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Why do you go to work?


Psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl stated in his 1946 book Man's Search for Meaning that the primary  motivation of a person is to discover meaning in life. It’s not surprising that many people ask themselves –“does my work have meaning?”


We spend most of our waking hours at our workplaces, investing huge amount of time and energy in the work that we do. Sacrificing time with loved ones, even our health and wellbeing. Surely it is for a good reason... we hope.


Finding meaning in our lives gives us a reason to live and work. A deep well from which we draw energy, from which also springs resilience and courage. “Money” is that answer that many people give. There is no doubt that the money is an essential resource to live our lives well. But beyond the amount needed for the basics, it contributes little to our happiness and sense of wellbeing. I have seen executives scared to ask this question. Fearful that if honest their answer will be a resounding “NO!”


Afraid the answer will echo loudly through their lives, causing an avalanche of change. Worried that once changed, others may not like or even love the new person they have become.


It's a question that emerges gradually and without announcing itself. Once it penetrates your consciousness you can’t ignore it. Attempts to submerge it, to bury it deep are only temporarily successful.


It works its way back into our daily thoughts as a grass seed does through a sock, worrying and irritating.


So, for what reason do you do the work that you do?