The Purpose Of Your Work…Hmmm

Thoughts From An Inspiring Conversation

They say ‘opportunities are few and far between’ — I couldn’t disagree with this more since moving to Asia (2013).

I met an extremely humble gentleman this morning. He’s running a startup based in Vietnam and the company is still very much in its (product) infancy.

A thought-provoking conversation about philosophy (something he majored in), mission, and vision of his company that lead me to ponder today’s dilemma:

“The purpose of your work”

After leaving the meeting, in true philosophical fashion, my mind just started to wonder (like too much 🚬🍀 ). The flood of the el naturale dopamine kick in and I immediately asked myself questions like:

  • What is important in my working life?
  • The purpose of me being in Vietnam?
  • What am I doing for the community, or what can I do?
  • Do I have the resilience to build a design team and design processes from scratch, again?
  • What products can solve my problems? and how do I build them?
  • What is the meaning of calculated risk taking, in terms of career? I’m not a stranger to leaping without looking but the fear of what if I’m not so lucky this time around?
  • Does the work you do reflect on who you are?

All questions that I’m struggling to answer. However, I had some great takeaways from our hour long conversation:

What you’re doing means something.

When passion and belief is emitted through sound waves, it’s a powerful thing. People can feel your aura, the authenticity in your words and you’ll create a gravitational pull effect. Similar to why we listen to our favourite (hiphop) artists.

Trading war stories.

Everyone has a story. Sharing and more so listening to these are invaluable. Every so often their stories resonates with you — Does their values support yours? Is their perspective new and interesting? Most importantly, what did they (and you) learn from sharing?

Fire in the booth.

Ignite the inner 🔥🔥🔥 within people around you — make this a focus for yourself, your loved ones, and especially your team. Motivate with passion and other intrinsic values over something fluffy or manufactured.

If something isn’t there, build it.

Paraphrasing Eddie Huang, its the common problems which binds us together. First, solve your own (or common) problem(s) and your next startup (or opportunity) will follow.

Your job is an extension of yourself.

Check yo self, its evolution instead of revolution. Changing your job/industry is not necessarily a bad thing, your skills will follow you…hone them. The purpose of fulfilling your needs is far beyond 💰 🚗 🏠 and all dem tings thurrr.

Self responsibility.

Be responsible to yourself. This is not necessarily earning shit loads of dollar, dollar bills y’all and buying your first 🚁, but to really deep-dive into:

  1. What are things you want to achieve?
  2. What lifestyle do you need in order to thrive?
  3. What is your legacy?

And this could be inside or outside of your working environment but it needs to support and encompass elements of where you need to be your best self.

These are the 3 things I put above 💰 with any job, in no particular order:

  1. The feeling of purpose
  2. The feeling of attainment
  3. Mastery

And what?

Turn your small 🔥 that burns inside — out of the frying pan into the 🔥🔥🔥 — this being a positive of course. It all start with that one thought-provoking conversation. Conversate…


What is your 🔑 to success and 😄 ? Leave a comment.