By Caroline Smith and the Mind Tools Team
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Working with Purpose

Bringing More Meaning to Your Career

© iStockphoto
AleksandarNakic

Rediscover what's really important to you.

Does this sound familiar?

It's another Monday morning, and despite your best efforts at being cheerful, you feel dragged down as you get closer to the office. You walk to your cubicle, sighing at your co-workers, and you drop your briefcase with a thud that sounds like prison cell doors closing behind you.

As you sit down, do you wonder what it might be like to really love what you do? Do you consider the possibility of working with a true purpose rather than just moving papers around on your desk? Another sigh. In your dreams, right?

Now this may sound a bit extreme – and hopefully you're not at this point yet -but believe it or not, it IS possible to love what you do and find new purpose in your everyday tasks. We're not talking about changing careers to become a skydiving instructor. Sure, it would be fun, but you have to pay your bills.

No, we're talking about finding purpose in what you do NOW.

How Do You Find Purpose?

When you set out to actively look for purpose in your life, the harder you try, the harder it can be to find.

Remember chasing butterflies as a kid? The more you ran, the more they flew to escape you. But sometimes, when you just sat on the grass and watched, they'd come to rest on your leg – if only for a moment.

Finding purpose in your work can be very much like this. Don't run forward franticly, trying to find meaning. Instead, do a quiet, more thoughtful search. The meaning and purpose you seek may come to you when you least expect it....

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