Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Work With Meaning and Purpose
By Don Iannone

Work as though life matters
...as though you matter
...as though those you serve matter.
Allow your work to carry you
...in the direction of meaning and purpose.
Let it lift you above self-pleasure
...and money for the wrong reasons.
Let your work be an integral aspect
...of your whole life, and not
just eight or ten hours of your day
...when you work at making a living.
See yourself as inseparable from
those who pay you and who you pay.
Never forget
...that your work is your spiritual energy
...manifested toward specific ends.
Are these ends ones that matter?
At the end of the day
...have you contributed to greater meaning and purpose
...in your life and the lives of others?
Don't allow yourself to become your job
...but at the same time
...don't discount the value of the work you do.

21 comments:

samuru999 said...

don,
Another wonderful poem!!
You wrote:
"at the end of the day
have you contributed to
greater meaning and purpose
in the lives of others?"
Those words made me realize
I do add meaning and purpose
and I feel very good about it.
Thanks for this meaningful poem.

Don Iannone said...

Samuru999...Thanks Glad the poem reminded you that your work is meaningful and purposeful. Sometimes it's not the work we do, but it's how we approach our work. That is a lesson I have learned from the many monks who work in gardens, sweep floors, and perform other simple work, but they do so in a highly meaningful way.

Frida said...

You're a morning person. This is beautiful, a nice bit to see before I head off to work myself.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Frida. A reminder to all of us about what we do as work. Let your ligt shine through...

Poetry by Kai said...

nice

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Kai.

Dan said...

Thanks Don, thanks all for the great comments.

Don Iannone said...

You're welcome Dan, and thank you!

Darius said...

"Right Livelihood" - an aspect of Buddhism's Eightfold Path I think.

I'd just add that if there's something you want to do passionately enough, make some time for it even if you don't get paid. Although in my case it's meant failure in so far as writing manuscripts very few people will read can't be called a success, the very act of writing, especially during the creative phase, was deeply enjoyable - and shaped me as well as the books.

Don Iannone said...

Darius...wide observations. Thanks for reminding me about teh Buddhist Right Livelihood concept. Good one.

Rob said...

I wish I could keep to these ideals. I tend to get caught up in things and lose my focus.

Ilias- said...

I like the part about contributing to greater meaning and purpose for yourself and others. Do you have any suggestions for how to achieve prosperity in that thing that provides meaning? It seems that somewhere within, a sabotage program has been running, and it's beyond my understanding of how to correct this. I think an intention is a good place to start, but then the actual opening to prosperity is next. Any thoughts?
Thanks for the post, enjoyed.

Don Iannone said...

Steve,

I suggest that you read Deepak Chopra's books Creating Aflluence: Steps A to Z, and his book on Achieving Success. They deal with the intention issues you raise. You are absolutely right that we sabotage our own success. In large part we create our own reality and therefore we attract our own success and failure. It's all learning in either case. Many people are very hard on themselves and create intentions of unworthiness. It's funny how the ego (false self) enlargens as our true self-esteem deflates. Interesting, huh? Do you have a meditation practice? Mine has been of enormous benefit in creating the self-understanding I've needed to become more successful as a living, loving human being. You're a creative guy...lose that talent to get you where you want to go.

Blessings,

Don

Don Iannone said...

Rob, We all do at times. What are you trying to focus on and where does your attention and energy go instead of where you want it to go?

Blessings!

Don

Rob said...

I allow upsets to get in the way. Psycho-therapists would say I find them alluring.

Don Iannone said...

Rob,

Aha. From the meditation cushion, we'd argue that they are mere illusions. In the meantime, I practice letting go.

Don

Imemine said...

I tried all these. And the harder I worked, the more work people gave me. Many people didn't want to do the job, so they let me do it. And they blamed me for everything that went wrong.
This is no joke.
Until I started complaining.
things got better after that.
I must say a lot of my fears were mostly based on losing my job, or not doing it properly. I wasn't afraid of burning in hell when I die; I was afraid of making a mistake at the workplace.
As soon as I stopped thinking about work and its rewards, I actually became more relaxed, more friendly, less irritable, more capable, less stressed and less afraid. I actually avoided having a nervous breakdown.

Don Iannone said...

Imemine...thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like this was a hard time for you. I'm glad it's better. May I ask what kind of work you do?

Imemine said...

Don,
Sounds contradictory, I know. Sometimes I just blurt things out. But I did have a very difficult time.
I'm actually into instrumentation and control
calibration and maintenance. And analyzers.
Well, I really agree with you about being serious and
being responsible. I try to be all the time. Many people actually try to suppress good suggestions out of fear of losing advantage and control.

Don Iannone said...

Imemine...I can imagine. Wishing you the best.

Mike said...

It doesn't surprise me that this poem got such a great response - work is something we all have to deal with on a daily basis. This is a great reminder, Don.

Some people think that we have a purpose when we are born, something we are here to specifically accomplish. I think it is up to us to decide on our purpose, and bring our gifts to our work to fulfill that purpose. Nobody else can do that for us. Only we can figure out how to bring meaning to what we do.

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