Today I am feeling a little reflective. In this reflective spirit, I have been thinking about purpose and productivity. Have you ever noticed that the less you do, the less you want to do? The same goes for productivity, the more active you are, the more likely you are to take on different challenges.
The Cycle of Life
Life can be cyclical. There are times where you are extremely busy, and then others where you are wondering if the world has left you behind. In those busy moments, you may be praying for some downtime, but what I have found is that you don’t always get what you’re hoping for.
For example, you find yourself between jobs. In the middle of your last job you might have prayed for a few moments to yourself, but once you have that time off, with no concrete end in sight, three days of relaxation is all you need. You spend the rest of your time wondering, “What am I doing with my life?”
But I thought that this is what you had been dreaming of; some time to yourself? No commitments or looming deadlines?
Be careful not to fall into the habit of doing nothing, because you have “nothing” to do – no purpose to drive you. These quiet moments can be used for self-reflection, a chance to change life paths, or try something new.
Humans are Hardwired for Purpose
Personally, I have noticed that when I have had these quiet weeks or months, I cannot wait to get back into my busy schedule. I realize that I thrive off of a busy schedule, not because it is busy, rather, because I am accomplishing things.
Humans were made to fulfill a purpose and accomplish tasks. When you do nothing, you fall into the habit of wanting to do even less. At first it may feel like a well-deserved break, but then deep inside yourself you feel unsettled – like something isn’t right. We were made to inquire, try, accomplish, fail – and begin again, learning from our mistakes along the way.
We are a funny People. We think we know what we want, and when we get it, it’s not what we needed.
If you feel unfulfilled in your work, it is not because it is bad to be busy and productive. Popular culture has trapped us into believing that the happiest people are the ones that are wealthy, with nothing to do but spend their copious amounts of money on superfluous, immediate gratification. In truth, it may be because you are doing the wrong type of work for you – this is where purpose comes into play.
When purpose and productivity are aligned, you are no longer just “making it” to your next vacation”, instead, you work tirelessly because it is what you love to do. Your purpose is driving your passion forward.
Instead of using slow moments in life to do less, and desiring to do even less, take those seasons in life to assess your life path, and allow purpose and productivity to align. Within your purpose, satisfaction can be found. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.
by Brienne Torley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.