Finding Purpose with Meaningful Work

March 31, 2023

I am sure, if you pause long enough, you can think of at least one person that you have encountered in your life that was doing a really great job. Whether that was a paid job, a volunteer engagement or a personal commitment. They were just outstanding.

If you pay close attention, you may even run across people on a daily basis who are great at what they are doing — the clerk at the hotel front desk, the guy who washes your car, the nurse who cared for you at the hospital, your child’s teacher, your coworker, a vendor of yours. You just know them when you encounter them. You know they care about being and doing their best.

These folks represent people who do what they love. They have found a purpose that brings meaning to their life.

“You don’t have to have some grand existential reason for why you love what you are doing or why you care for your work. All that matters is that you do work that you love and care about.” — Jim Collins

In this life, we are all searching for meaning. And by that, we are also searching for meaningful work.

I think we all really want to care about what we are doing. I tell the people that we employ here at BBR Creative, that if you are not doing work that brings meaning to your life then you should keep looking until you find the work that you are meant to do — even and especially if it is not here. Because at BBR, we want people who love what they do and believe that they’re doing meaningful work. That is the only way we can collectively produce great work.

If you have to ask the question, “Why do we have to make work great? isn’t success enough?” then you may be engaged in the wrong type of work.

Over the past few months I’ve enjoyed diving head first into Jim Collins’ Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t and have been intrigued by the key characteristics of those who led “great businesses.” Furthermore, there are particular sections in Jim’s book that stood out to me, which I would like to leave for you to ponder.

“Perhaps your quest to be part of building something great will not fall in your business life. But find it somewhere. If not in corporate life, then perhaps in making your church great. If not there, then perhaps a nonprofit, or a community organization, or a class you teach. Get involved in something that you care so much about that you want to make it the greatest it can possibly be, not because of what you will get, but just because it can be done.”

When you do this you will start to grow. Jim continues,

“For in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

Perhaps then you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you have had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.” — Jim Collins.

Surely I’m not the first person to talk about meaningful work, but perhaps some of this will inspire you to take a leap into something new or simply a deeper look into your life and where your passion meets purpose. Keep me posted on your journey! (I’m still working on mine, too.)


Remember, you are creative too.