As you return from vacation feeling refreshed and relaxed, you may have mixed feelings about returning to the office and what is referred to as the “daily grind”. Maybe you feel excited to re-join the workforce, or maybe you feel a bit apprehensive, not willing to experience the strain of long, copious hours. Either way, 2017 is here. Motivation is a tricky concept that can, at times, be difficult to obtain, especially when you have returned from a relaxing vacation or had a terrible 2016. However, is motivation merely obtaining and striving towards certain goals, or does it involve something deeper? Motivation is not obtained by merely setting goals for yourself, it is obtained through a sense of purpose in what you do and how you conduct yourself.
Firstly, it is important to differentiate between the terms “goal” and “purpose”. A goal has a specific end-point and can be completed through work and effort. A purpose is something which can never be completed like a goal, it is something which you continuously work towards and has no fixed end-point. For example, a goal would be to increase your sales projection for the year or to get a pay increase. Meanwhile, an example of a purpose would be to offer the best service to consumers or become a brilliant employee. As you can see, completing a goal may make you feel hollow or unaccomplished when it is obtained, while having a constant purpose in your life makes you constantly strive to improve upon yourself. It cannot be completed as it is more abstract and multi-faceted. Now that you understand the philosophical differences between the two concepts, how this applies to your immediate working environment shall be discussed.
As you complete your goals, you may feel as though it is not all that it is cracked up to be. You may feel like you are living as a cog in the ever-churning industrial machine that is impersonal and hostile. This is why, for the year of 2017, we must rather seek something that is deeper and not immediately obtainable that can stretch our character and get us out of our comfort zones. Purpose is the key to motivation, it is what keeps you going even when you feel like giving up. As you walk into the office, walk in with a sense of purpose, believe that you are a fruitful and productive member of society who strives for higher goals, for those that cannot be immediately achieved. However, do not discard the idea of setting goals. Do set goals, they keep you on track and fixated on immediate issues and deadlines. However, you must change your perception regarding goals, perceiving them as steps towards your ultimate purpose.
May 2017 be your year of purpose. May you identify and create many purposes and callings in your life, which not only focus on the office but also your personal life and relationships. Have a prosperous 2017!