Meaningful Work Isn’t Glamorous

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Meaningful work and Lina on the couch

This isn’t glamorous. I’m sitting on the couch in my living room in workout pants as I type this. It’s almost 9 am and I’ve done a bit of work and a bit of avoiding work. The sun is fighting to shine light through the clouds. It’s a good morning, but this work is far from glamorous.

Meaningful work is rarely glamorous.[Tweet that]

I have moments that are amazing: when I get to be a part of someone taking steps that open space for them and their work— that feels really great. It feels great when I get to be in front of group of people sharing ideas around work, meaning, and life. I get to see eyes light up and the feeling in the room shift. It also feel great when someone tells me that my writing has impacted them. That is meaningful work for me. But those moments are few and far between. Most of the time its me sitting on the couch with a laptop writing this, or having conversations on skype or at coffee shops.

Chasing dreams doesn’t feel exciting most of the time.[Tweet that]

It feels very ordinary, even miniscule at times. But you do it, because it is good.

Meaningful work — work worth doing — is work that is rooted in who you are. When you’re doing something that matters, there’s energy in it and life that you get from it. Your work has the capacity to make you feel good and satisfied with what you’re doing; it has the power to impact others.

My dream for my work is bigger than this. It has many moving parts, and many people involved: I’m writing more and speaking more often. I’m creating spaces for people to connect and open up to each other. It’s big. It’s dramatic. Maybe even… (dare I say it?)… glamorous at times.

But the reality is that things move slowly, and each step forward is small. It’s easy to imagine that that the size of the work that I want to do should be a characteristic of how it feels to to pursue that end.

It’s not.

This morning it’s just me sitting on the couch. My dog Lina is curled up next to me. Her breathing is loud as she twitches her front paw in pursuit of some active dream. There are birds outside the window singing. It’s quiet. It’s slow. It’s ordinary. And it is very good.

Dan Cumberland is on a mission to push you into the places meaning, life, & work intersect. He is the author of The Meaning Manifesto. Read more about him here, and connect with him on facebook and twitter.

There Are 2 Comments On This Post.

  1. Steven

    What if I’m doing my work while listening to this?

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