When it comes to working, everyone is looking for “a purpose,” and whether they find it depends on how they define the word. That’s according to confidence coach Steve Errey, who’s penned a thoughtful piece for the Daily Muse titled “4 Ways to Find Purpose at Any Job.”

According to Errey, purpose is a “funny thing.” “Sometimes fleeting, sometimes invigorating, sometimes infuriating,” he writes. “But all it really comes down to, especially at work, is the choice to engage with all you’ve got rather than struggle with everything you’re not.”

How does Errey propose folks make that choice. Scroll down to read his four helpful tips.

1. See Purpose as “Texture,” Not Impact — As per Errey, too many people think purpose means making grand gestures. Instead, he says, holding open a door for someone or asking a coworker how their day is going can be just as important. “Purpose is texture as much as it is impact, so choosing to dial up the texture of your everyday experience is really choosing to weave purpose through your life,” he writes.

2. Discover What Drives You — Without meaning, Errey writes, purpose is just “filler.” His point is that to truly achieve a sense of purpose, you’ve got to find out what motivates you. If you like contributing to projects, you should find ways at work to help out more. If making people laugh is what fuels your inner-happiness, he writes, then “be generous with your humor.”

3. Always Strive for a Positive Impact — As Errey puts it, you should “leave a room better than when you found it,” and that can be achieved in numerous ways. It could be as simple as telling a joke, or it might mean using your expertise to help the team troubleshoot a problem. The point is that you shouldn’t just go through the motions and fade into the background.

4. Learn the Meaning of “Legacy” — In writing the piece, Errey looked up “legacy” in the dictionary and discovered that it means “a gift of property, by will.” It doesn’t need to be something monumental like painting the Sistine Chapel or winning an NBA title. “Taking direction from the dictionary, look at your legacy as something you possess that you can gift to others, by your own free will,” Errey advises. “Time, consideration, skill, empathy, hospitality, experience—all of these things and more are things you can gift to others.”


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