Monday, July 28, 2014
July 28 – Tasks vs. purpose
Recently I interviewed someone for an article and he said something that has stuck with me for days. I'm paraphrasing here, but this is the gist:
In your work, you often have to focus on one task or another, but you need to remember that those tasks aren't your purpose. Never forget to look at what you're really trying to do – the big picture, your real mission. Don't lose sight of it among all the smaller things you have to do along the way.
Such a simple idea, but it's the first time I've heard it articulated. It's a good exercise in gaining perspective about any work you do that involves myriad small, pesky jobs in service of a greater objective, whether that's dinner prep (fresh salsa, I'm looking at you!) or striving to raise a baby into a self-sufficient human.
It made me think that I should be a bit more mindful about what my own purpose is (well, purposes are, really). Goodness knows it's easy enough to get so bogged down in to-do lists that you forget why you wanted to do all those things in the first place. That kind of thinking is dangerous, though: if I'm not careful, next thing you know it'll be all career changes and cross-country moving trucks 'round here. Look out.
In unrelated news, how great are these temporary tattoos?