The Need to Make Yourself Useful
I've written about Jory Des Jardins and her Pause blog before. You can always count on her to produce a fun read that makes you think. In a post early this year she discussed The Need to Make Yourself Useful. Jory's insights hold particular value for us creative types. Here's a portion of it:
Sure, there are some of us who LOVE what we do, but sadly ... most people don't discover their life's work. Rather, they send resumes to companies for jobs that they can likely do blindfolded. Then they show up for the interview seeming as sane as possible and hopefully get hired.
Those who are "successful" show acumen at something, build a reputation, and are often recruited to fill a position. These people tend to make good money, which ... is often misinterpreted as a sign that their job is their purpose.
I can't imagine God, or some higher power with the grand plan that is YOUR PURPOSE, gluing together the molecules that are to be you and thinking to him/herself, "And this one shall hit home runs" or, "and this one shall close sales."
Rather, a larger purpose was generated that gave us talents and interests of very broad sorts -- the ability to analyze, to inspire, to communicate -- that somehow lend themselves to skill sets.
This discussion could easily move into that sticky fate vs. free will debate, so I won't go there -- except to say that I'm inclined to believe what Jory is suggesting: that we each have strong leanings, areas of interest, talents that come easier than others, etc. We have a personal (or spiritual) gravitational pull toward certain skills that, when put to good use, serve others and make the world a better place.
The trick is to find out what that inclination is for you and then figure out the best way (or ways) to act on it and make a contribution to the world.
In this other excerpt from Jory's blog, she talks about the importance of connecting with your purpose, especially if you're currently working a day job that isn't in line with it:
We working stiffs ... need to do it now. We need to find what we are happy doing, for pay or for free. If we can't make money doing it, we need to find ways to make money to support us doing it. We need to bring those worlds closer together -- those of inner desire and external necessity -- and see how much more the world can yield.
Can someone be the very best seller of widgets that the world has ever known? Sure. But why would you want to be other than for the money? The very best telemarketer for the United Way? Absolutely. Perhaps earning money for charity is a way that you can leverage your persuasive abilities for the greater good. It doesn't matter WHERE you put your talents. Just please, use them.
Wow. Think about that for a while.