How do you create meaning for yourself in what you do?
People want and look for meaning in what they do. The meaning has to be created by you – you cannot just take what others have created for themselves, it is not otherwise sustainable.
In creating meaning for yourself you need to find the intersection point of three variables:
- Strengths – what are you good at? (supply-side)
- Needs – what do others and the world need (demand-side)
- Interests – what do you want to do and are passionate about (sustainability & differentiation)
You need to understand how what you are good at and passionate about meeting the needs. If you only have two out of three it is not sustainable in the long-term. This can be seen below.
Start with a focus on others’ needs to ensure that the things you are passionate about have a practical application. If you want to make a real difference you need to make it about what others need, not about what you can do. This is the essential difference between being customer-focused or product-focused – the purpose of a business is “to create a customer” (Peter Drucker) and to do that you need to be focused on the customer needs.
As you think about what people around you need most, identify areas that overlap with your strengths and interests and build your meaning from what you can do for them.
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