Waking up in the morning is hard enough. Waking up without purpose is just plain painful.
It makes it difficult to make simple decisions. Where should I go? What should I do?
I’m having a considerable amount of difficulty right now, just seeing the point. Sure, I go to work. Yeah, the paycheck doesn’t bounce. It doesn’t suck. And it doesn’t fill me with joy either.
A couple weeks ago I felt it; a purpose, a goal, a reason to show up every day. I looked for ways to improve, ways to help out, challenges to overcome. I was driven by the understanding that my work was leading somewhere.
I was making a difference, or so I thought. I had a direction. “Had.”
I use to suffer from severe eye-roll every time I read a business article about “motivation” and so-called “millennials” who are looking for purpose in their work. I used to think to myself, “Why don’t these kids just appreciate having a job?” Now I get it.
It shouldn’t have taken me the better part of 40 years, I know. But now I understand exactly what it means to have, and lose, purpose.
I can do my job with my eyes closed, and often do. I’ve reached the point in my profession where there is very little I haven’t seen. My latest challenge was to take a struggling department, and hopefully company, and engineer a turnaround.
There were significant hurdles to overcome, most having to do with employee motivation and training. I was hopeful and excited.
That challenge has since been removed. Now I’m performing the duties I’ve mastered already, with little to no hope of affecting any positive changes in my company. And that’s what’s killing me.
We need to know our work means something. We need to know that it’s not just a paycheck. And when it becomes just a paycheck, we get bored and bitter. At least I do. I won’t speak for you.
So what now? I’m not sure. But it helps to write about it. A little.