Just before Christmas last year I was sitting alone at a table in the large cafeteria at our corporate headquaters, late in the day. Two workers were decorating the entire room with Christmas lights, hanging them high up at the ceiling. It was just an ordinary day, but something interesting happened when one of them asked me to move a bit, as they needed to cover the area right above the table I was at.
They looked exhausted as they approached my table. No wonder, I thought, as this task is not an easy one even for two strong men – the room is just huge. So I asked them, “What are you doing?” “Well, we’ve been hanging these decorations all day long and we need to finish today,” one of them answered.
At that moment it struck me – no, they were not just hanging decorations, they were doing something bigger and more meaningful than that. So I responded, “Actually I don’t think you’re just hanging the decorations, I think you are CREATING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS ATMOSPHERE for all people who work here. Isn’t that true?”
They looked puzzled at first, but in a few seconds if you could just see what I saw in their eyes – it seemed as if the lights were turned on and their faces lit up 🙂 Probably for the first time these men felt a sense of purpose in what they were doing. Now this “long-hard-day-doing-something” had meaning, and this new sense of purpose changed their motivation for their task, and I believe even beyond that. The rest of the room was finished at a different speed and quality, to their apparent surprise. But most importantly, it was finished with a different attitude and approach.
How often are we all running around in life and business talking mostly about WHAT and HOW, but forgetting the most important question – WHY?
WHY are YOU doing what you’re doing in your life or in business? I encourage you to ask yourself this question and discover YOUR purpose. I promise you – your life and work will take on a different hue.
Have a great and meaningful day! 🙂
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