It seems as the global population grows, more and more people feel the need to “make an impact.” This philosophy of making a difference with your life has really got me thinking a lot about how the way we think is changing. As future generations become more and more “mainstream” there seems to be less diversity in our occupations and less time away from work.
America (and other Western countries) are shifting more and more towards service and away from industry. Not too long ago it was common to have coal miners and factory workers as your neighbors. They were good people, working hard for an honest living. Now, in the suburbs of America, it seems that most of us work in cube farms providing services for other individuals and businesses.
There is nothing terribly wrong with a shift from blue collar to white collar work, but it seems as though we are finding our jobs more and more mundane and they are taking up more and more of our time. No longer do we have 40-hour work weeks with worry-free weekends. Instead, we drag ourselves into the office each morning and try to pry ourselves out sometime in the evening. The work doesn’t stop there, though. Usually there is a Blackberry or other device constantly reminding us of our occupational duties.
I think that our increasing passion to make a difference comes from the separation of ourselves from our vocation. No one wants to be known as a “project contributor” and they probably don’t want to define their life by that. I, for one, want to die being “the person that…” and I don’t think I am alone.
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
It doesn’t matter what your passion is, but I bet you it probably isn’t related to your work. If you love doing what you do, then consider yourself lucky. But, if you are like so many other people, what drives you to be independent, to succeed at something? Is it money? Is it happiness, fame? Why do you want to make an impact?
If one thing is for certain (well two, if you count taxes) we have a limited amount of time to enrich our lives and the lives of others. So putting your nose to the grind and finding something that will benefit not only yourself, but others—and possibly society—is a huge desire.
“I like my job because it involves learning. I like being around smart people who are trying to figure out new things. I like the fact that if people really try they can figure out how to invent things that actually have an impact.” – Bill Gates
I would love to make an impact on the world, but I don’t think that is going to happen, so I’ll settle on making an impact to my audience. I have been working hard to create content, engage my audience and build a tribe. Hopefully when I move on to do other things, create other products and services, I might have a few members of that tribe standing behind me. But, as I am doing all of this I need to keep focused on what pays the bills and keeps the lights on at home.
Perhaps in a few years I will hit a breakthrough and finally find myself loving what I’m doing. Until then, I’m going to keep trying to put a dent in a few people’s trains of thought. The universe comes later.