Why do we do what we do? Questioning purpose and meaning in our existence

With a new job, new town, and new community upon me, I am finding myself asking the question, why am I doing what I do? Of course, there are the obvious reasons: professionally, personally, financially, all the logical reasons add up. But what I am curious about is why we do what we do from a more organic level; the driving force of our existence. Is it a love-at-first-sight kind of thing or is it a coerced ‘doing’ that we try-on in order to one day transform into the ideal character we design in our minds. And are we doing it for our own personal desires or for someone else’s?

When I think about all the different people and all the different trades to “do” out in the working world, I am suspicious to how many of us actually ‘do’ to better our state of ‘being’? Do we ‘do’ to avoid, to stay busy, to feel important, to camouflage, OR to truly seek out that which seems to be our destiny? The hard part is we never really know. I mean, intuition is magic but truly understanding that in the midst of trying to survive in this complicated world makes our destiny seem like a booby trap of struggle, simplicity and a dark unknown.

For me, moving from the non-profit office atmosphere to the high-paced intensity of restaurant work is so dynamic that I literally feel moved. My emotional being is quickly coming to realize that our ‘being’ knows best how to distinguish between those things that we ‘do’ that makes us happy and those that do not. A paycheck or promotion can only temporarily convince us of that. Like all things of moderation in life, the truth is becoming clear that what I do will never be 100 percent what I love. But if I mindlessly do not show up being grateful for the 80 percent of those aspects I love, what is it worth to my personality?

And beyond what we do, who are we when we do what we do? If you find yourself not feeling the same spunk as you do when you punch-out at the end of the day…DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Or if you can’t because circumstances are hard, CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE and do ONE thing different. I am a firm believer that if we keep our ‘being’ thriving, our ‘doing’ will bloom into bliss.

Can we exude the same integrity no matter the job? I am now recognizing that what we do does matter to who we are although people are right when they say, “a job is just a job.” Why do you do what you do? Ask yourself that 10 times fast 🙂 There are way too many YOU and DOs to get the question straight! So we all must have mindfulness to our intention around our purpose in life. What must drive it all is passion! And sometimes it takes the persistance to push through the unpassionate parts of our ‘doing’ to cultivate more compassion for the suffering of others.

With enough compassion, our passions slowly come to fruition…we are lead to where we feel fulfillment. Another hard part: the passion fluctuates. As we grow, we want to prove to ourselves we can do more, sometimes finding ourselves in over our head. Or on the flip side, we get stuck thinking there is no farther to go and we end up limited in our capacity. So as humans, we have to constantly question our purpose, take risks, but also be patient as the passions fluctuate and find their rhythm. Can you find those qualities about what you do that you inherently love and expand on them rather than getting lost in conquering just to conquer? Your purpose is your own! Get to know it, the good and the ugly.

 

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