Where did the wonder go?
When we were children, at some point we were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Do you recall what your answer was? Was it a superhero, a firefighter or policeman? Perhaps it was a lawyer, doctor or race car driver? Stay in that memory and try to analyze what part of that profession intrigued your young heart. Was it the idea of providing service? Protecting people? Was it the fact that you wanted to be what your mom or dad were? Regardless of the reasoning behind your choice, the feeling you had when you fantasized about being that profession when you grew up was so powerful. The wonder and passion for the future was great. Where did that wonder go?
As we grow older, we’re confronted over and over again with the realities of life. We’re faced with financial requirements and societal norms that begin to alter our view of success. We soon realize that for whatever reason, our childhood dream job may no longer make sense to pursue. As we focus our gaze on a more realistic profession, some of us may replace the “wonder” for new concepts like safety, security or status.
When you look at your current job and career, do you feel a sense of wonder? Do you have a sense of fulfillment in your work? If you aren’t finding this deeper meaning and purpose in what you’re doing, does that mean you have to stop and find some other place to work? Not necessarily. But it may be appropriate to take a personal inventory of your situation.
While you go through this internal inventory, your own personal status report, investigate these points:
As servant leaders, it’s important to live our values.
Have you investigated what your values are? Your values can change over time and it’s good to re-evaluate them periodically throughout your career.
What are the reasons you work where you work? Does your job line up with your values?
Do your company’s values line up with your own?
Meaning and purpose
Servant leadership teaches us that meaning and purpose are vital in creating engaging work environments and cultures that achieve amazing results.
Are you experiencing meaning and purpose in what you’re doing?
Can you see your contributions positively affecting others?
Is your organization giving back to the community? If not, could it start?
Fulfillment outside the office
Your job isn’t the only way to find fulfillment. As you look at all the aspects of your life, can you find fulfillment in other areas? You can volunteer for a community service group, or start a side business you can pour your passion into. Is there a hobby you can pursue that involves serving others?
Finding meaning, purpose and passion in what you do is something everyone struggles with. What does it take to find the wonder in what you do? It takes a deliberate and bold search to find it and hold onto it. The wonder isn’t gone; it’s only waiting for you to find it.