I have lived most of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop. I turn 45 in just a few days now. Based on the average life expectancy of a healthy male in the United States, I have already lived over half my life. My message is that I always lived in fear, day to day, wondering if I would be able to make my rent, if I was saving enough for retirement, was I doing well enough at work. What happens if I get laid off or fired.
I have been living my life in fear. Living a small life, not being proactive and thinking about how I could adjust my life to live it more meaningfully.
I have worked in the tech industry for many years. Looking back, I never wanted to be in that role. I wanted to be in a more creative role. A creative role such as writing, possibly? To this day I haven’t been able to pin down exactly what would make me happy. Maybe the reason I haven’t been able to resolve this issue is because I have been going about it wrong.
In a sense, in today’s society, you find a career and the main driver is money. Money will eventually make you happy, right? No, it won’t. It might be a good carrot on a stick when I was younger, but I am driven to find purpose in the work I do.
Adding in the need for purpose just complicates an already confusing puzzle. The majority of jobs out there don’t have purpose. The majority of work is meaningless. You would be hard pressed to find meaning in organizing a random spreadsheet or putting together a slide chart for a meeting. There are exceptions of course, however the majority of work completed by people has no intrinsic value for them except to provide a paycheck.
So, maybe the answer is that there is no one single job that will provide purpose to any given individual, possibly we are meant to find purpose in multiple avenues? I think this might be more of the truth. I for one would like to volunteer more. I have volunteered for organizations in the past, and this has satisfied my itch to help others. I didn’t need to get a masters degree in psychology to volunteer at an animal shelter or hospital.
I do think that a job should provide some level of enjoyment and self satisfaction. Being a in career where you like what you are do and do what you like makes for a far more satisfacory life than constantly going against the grain, feeling like you are always swimming up stream.
That is where am currently at in my career, swimming against the stream. I think I need to swim towards shore, dry myself off and pick a different path. My arms are getting way too tired to continue doing this.