“I want to make a difference” is the phrase that most figure in the emails I get from Moporã’s followers. Was also the subject of a heated discussion among the participants of the Life Purpose Workshop I taught last week. And for some time was (and still is) the anguish of many colleagues of mine, who did not feel they spend their time planning a marketing campaign would contribute to building a better world.
They want something more: to make a contribution to people and the planet and put their values into practice. People want at the end of life, look back and feel that the mark was left of his existence in the world.
Intuitively, many people feel that making a difference is a promising path to a fulfilling career. And no wonder: It has been scientifically proven by several studies. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a parent of positive psychology, says that the “good job” – which is defined as “high-quality work that benefits society as a whole” – consistently showed high levels of job satisfaction.
The big question here is how to do it. Often, people start from the assumption that careers that “make a difference” are directly related to charitable services and materials selflessness (to make a difference in the world you can’t make money). Or which is related to the expectation of a great work or accomplishment that is light years of our reach. It may seem then that to make a difference, the effort will size you prefer to leave the noble task of eradicating hunger in the world, discovering the cure for cancer or win a Nobel prize for “distinguished”.
Those are the two biggest fallacies that accompany the desire to “make a difference”.
The feeling that we are contributing to a better world is much less related to what you do and how much you do and for whom you do.
I offer you three thoughts:
Do you know what is the impact of your work? Really? I know one of the biggest frustrations is to not get to see, concretely, the impact of our work on people and / or the planet. I say this from experience, where despite spending most of my career working with People Development in HR for a large company, I didn’t use to see clearly the effects of my work in people. Fortunately, the universe gave me a brief conversation that changed the whole perspective I had of my work over the past 06 years. In the week I announced my departure from the company, I ran into a coworker in the hallway. We had been interacting for the last time about three years ago when she was still a trainee and I responsible for managing the Internship Program. She came to wish me luck thank me for being the one responsible for her career change. Not understanding why the assignment of this responsibility to me and she told me that one of the videos and the selection process of the company I spoke with so much passion to my work, which prompted her desire to one day also work with human resources. Today she was happy, with the new wave.
Maybe at that time I had not the slightest idea about how much my speech could impact someone’s life and this leads us to the second consideration:
No matter what you’re doing, do it well done: Be 100% focused on what you are doing. Our potential for transformation and creation lies only in the present moment and our potential to impact people and the world only happens when we transform our actions in reflections of our values. So when you do something, do it the best way you can, with care, presence and truth because only when something is genuine that we can spread it to others what we believe and propagate worldwide.
And finally, know to whom you are offering your talent: Every gift or talent that manifests in you may be used in a productive and differentiated way, any professional skill can be applied in a job that makes a difference: You can use your talent working in marketing for a chain of fast – food or a Company Organic Foods. You can offer your experience in Accounting for an investment bank or to a Social Bank.
In the end, the choice to make a difference is always yours!
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurawilliams_x