I have subscribed to Leo Babuta’s blog, Zen Habits, for the past few years. I like to bookmark the posts that resonate most deeply with me, so I can return and re-read them in the future.
A recurring theme to the posts (or at least the ones I always tend to bookmark) is that, to be productive and fulfilled in your work, you must find meaning. The other way I’ve seen this described is finding your why.
Finding your why can be done at a very granular level (why are you completing this specific task at this specific time?), or at a macro level (why are you pursuing this specific career?), but in most cases it all connects back to one thing: people. And most often, trying to help other people.
A recently published viewpoint in the British Medical Journal (aka the BMJ) by general practitioner Rammya Mathew brought up this same point.
“We still need to work on finding meaning in our work and staying connected to our sense of purpose.”
“…we must consciously put people back at the heart of everything we do. Not just for the sake of patients but for the sake of our own happiness too.”
I don’t think this message will resonate with everyone. For me, though, this is another good reminder to hold the things that really matter to me about my job (which usually centre around interacting with others — even as an introvert) close, and to think of them often.