In my case? 8-year-old Heather would require a really good explanation as to why exactly I'm not an astronaut. I'd have to tell her that 14-year-old Heather discovered high school mathematics, and all of a sudden, a career in humanities or something else not involving calculations started to look really attractive.
I found other passions. But this question is worth asking yourself, if you want to find the work that allows you to fulfil your purpose.
Mark Manson asks a few very tricky, very useful questions in his Upworthy article, designed to explore how work fits in to life's purpose.
Knowing what you are good at – and what you love – is incredibly valuable insight for any worker. For those of us in the branding space, engaging people with that self knowledge presents a particular challenge. We need to work harder to be even more honest, to be even more compelling about how anyone can express their true purpose in life, by working for a certain employer.
Would 8-year-old Heather be pleased to work here? Am I being honest that nothing is perfect and am I prepared to make the sacrifices I'll need to in order to do this role? Will this job make me forget to have lunch, because I love it that much?
Manson's article asks us these bold questions and more. And my takeaway is that as communicators, we should be putting pressure on ourselves not to just talk about what a candidate will DO in a role, but what they will GET from it. Which of their passions will they be able to express as a part of the team we're asking them to join?
Because that's what makes someone's work – and their life – meaningful.
Here’s the truth: We exist on this Earth for some undetermined period of time. During that time, we do things. Some of these things are important. Some of them are unimportant. And those important things give our lives meaning and happiness. The unimportant ones basically just kill time. When people say, “What should I do with my life?” or “What is my life purpose?” what they’re actually asking is: “What can I do with my time that is important?” This is an infinitely better question to ask. It’s far more manageable and it doesn’t have all the ridiculous baggage the “life purpose” question has.