Have you ever felt that all you do is in vain? That you and what you do not have an impact on the world around you? Do you feel like your work is not meaningful?
We all want to feel that whatever we’re doing for a living… does make a positive difference to others.
And, we are susceptible to feeling that our lives don’t matter, that what we do is trivial, in the cosmic scheme of the Universe.
I struggle with this because what I do seems to be so mundane, so devoid of spiritual significance.
Making a difference is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. Going from managing people for others to a business focused on building business strategy left me worried that fulfillment wouldn’t happen for me.
Until one day, I read somewhere:
Everything is shown up by being exposed to the light, and whatever is exposed to the light itself becomes light.
Saint Paul, Ephesians 5:14
The quote meant to me that I could do anything, dear reader. I could shine shoes, mow lawns, be a cashier at Mickey-Ds, literally do anything. And as long as I infused my work with light, love and peace, it has all the meaning I need.
How You Can Make the World a Better Place
There are a number of things that you can do to make the world a better place, no matter what you actually do. You can:
- Spark a meaningful conversation, one that can lead to making a change in someone’s life
- Connect to feelings that bond you to your humanity. They’ll make your life real and change you
- Be like a song that brings joy. Be whatever makes someone feel good right on the spot
- Give yourself a healthy outlet for your negative emotions
- Create something. It lets you process and express emotion that otherwise would be bottled up
- Allow yourself to fall in love with the numinous. Be like the protagonist of the novel Contact by Carl Sagan
- Love the world around you, get fired up to protect what you love
Making a Difference <> Your Job or Business
Your business or job are not the same thing as making a difference.
There are not many businesses that are literally life-changing or life-saving.
As I said before, you can do anything. You can choose to be a humanitarian, an activist, a world changer not limited by what you do to make money.
Many years ago, I was in Las Vegas (talk about being devoid of meaning!).
Hubby and I used to go to the same McDonald’s for breakfast most mornings. There was this little Latino woman that cleaned the tables and mopped the floors. Looking at her face made me cry. There was such sadness, such burdens etched on the lines in her face. Her eyes were haunted.
After eating on our last day there, I took a couple of $20s out of my purse. I walked up to her and put the wadded bills in her hand and said:
This is a little something for you, just for you. Promise you won’t use it on anyone else. Buy yourself something you want.
You should have seen the look of surprise on her face. As we walked away, I saw her showing her co-worker the money and pointing out the door. She had the most beautiful smile on her face. That day, she believed in angels!
If you so choose, you can make a difference to others as well. And not only with money, either!
Do Anything You Love
Set an example for others.
Your example inspires others to take a leap and do something they love. That changes the world.
Doing anything infused with a sense of joy, reverence and enthusiasm, changes the world.
Your work is as meaningful as you make it. Period.
Are you concerned with work not being ‘meaningful’ or ‘important’? It is something I’ve met many times, in myself and others.
If you feel unimportant because you can’t see how your work affects the world, take heart. You do make a difference.
No matter what you do, you have the power to make it mean something. You have the power to use your work to uplift others.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
What ways have you found where you help to change the world? Let’s create a big list!
Has a someone done something that ever changed your life? If so — how?
How do you bring meaning and purpose to what you do?
Leave a comment below and let me know your answers.