Work = “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose.”
As I continue to work, now for my own company, I revisited my definition of work to see if it changed since I left my day job.
And, you know what?
It really hasn’t - it still aligns with the definition above but now, has a different focus. I found that, as weird as it sounds, I never really worked for the paycheck once I got to a place where I was making enough money which happened 30 years ago.
And now that I’m in a space where money isn’t actively flowing in, I’m still not governed by it because I unwound the heavy burden of what work used to mean to me and all the strings attached to it, like fear of losing my job, the smallness of judgement that could affect my employment, the swirl of being “busy” as a measure of my value, and the scarcity mentality to stay “relevant.”
I see that some people extend those undercurrents to other parts of their lives…like at the home front (It’s a lot of work to be a good parent) or free time (I had so much to do last weekend!). These may be true but if you bring your purpose to the forefront, it kinda changes things from a sense of debt and obligation to a privilege.
Now, and when I was a captive employee, I just “worked.” Meaning, I was always using my mind and body towards a purpose. Previously, as hokey as it sounds, my purpose was to free my colleagues from the burden of data hell…cuz I loved them. Now, as hokey it sounds, my purpose is to free kindred spirits to live their best life, as they define it.
Granted, there are some differences now, like, I don’t shave my legs every day, I wake up a little later, and I get to wear yoga pants everyday. But, new information still comes up….should I change my course’s platform, how come my dual monitor app isn’t working?, it only took me 4 hours to record 3 videos and I only have 36 more to go.
But the thing is, the undercurrent, effort and focus are still the same because I chose a long time ago that work was nothing more than activity towards a purpose of my choosing. All of the tasks, deadlines and new information (problems) that came up were just mental masturbation details that I got to choose how to execute.
Unwinding the undercurrent, the unseen stuff that’s hidden deep below the surface, helps…like, a lot.
A recipe ingredient to change the definition of work, if you need it is:
Stop thinking about yourself. Stop wasting your energy worrying about the ramifications of and front-running your activities as a result of what will happen to you. This has an undercurrent of manipulation, not business acumen.
Instead, try thinking about your actions as it relates to the bigger purpose, not just something like the company’s mission, but how does what you do everyday reflect your North Star? How can THAT be used in the whatever you’re doing right now?
As you know, your North Star always has a higher vibe, because, well, it’s a star so it’s in the sky. That means it’s always aligned to actions and intentions that mutually benefit everyone in your circle, whether that’s in the office or at home.
That’s how you bring your life purpose into the mundane….even if you’re stuck in another meeting.
So think about it, work is not probation where you spend time until you’re free (e.g., something like retirement), but rather, the expenditure of your mental and physical actions towards a purpose. In this case, towards how you express your North Star.
#WorkAsPurpose #NorthStar #IDontShaveMyLegs