Nobody wants to work anymore. Or do they?
If the work is disconnected from anything meaningful, then of course nobody wants to do it. Why would we? As a humanity, we have awakened to the notion that our lives matter and that our time on this planet is brief. We’ve been shaken out of the status quo and rushed pell-mell into a brand new reality. In this new world, many of us are feeling the call to make a genuine contribution through our work.
Not long ago, a young woman reached out to me via email. She was struggling. She told me she was having difficulty finding a place in the world where her gifts were valued. I was excited to receive her message as I I looked forward to helping her figure out what she could create in terms of work that would allow her to share her gifts. Sadly, it was already too late. Before I could even respond to her, she made the devastating choice to take her own life. I was shaken. Even though I was not responsible, I still felt as though I had let her down. And I felt rage at the idea that we, as a society, would allow someone to think she had so little to contribute that she believed that suicide was the best option available to her. It made me commit even more fiercely to helping people bring who they are into the world through their work.
You are more important than you may realize. Each human is a unique expression of consciousness and has a distinctive set of abilities, interests, and aptitudes that enables them to do work that is very specific to who they are. The journey of discovering, creating, and living your inspired work is about realizing that particular embodiment of consciousness you came into this lifetime to live. Who you are is quite intentional. If we lose you (if you lose you), we are deprived of your very essential contribution. Your existence adds value to the greater whole and when you can see the significance of the role your work plays in the unfolding of humanity, that is when it feels meaningful to you.
Work is meaningful when we understand how who we are adds value to the greater whole.
It’s not that your work has to play out on some big stage, “quieter” forms of work also have the potential for enormous impact. Humanity’s thriving depends upon a diversity of vocations. It is necessary for your personal fulfillment, however, that whatever it is you are doing makes best use of your particular strengths, gifts, and talents and is an expression of your truth. There’s a contentment in your being that only comes when what you do is in alignment with who you are.
You contribute by being who you are
In the old paradigm of work, the structures in place provided few opportunities for us to realize our full potential. Rather, we were often encouraged to diminish ourselves. This suited a hierarchy that benefited from our labours, however, this systemic minimization had a damaging effect on our humanity. We are not victims to the old system, however. We have the choice, the responsibility even, to create a new paradigm that is more sustaining and supportive of being our true selves. As a society, this is our work now. To be clear, our task is not to change the old world, it is to create an entirely new one from an expanded state of consciousness.
As an individual, you contribute to this new paradigm by getting clear about who you are and what you have to offer, and creating ways to offer it. This requires you to cast off your old beliefs in lack and limitation, especially those in which you’ve encased your own brilliance. It is a common pattern to experience some kind of wounding in our past and then choose work that plays out those same old stories. But you do not have to live from a wounded place, it’s not who you really are. It’s just a story that has limited your ability to be who you really are. When you pry yourself away from those habitual patterns and refocus your attention on who you really are, you free yourself to realize new potentials for your life. You are able to tap into the life force that is the source of all creation. You begin to receive new ideas, and when you follow through on the inspiration, your work becomes the platform through which the new world is brought forth.
When I talk about “being who you are”, what I am referring to is:
- Living your truth
- Trusting your inner guidance
- Embodying your life purpose
- Aligning with your heart’s true desires
- Cultivating wisdom from your life experiences
- Sharing your personal strengths, gifts, and talents
- Pursuing your particular interests
- Birthing creative and innovative ideas
- Joyfully expanding through the evolution of your work
- Knowing your existence is an expression of consciousness
When you create work that allows you to be all of who you are, it’s win-win. You are fulfilled within and you are making your greatest contribution to the world.
Work to make a contribution, not a difference
There is an important distinction between the need to “make a difference” and the desire to “make a contribution”. Most people who want to “make a difference” have the best intentions, however, when your value is dependent upon changing something outside of yourself, you are in for a miserable experience of life. The need to make a difference means you only find satisfaction in the result. What others do, or don’t do, is beyond your control, so the need for “change” can create an unhealthy attachment to an outcome and can lead to manipulative behaviour in order to get the validation you seek. Your work becomes externally sourced. This is not to say that your actions cannot have extraordinary impact on others and the world. They absolutely can, even more so when you work to give rather than to get.
Those who make their contribution without agenda often make the biggest difference in the world.
To “make a contribution” only requires you to give of yourself without needing anything or anyone outside of yourself to change. It is irrelevant if anyone even receives whatever you are offering. The joy is in knowing who you are and being it. When you already know our own worth, then your work is internally sourced. And what you do is simply a way of sharing yourself with the world. You can rest easy at night knowing that you showed up to the best of your ability and gave everything you have to give. That is enough. It’s more than enough. It’s being in true service.
Your life matters
We are in the midst of the greatest transformation in the landscape of work that we’ve ever seen. It is shifting dramatically, however, I believe that people do want to work. They just don’t want to have to sacrifice who they are to do it. I actually believe that people want to work more than ever. They want to give their gifts. They want to make their contribution to humanity’s evolution. They want their lives to matter.
I didn’t know that young woman who left this world so soon. I don’t know what her story was or the series of events that led to her decision. I am concerned there are more people like her who are disheartened by the condition of the world and are feeling powerless to make any sort of meaningful contribution. It is not about fitting yourself into an existing model of what is, your contribution creates something entirely new.
You may not be able to change the world, but you can figure out who you are and what you have to give, and then give it whole-heartedly without attachment to any particular outcome. Through you a new world is born. Therein lies the meaning.
If you need help figuring out what your unique contribution is or finding a place to give it, please reach out to me. I am here.