffes in Africa.

What Elicits A Strong Emotional Response?

Similarly, think about what makes you really happy, really angry, or really sad. Having something with a strong emotion attached is a good sign that you’re very passionate about it and that this particular cause or purpose is important to you. Maybe it’s passion on your love of playing piano, your passion for heirloom tomato gardening, or your burning desire to put a stop to human trafficking.

What’s Fun

Last but not least, think about what you enjoy doing. There’s nothing wrong with finding a purpose that is also enjoyable. In fact, it’s important that you like what you do and are having fun doing it. If it isn’t fun, it’s much harder to put in the work and effort required to reach your goals.

Of course not every task and every aspect of what you do will be fun. Overall though, you want to find a purpose and a project that has you excited to jump out of bed in the morning.

Why It’s Important To Find Your Purpose

In yesterday’s blog post we talked about what it means to live with purpose and I briefly touched on why it is important to do so. Today, I want to dive a little deeper and talk more about it. Making the decision to live your life with purpose, and then finding said purpose can have a profound effect on your life.

It Gives Your Life Meaning

When you decide on your life’s purpose, it gives what you do a lot of meaning. Every step along the way, and all the work you do towards reaching your goals, serves to bring you one step closer. It becomes much easier to get things done, when they are done with purpose and with a firm goal in mind.

It Creates A Value System

Living with purpose also helps you define and set a system of core values that will guide you throughout the coming years. You don’t have to waste time and energy each day trying to figure out if what you’re doing is right or worth doing. As long as it aligns with your purpose, you know you’re on the right track. That gives you a lot of confidence in what you are doing.

It Increases Your Feeling Of Self Worth

When you are living with purpose and working towards a worthwhile goal, you take a lot of pride in what you do. With each passing day, and each small step that you reach towards that goal, your sense of self-worth will also increase. Use that feeling to propel you through the next day and the next challenges ahead.

It Leads To Fulfillment and Happiness

Living a life with purpose, that’s meaningful and gives you a sense of self-worth and confidence leads to happiness. Give it a try during this 30 Day Challenge and create a purpose for yourself. At the end of the month you’ll notice that you are not only more confident, but also more fulfilled. The true secret to a happy life is being completely fulfilled by the life you’re living.

We are social creatures who need to make a difference and have a purpose, a place in society. We may think that material things bring us happiness, but what truly matters is how meaningful, helpful, and purposeful what we do is. Don’t be surprised to notice a measurable increase in your overall happiness at the end of this month-long challenge or journey towards a purpose driven life.

It’s Good For Your Mental And Physical Health

Last but not least, living with purpose is good for your health. Being needed, being helpful, and adding value to the lives of others has a measurable effect on both your physical and mental health. Living a purposeful life decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke, while it is also protecting you against depression. In fact, one of the best ways to fight depression is to find meaning and purpose in what you do each and every day.

What Does It Mean To Live With Purpose?

I’ve been thinking about the idea of living with purpose for quite some time. It’s an interesting concept and something that can have a positive impact on your entire life. When we live with purpose, we get more done, we create meaning in our life, and most importantly, we feel happier and more fulfilled. That’s why it’s an important topic to discuss. It’s also what inspired me to create a 30 day series of blog posts around it.

Over the course of the month, we’ll take a look at living with purpose and how we can start to live more intentionally. We’ll look at how this will affect all aspects of our lives and of course, I will have plenty of hands-on tips and suggestions for you.

Let’s start today by talking a little bit about what it means to live with purpose. In essence it means that you know what you’re doing. You have goals and are passionate about what you do. Instead of simply letting the days pass you by, you work with purpose to make the most from each day.

Living with a purpose has a couple of big advantages over simply existing. When you know exactly what you want to do with your life, you have a clear plan or path. You don’t have to get up each morning and then try to figure out what you will do. You simply jump in and keep working towards the goals you set based on your purpose.

You have a clear set of core values that you follow, based on your purpose. This will come in handy anytime you have a decision to make. Think of these values as your compass that keeps you on track.

Most importantly though, living with purpose gives you a great sense of self-worth. You know what you’re doing and you’re actively working towards the goals you’ve set yourself. Not only does this increase your feeling of self-worth and self-confidence, living a purpose driven and fulfilled life will also greatly increase your overall happiness.

In the end, that’s what it’s really about, isn’t it? We all want to live a happy and fulfilled life with meaning. That’s why it’s important to start thinking about living with purpose.

Last but not least, I’d like to invite you to join me on this 30 day journey towards living life with a purpose. If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to sign up in the form to the right (and receive a free gift as well!). I will send you a short email each day as soon as the Living with Purpose blog post goes up. The email course is completely free and you can unsubscribe at any time.