If you’re feeling unmotivated at work lately, there could be a number of reasons why. You might be burnt out. You might be in a job that’s not the right fit for your skill set. You might be going through a rough patch at home that’s affecting how you’re feeling at the office.
But if none of those feel like the answer to why you’re unmotivated, you might need to assess one important factor: whether your job is tied to the impact you want to have or, more importantly, if it gives you a sense of purpose.
According to the dictionary, purpose is defined as the “reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”
I like this definition because it gets to the root of the meaning: that there is something that is driving you as a person. Although some people might believe otherwise, I believe that should also translate to the work you do.
When I work with my clients, I ask them to focus on two things: their genius and their purpose. By honing in on what challenges them intellectually and what fulfills them, they can find work that fits who they are and what they bring to the table (or office).
But purpose isn’t always easy to figure out. Often, people confuse it for passion, which is how people find themselves in jobs that are initially exciting but end up boring in the end.
If you’re hoping to find your purpose, ask yourself this question: “What kind of impact is meaningful to you?” This is different than asking about your passion, where you would ask yourself, “What do you like?” Passions come and go; purpose involves looking at the impact you want to have in the world and in the lives of others.
To analyze the impact on others that is meaningful to you, dig deep. What exactly did you do that created the result that you found meaningful? For example, most people find it meaningful to manage other people because it gives them the opportunity to help someone. However, you need to ask yourself what is the unique way that you help others? You manage people in a way that is unique to who you are, whether you know it or not.
My purpose is helping others be seen because my core emotional challenge in my life was not being seen by my family growing up. Therefore, it’s endlessly fulfilling to help others be seen.
How you help others is linked to your psychology and past. Write down the instances when the impact you had was meaningful and look at the patterns that emerge.
Once you figure that out, look at your current role. Are you having the impact you want to have? If not, that might be the source of your problem. If you’re ready to have a seemingly endless supply of motivation, find a job that fulfills you – and start looking ASAP. There’s no time to waste when it comes to your performance or your purpose.