Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finding Meaning

People need to have a feeling of purpose. However, for many, the job we are doing does not seem meaningful. This causes internal strife. We want our lives and what we do to mean something, to have some lasting effect.

"If you are not serving the customer, you should be serving those that do." I read that quote on a motivational poster. If you look at most jobs in this world, it does not seem like they contribute to something larger, in other words, to have some larger meaning. A data entry operator may see their job as tedious and even meaningless. However, almost every job contributes to the continuation of our society in some way, however small.

Take the data entry operator (DEO). If that job did not get done, the information may not be available to someone else. As an example, suppose the DEO is entering medical records for archival purposes. They may think it has no purpose, the paper copy can just be kept somewhere. However, some researcher may be interested in finding some cause and effect from either a treatment, symptoms, or some other medical situation. They may be able to use the information that was entered to discover something no one had discovered before. That discovery may even save lives in the future.

You can take most jobs and discern some value from them. It may not be apparent today, but there should always be hope that what you do will contribute, in some small way, to the betterment of humanity.