So, what are you working for?

Recently I’ve been contemplating about life and work during morning commute.

(Oh hi Existential Crisis, welcome back!) 

It disappeared for a while, and I was glad my brain could just shut up and leave me in peaceful oblivion, but this (useless?) life contemplation is back visiting me again. Seems to come in a quarterly cycle (What are you Brain, performance quarterly report!?) 

What is your purpose of working, financial reasons aside? 

What drives you to get up and work every day? 

(The kind of question that would make my mother snicker, roll her eyes, and say “you poor thing, have too much leisure time and luxury to contemplate about purpose of work, when majority of people have to do it to survive and make ends meet.”) 

I just asked my best friend this question. Her answer striked me. 

She said “Yeah, I used to wonder that too, but then I remember I still have a daughter’s obligation to fulfill, and that is – to take care of my parents. So that gives me a sense of purpose to keep working.” 

So that made me wonder, would you have a clearer sense of purpose to keep trying to do or fight for something, when you do it for other people, not for yourself? 

Suppose if you have kids, you must work in order to raise them up, make sure they are well taken care of, because you love them and want what is best for them. Even though work is tiring and/or boring, you can’t quit when you have kids relying on you financially at home. 

Would that shut up the voice in your head what or who exactly you are working for? You know you have to struggle and try hard for the kids, for their good life. 

Or would that put even more pressure on you as you have obligation now? And this would make you hate your job even more? Not lost, have a sense of purpose (kids), but hate it and have to do it anyway. 

Perhaps it doesn’t need to be kids. It could be a greater sense of purpose – doing it for other people, a lot more people. For some causes that are personally meaningful to you. 

Would that give you a purpose of working? Would your energy shoot up when you are fighting for it and improving something for other people? Would that give work a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction? 

As a single working woman who doesn’t have many responsibilities toward anyone but myself (Don’t roll your eyes at me, please. I already got that from my mother, ok?), I do have freedom and choices to choose what to work (Oh hi Maslow. Keep seeing your pyramid these days.) Freedom is good (I guess), but choices also come with doubts. So many things to choose, so which one should you pick? Which direction should you be heading? 

Perhaps the purpose of working for self-learning and self-development is not strong enough, when things get rough and tough. 

At the end of the day, could you stop yourself from wondering what or why you are working for? Being tired and stressed for what? 

Still looking for the answer. Back to square one

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