Meaning. Fulfillment. Purpose.
We’ve all heard those buzzwords for career and business.
They are used so often it makes us wonder if our career or business is only valid if it involves experiencing meaning, fulfillment and purpose.
So many people spend their time continually ‘chasing’ these experiences, never quite finding them, stuck in the cycle of flailing action, constantly wondering what they have to do next in order to actually experience them.
It’s exhausting to think what some people do to feel…meaning…fulfillment…and purpose in their career and business. It begs the question, what part of our mind decides that we’re experiencing meaning, fulfillment and purpose? Or not experiencing them?
Lately, I’ve been noticing people who are doing amazingly good, powerful, impactful work in the world…work that is really making a difference…and the common thread: All of them came to this work (career or business) through contrast.
Rather than consciously ‘deciding’ to do this work, the work itself pulled them forward into the next necessary step in their career.
The Pull Toward Success
For instance, Barry Kibrick, the host of the book-reviewing series, Between the Lines with Barry on PBS (in the U.S.), recently admitted that the only reason his author interview show began was because of a previous failed business deal. Out of failure came a new career that has given him greater visibility and helping authors as well as readers.
Another example: Suzanne Somers, who found herself the most popular character on the most post popular TV show in the 1970s being let go at the time of her contract renewal. This career bump could have derailed her, but instead she began following her own interest in health and well-being, researching topics of personal interest that later became resources for her best-selling books. Now she’s considered very knowledgeable on the topic of nutrition, health, and wellness. Twenty six books, fourteen of which have been NYT best-sellers. In addition, she now sells a wide range of products that support what she has learned and shared in her books, and she has a secondary career as a lecturer.
Suzanne Somers is heads a business empire that wouldn’t have been created if her TV career had continued on its original trajectory.
How about Leah Remini!?! After a mildly successful acting career, Leah has finally hit a home run after she began transmuting her pain of abruptly leaving Scientology (having been raised as and living as a devout member for about 34 years) into an opportunity to help others leave or better yet, never enter this organization (what many are calling a cult). She wrote a book about her experience, entitled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, and publicly supported the HBO Documentary Going Clear.
Then, she created the powerful A&E show, Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath, now in it’s second season and recipient of a well-earned 2017 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Informational Series or Special. Leah and her team has created one of the most powerful, impactful and important TV series I have ever witnessed*.
*Please Note: I was not raised in a cult, so I personally find the series extremely empowering, literally watching people take back their power and regain their voices!!! If you were raised in a cult, though, you might find that it triggers deep negative emotions. Your mileage may vary.
Ms. Remini has transmuted her own pain while also educating the rest of the population about how Scientology works, and what to expect if they went down that road. This not only helps us understand the issues, but develops compassion for the people who have been victimized and rebuilding their lives after leaving this organization. Remini’s new ‘work’ is educating the masses while giving former Scientologists a voice and emotional support. I feel like CHEERING during and after every episode I watch! I can see this getting better and better as time goes on.
Meaning, Fulfillment and Purpose Found Them!
None of these great examples made a conscious decision to get into their existing fields. Meaning, fulfillment and purpose found them! As a result, they are all having much greater impact on the world than if their original careers had worked out as planned.
If you’ve been derailed, deflated, frustrated or exhausted trying to ‘make’ your current career or business thrive, take heart. These examples show you that something even better may be just around the corner.
Perhaps the key to really finding meaning, fulfillment, and purpose is: Don’t chase meaning, fulfillment, or purpose. Let it FIND you!
Image credits: Bruce Rolff,
Barry Kibrick, Organic Authority,
and A&E Telelvision.