Your work will tell the story of your purpose.
It is that element of awareness that goes abandoned in our pursuit of success and accomplishment. And our work consequently suffers.
The other day, I chatted with my twin brother about the topic of working with meaning. I said something in the conversation that now serves as a constant reminder.
“I would rather wake up and make less money doing what matters to me than to wake up with all the money in the world and hate what I do.”
Spoiled creators of the most vicious kind
I never wanted to be the guy who focuses on prosperity in the monetary sense. But it creeps into you when your guards are down — when you conjure up ways to exploit others for financial gain.
Instead of pouring into them, people see other humans as a means of capital transactions. Sources of collection instead of plants made to blossom. And when they don’t get what they want, they seek other ways to replicate the same intent.
This produces spoiled creators of the most vicious kind. They believe that because they created something, it is therefore inherently the viewers’ job to love it. But since when did creating something equate to automatic value? What if it doesn’t serve anyone in any meaningful way?
Therein lies the origin from where meaningless content stems. Because the root purpose of their words, notes, clips, or brush strokes is founded in the pursuit of selfishness, no one actually benefits from them.
What do you really want?
The issue of purposefully working comes down to your real pursuit. If it’s the money you want, be honest about that. At least you’ll know why you’re disappointed when your goals aren’t met.
Helping people wasn’t your priority.
The end goal was lots of cash.
I write passionately about this because I fell prey to the same trend. Others chased affluence, so I assumed I should do the same. But deep down (and on the surface), it didn’t provide value to my existence.
I remember helping my dad in many a-gardens. Over this past weekend, the privilege was still mine. But this time it was different. I saw similarities in both gardening and life.
We all have something we bring to the table, something to implant into the world. Before we are able to use it, the ground needs to be pulverized. That’s because the soil in which we place our work matters. It’s the determining factor in whether we produce anything at all. And if the soil is fragmented enough, it becomes an incubator for growth — however long it may take.
What many of us do (and what I’ve been guilty of so often in my life) is when we see a glimpse of growth, we cease from watering our gardens. We assume that our work was completed when the ground-breaking process was over. But that was just the beginning.
You must be willing to come back, over and over again, to keep your work nourished and alive. It dies because we abandon what we believe in and why we believe in it.
Don’t teach what you don’t do
When you work with purpose, people will notice. You will notice. Your moves will resolve on how to make the biggest impact instead of the most profit.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have lots of profit.
But what profit are you after?
To see lives changed for the better means more than money ever will. It feels wholesome because it is. Value leaves a lasting inner feeling that resonates on the outer walls of your being as well. And when we focus less on what we can gain from our work than what we can give, our potency rises.
Maybe you’re like I used to be. Your head is wrapped in dreams of swimming in dollar bills. You work to see the stats page catapult into brain-twisting results, unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Then you realize that’s not the point. At least, it shouldn’t be.
The point is to give your creative, physical, and mental energy towards increasing the quality of someone else’s life. But the only way that is actualized is through practicing what you preach. If you don’t do it, don’t teach it.
We are the gardens
What lies fertile in each of us is purpose. We are the gardens. Our lives, our journeys are founded on that phenomenon. And it is ultimately up to us to dig, plant, and water, repeatedly — until we find what we’re looking for.
There’s a high chance you won’t find it scrolling through feeds of fake lives and highlights with subtle hints of misery.
Do what stands paramount to you. Do what improves your life. Then turn that into a resource for someone else. The world is waiting, listening for the value inside of you.
Kevin Horton is a 24-year-old photographer, student, modest bookworm, and wanna-be web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.
Image courtesy of Jopwell.