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Purpose, not "Work"

I love immersing myself in the world of podcasts, as it adds an exciting twist to my otherwise mundane daily routine.

While tuning into the Marketplace podcast this morning, I stumbled upon an intriguing statement from a temp job recruiter that left me feeling a little…rebellious. Listen to it for yourself, on the Spotify app I embedded below. 

At the 23:42 mark they boldly claimed, “and I think a person loses self-esteem when they don’t go back to work whether it’s voluntary or involuntary. Work is very important for their psyche..”


Hearing those words made me dry up so fast. It’s no surprise such sentiments arise from a resident of a country deeply rooted in capitalism. Oh, how tempting work can be, seducing the mind and soul. Yet, this notion feels naughty, and not in a sexy way, mind you. 

Though there’s a kernel of truth in the recruiter’s words, let’s spice things up and admit that a person’s self-confidence can lose its luster when lacking a sense of purpose. Work alone doesn’t do the trick; it’s “purpose” that truly ignites the flames of the soul.

Don’t believe me? Ah, let me entice you with some references that highlight the seductive allure of having a purpose beyond mere work:

  1. “Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood” by Patrick L. Hill and Nicholas A. Turiano, published in Psychological Science (2014). This study reveals that having a purpose in life reduces the risk of mortality throughout adulthood, regardless of employment status. 
  2. “The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better” by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro (2010). This tantalizing book explores the concept of purpose and its profound impact on health, happiness, and longevity. It beckons us to discover purpose beyond the confines of work, promising a more fulfilling life. 
  3. “Purpose in Life and Use of Healthcare Services” by Eric S. Kim, Marc A. Musick, and Natalie L. Cornwell, published in Health Psychology (2015). This steamy study suggests that individuals with a strong sense of purpose are less likely to rely on healthcare services, emphasizing the enticing effects of purpose on overall well-being. 

These literatures unveil that while work can provide a tantalizing sense of purpose for many, purpose itself extends far beyond the realm of work. Finding meaning and fulfillment through personal interests, relationships, community involvement, or other enticing activities can set ablaze one’s self-esteem and overall well-being.

Now, doesn’t purpose sound much more thrilling than a mundane Monday work routine?

Embrace the adventure of finding purpose and let it ignite your desires.