“We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we're stuck with it. Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”
- Steven Pressfield
We believe in the idea of calling. We think that we were all uniquely created to offer one aspect of the Divine that no other creature can (as C.S. Lewis talks about). Abundant life, momentum, productivity, joy, etc. are found at the intersection of your life, God, and what he particularly created you to do.
One of the leaders we work with said recently in an interview:
“Having that kind of clarity gives you a sense of calm, a resolve. You are not anxious about the future or even the past for that moment. You are a little more excited about the present and that everything is so purposeful and is so meaningful.”
Turns out there is similar data to support the power of organizational purpose and helping employees align their own purposes to that of the organization. A recent Harvard study reports that employees who derive meaning or purpose from their work report twice the job satisfaction and are three times less likely to leave than those that don’t.
But probably the most powerful thing is that there is a deep validation that comes from a person knowing their purpose or identity. There is an inner resolve, a confidence, a certainty, that transcends the situation and makes a person fairly impenetrable to the things that often weigh others down.
If you are looking to your job (title, compensation, other rewards) to validate you as a person, you are likely going to be invalidated by that job as well.
Anything you give the ability to validate you also has the ability to invalidate.
The reason that some people or employees act as if their very life (or identity) rest on the things that happen in their jobs…is because it does. Without an identity or confidence about who they are, a lot is riding on their compensation, recognition, and even validation through their work.
They are taking their primary validation question to their work and that is why the inevitable invalidation it brings produces so much employee dissatisfaction. They are essentially asking their jobs and employers to do the impossible. To do something their work was never designed to do.
The reason we are such a big fan of our Lifeplan retreat is that it helps people find an authentic and unique identity that transcends their vocation and everything else. With the validation of the deeper and truer identity sourced from God, you develop a sort of Teflon coating that keeps you from the effects of almost every form of invalidation.
Is it any wonder that so many of our clients sponsor their employees to come to Lifeplan?
- Do you take your primary identity from your work?
- Are your employees doing the same?
- How frequently does your work disappoint and invalidate you?
- Do you think that is the source of a lot of your employee's frustrations as well?