Are You Looking Far Enough Down the Road?

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How many times have you thought, “This work sucks.”

How many times have you thought, “I should really look for another job.”

How many times have you thought, “If only I could find the right job to match my values.”

How many times have you thought, “What is my purpose here anyway?”

We’ve all been there. We struggle with our purpose, our values, our wants and desires.

Sometimes that struggle looks rather bleak. We look at our jobs as a list of tasks, a pile of projects, and a set of annual goals. That may be interesting and motivating to some of you, but for most of us, that list or pile or set is pretty demotivating.

That task list is boring. That pile of projects is intimidating. And right now, that set of goals seems out of reach.

Here’s the funny thing. We can get a lot more motivated and align our values if we just look beyond what is right in front of us. Past the tasks, projects, and goals; and onto the actual results intended for the customer or client.

Seeing how our daily activity impacts our customer, demonstrates why we do what do at work.

Most people like to know why they do what they are tasked to do. Those who say they don’t are liars…or they are just working for a paycheck. (Not the best material for a good employee. Keep looking.)

Now you might not start with why, because in the beginning, you just want to know what to do (so you do the right thing), and then you want to know how to do it (so you do the thing right), but ultimately you do want to know WHY you’re doing it (so you can appreciate your own effort).

Let’s face it, we don’t get a lot of recognition (or even appreciation) in the workplace, so the best way to lift our own spirits and feel like our work matters, is to think about how our work impacts the customer, whether internal or external.

How do we do that?

We create a line of sight from the work we do to the benefit our customer enjoys.

Without that line of sight, our work seems meaningless, or at least not very motivating. (Unless you just love achieving other people’s goals.)

  • With that line of sight, you now have a reason to do that thing and do it right.
  • With that line of sight, you now have a purpose to create value for your customer.
  • With that line of sight, you can begin to tie YOUR values to the work that you do.

Sometimes work is hard and the will to go on is wavering, but creating a line of sight helps bring clarity, meaning, and purpose.

Next time you are in your boss’s office, ask them, “Why is what I do important to our customer?” Listen to what they say…it might surprise you.

Your Mindful Moment:

Sometimes you just need to look further down the road to know you are on the right path.

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