The Purpose I Thought I Lost:  I Found It Within Myself.  It Wasn’t A Set of Tasks.

Of course it wouldn’t be.  Right?  I mean my purpose for living isn’t found in what tasks I do on the job.  Right?

I thought it was.  I became depressed when I left what I thought was the job of my dreams.  It had everything I wanted, but of course it didn’t.  I left because something was missing.

I flew out of bed every morning excited to face the day.  I couldn’t wait to get to work and hated to leave.  Why?

  • I was a change agent.  Everything was being built and changed.  Perfect.
  • I helped people.  We served the community and I worked with donors, volunteers, staff, and the public. My day was filled with connecting to people.  Yes!
  • I fit in some administrative detail work.  I like a fair amount of this work.  I like to dig deep into spreadsheets and paper work.  As long as I can get back to people.
  • I was independent.  Perhaps this was key.  I worked for a board of director’s, but I had freedom to make my own schedule, come and go as I pleased, and no one stood over my shoulder micro-managing my work.
  • I had purpose.  This part gets tricky, but at the time a large part of my life was wrapped up in this job.  I was proud of that.  The sun rose and set on my being able to help people and meet their needs.  Of course I neglected myself to the point of exhaustion and my family suffered, but that’s ok!  I had purpose.

Take that away and what do you have?  A mid-life crisis.  Three years of continuous change.  You know all the big stuff that can change in your life?  It changed.  I ended up a shriveled mess.  So what do we do?  We look for purpose.  We go on the hunt.  I am going to find my purpose.  I am going to find it in the next job that I have.  I had it before and I will have it again!

When I left my dream job I thought I lost my purpose, but actually I lost it when I took the job.  Purpose is not found solely in a job.  It’s not found in tasks.  It comes from within.  I lost my true purpose the moment I let a job become my reason for living.  The moment we realize that is the moment we can truly determine our purpose in life.

It’s Not a Set of Tasks

My purpose for living is to connect with people and help them.  I am a change agent.  I am all about reviewing processes and making them better.  I like to dig into spreadsheets and get knee deep in paper work.  I am independent.  I have purpose.  My purpose is not found in the tasks that I do every day, but in how I do them.  My purpose is found in being who I am and living that out in every situation.  It’s found in being this person in the totality of my life not just in my job.

I see now.  I can connect with people at work, at home, online and in the community.  I can be a change agent at any job I have.  I can be my own change agent.  I can improve processes at work, home and at school.  I have plenty of paper work to do at my current job.  My independence drives me to try new things, go on new adventures, and meet new people.  It’s not something I save for the 9-5.

The things is my purpose should have never been found in an organization.  Why limit my purpose to a specific job or career path?  I am a human being.  I am much more than a limited set of tasks.  I am a whole being and to limit my purpose to a job is a tragedy.  That’s what I did before.  I made the 9-5 my whole life and it shouldn’t have been that way.  It was a part of my life.  An important part.  I am thankful the dream job is over because now I can see who I really am as a whole person and can work on developing my purpose throughout my entire life.

More to come later……

Marcy Pedersen


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