Being in the service of others


We all feel the pull of purpose.

We’re doing something now, but we feel like should be doing something bigger and better. We wish we were destined for more than what’s in front of us. A purpose we can’t articulate.

It’s often an unhelpful instinct, since it pulls our attention to the horizon, away from a focus on what we’re actually doing.

Despite this instinct to search for purpose, for most of us, finding an actual purpose remains tough or impossible. Even if we find the tasks or activities which are meaningful, to what end do we direct them? Why bother?

Since we often feel the tug of bigger and better, then why not use that inertia and assign ourselves a purpose which is truly bigger than ourselves? Why not place ourselves in the service of other people?

It’s perhaps the oldest idea there is, but in a culture as self centred as ours, it’s often something we don’t properly consider. We’re often so focussed on our own goals and ambitions, we don’t often realise how valuable our skills, care and attention might be to other people.

We’re all searching for a purpose, but are in fact surrounded by an infinite source of it. Typical, hey?

This doesn’t mean that you should drop what you’re doing and join a mission in Zambia or give away everything you own to charity. But the next time you’re choosing what to focus on, you might ask yourself “what can I do which will have the most meaningful, positive impact on others?”

It won’t drastically alter the options open to you, but it will radically alter how you feel about choosing certain options. It will tether you and your actions to an ever increasing circle of people in whose lives you’ve made a difference.

In short: putting yourself in the service of others will give you an immediate purpose and create an instant positive impact on both you and those around you.

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