For most of us, we work because otherwise who will pay our mobile bills, EMIs, medical bills, school fees, fulfill the urge to party hard or to travel till the end of the world, and a bunch of other things. Yes, we all have something that we are pursuing or chasing.
Honestly, there is nothing wrong in working for money. You have earned it. So why work for a purpose? What your purpose has to do with your work? The wants in your life itself is a purpose enough, isn't it?
To understand this, we need to come out of our defensive sense of being and think how you are an essential part of the society we live in and how every small effort counts when we see collectively. No matter how much we want to live independently or criticise our society or world, we are 100% a contributing part of it. So, every act of our existence circles back to us.
Have you ever come across a restaurant, where the people working did not extend the customer service they promised? Or during your visit to a government hospital, you were asked to move from one person to another for a simple thing? How angry do you get when a cab driver neither turns up nor cancels the trip? Why do you get mad when you are pushed from one department to another to get a driving license renewal done? Why do you complain when your maid servant at home does not do the job correctly and somehow finish whatever they can?
You see, all these people are working. And as much you are working for money they too are working for money. They have their wants and need in life. But one crucial thing is missing here; they don't care. Their purpose of work and the need to work are not aligned.
Annadurai aka Auto Anna, a school dropout gets regular invitations to big companies like Vodafone, Royal Enfield etc. to address their employees on customer experience. He is, however, just an auto rickshaw driver in Chennai. He is one of the perfect examples of a professional who is committed to the purpose entirely. Annadurai's auto is ready with the latest tablet, iPad, and laptop. For those customers who like to be entertained on the go, he has installed a television, and has got a ready playlist of favorite songs for music lovers. For the benefit of voracious readers, his auto has nearly a dozen daily newspapers and more than 40 popular magazines. If that doesn't impress you enough, he holds a monthly customer relationship contest.
A British Indian Chef Asma Khan has been featured in the recent Netflix series - Chef's Table. What you immediately sense is that she finds joy in feeding her customers. Her restaurant, Darjeeling Express is a symbol of purpose and passion. You will see that she often personally serves her customers, and while she does it, she also talks about the food and the story of its origin.
On the other end, we find people taking professional help to deal with their work stress. More people die of a heart attack on Monday than any other day of the week. How is that, some people do so much more without being stressed and how few do so little with stress at work. I firmly believe that people driven by purpose will live much happier than the ones who are just working for the sake of money.
Now let me go back to where we started, why we must have a sense of purpose in our work. As humans we are social beings, our narcissism and self-interests overwhelm our sense of being, we somehow like to convert ourselves into a money making machine. We forget that society and our life gets better only when we care for one another. The story of our purpose acts as the guiding force behind us; without it, our life will be dull and mundane.
We like to believe that we are working throughout the week, but sorry that’s not correct. Research suggests that in an eight-hour day, the average worker is productive only for two hours and 53 minutes, that’s right! You're probably only productive for around three hours a day, which means in the entire span of a year an average worker can be productive for all together 138 hours or 6 days. So why is that we feel our work is consuming all our time? Have you noticed that sometimes you lose the sense of time while doing something that matters to you?
Look around you once again, objectively, at the world outside your room. Do you see that there is an enormous amount of work yet to be done? Education, Healthcare, Transportation, Food, Energy and almost every aspect of life, there is plenty of work that needs attention, which of these tasks fall into your area of expertise? Which of this task can you do without being stressed, which of these tasks create a sense of joy? Which of these tasks creates a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment?
Whether you are a businessman or professional, you can do much better if you could install the sense of purpose in your work. That's the key to attaining respect, credibility, appreciation, growth and it also pays for the things that you want and need.