Book Excerpt: Meaning in Work

The following is an excerpt from the book Lead by Greatness.

Money can motivate, but no amount of money can inspire. People are inspired by ideas and by ideals.

People find meaning in what they do when there is a worthy reason why they are doing it, a purpose. What they do and how they do it is mechanical; a job. The why should be an ideal, a calling, a mission. People do not find meaning in making money for shareholders, even if they get a share of that money themselves. Money can motivate, but no amount of money can inspire. People are inspired by ideas and by ideals. They are inspired when they are doing something for a purpose beyond any individual's or group's own egocentric interests. The money physicians make might motivate them, but it will never inspire them. They are more likely to feel inspired by the breakthrough technology they are using to save people's lives. Politicians can be motivated by the promise of power, but they are inspired by the difference they can make to the lives of millions and the legacy they can leave for future generations.

One thing to remember is that not everyone will be inspired by the same things. Individuals inspired by teaching may not be inspired by working in the business world. Things that inspire doctors may not inspire politicians. People feel inspired when the why of what they do is aligned with their specific Personal Purpose and Spiritual Fingerprint. You will only feel inspired when you are dedicated to something that is authentic to you, not to someone else. The higher purpose of your work should occupy an important place in your own personal understanding of life. This is where leadership becomes a true art.

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