We were all born with a gift. The gift of curiosity and a search for purpose.
From the time I was a kid, I’ve always asked myself, “why am I on this earth?” and “what is the purpose of my life?” I wanted to find a purpose in life that I could follow through with before my time was up in this world. To this day, I continue asking myself this question so that I can be sure that I’m going through my life guided by a purpose unique to me. However, I will admit, there was a time in my life between adolescence and a few years ago, where I was lost in life.
After graduating from university, I noticed myself following everyone else’s definition of success. I was excelling as a graduating student and I had great job offers lined up for me out of architecture school. So, right after graduation I started my job as an architectural designer.
When I first started working, I was given very simple tasks to complete at my job. The better I got at my job, the more I got of the same things I was good at. On one hand, I felt I was getting more responsibility, but on the other hand, I was completely numb and disconnected to the work I was doing. I became lost and the spark of going to work left me as I found myself sitting at the same seat for hours completing the same mundane tasks over and over again. What occurred to me was that anyone could do what I was doing, nothing was unique to my skills or abilities as an architect. At the end of the day, I was replaceable because anyone who knew the software could do this. From my employer’s point of view, it may have seemed I was adding value by taking ownership of what needed to be done, but personally I was completely unfulfilled and driven by anything but a specific purpose.
When I asked my coworkers, “what is it that they do?”, they would always give me their job title and their day to day tasks. For example, they would say, “I’m a design coordinator and I help coordinate design and documentation of a project.” For me, this was a job description that anyone could take on. By asking that question, I wanted to understand that person’s value and purpose at their job. This also started my current thinking on the impact of creating a company culture where employees understand the bigger picture and impact they have at their job, rather than just a job description.
Later I learned that it’s not enough to just do the tasks I was given. So, I started to seek a purpose in what I was doing, by tapping deep into the reasons why I was attracted to architecture. I loved creating spaces where people get to relax, collaborate and enjoy themselves. I picked architecture because I love people and creating spectacular spaces to accommodate their needs was extremely fulfilling to me. That was a pivot point for me in my career where I found that my purpose was beyond just finishing tasks well for a building design. Instead, I started to understand and appreciate the ability to relate to human potential, behavior, and emotion through the tasks I was completing.
My purpose in life is to create and encourage others to be creative with their life and surroundings. As long as my daily tasks align with my purpose, I know that I’m living my life in the most meaningful way.
What is your purpose in life, and does it align with what you do daily?