Rediscovering Purpose: Balancing Professional and Personal Fulfilment

In this digital era, computers have eliminated many jobs creating numerous new opportunities. Amidst this dynamic environment, experts often emphasize the value of smart work over hard work.

Rediscovering Purpose: Balancing Professional and Personal Fulfilment

A few years ago, a punchline from a TV commercial caught my attention: “It’s your life, make it large.” Most of us might have seen that advertisement from the viewpoint of a consumer. You might be wondering how it is relevant to this article. However, upon reflection, I found its meaning to be quite significant without being judgmental. Today, everyone is busy earning their livelihood—whether it’s with meetings, client calls, achieving targets, or balancing personal life by fulfilling duties as a spouse or parent. Many of us have experienced our children growing up in the blink of an eye.

We are so bogged down in meeting professional pursuits that the entity of ‘I’ gradually becomes extinct, as does our purpose in life. We might have forgotten to sketch what fascinated us a decade ago, or perhaps we haven’t touched our guitar since our college days. We may have stopped walking on lush green fields with our loved ones due to occupational burnout or the career rat race. Living for the external world, which is sometimes under our control but mostly beyond it, slowly malnourishes our inner self. Let me share some thoughts and I am sure, by the end, you will gain a foundational understanding of living a purposeful life despite occupational pressures and personal commitments.

The Importance of Purpose

Before diving deep, let us ask a few simple questions about ourselves:

– Have you ever felt the urge to figure out the purpose of your life beyond creating material affluence or achieving status?

– Have you developed any hobbies or interests apart from your technical subject?

– Have you felt the desire to invest in learning and development without considering any return from the organisation?

– Have you felt the need to expand your horizon if you perceive you are stagnated within the organisation?

– Have you explored the power of appreciation?

If your answers are affirmative, you are already surging ahead to live a purposeful life and there is little need to continue reading. However, those who feel otherwise should not leave this article midway, as it can help you better understand the purpose of life.

Self-Reflection and Finding Purpose

It’s common to blame the external environment when frustrated or confused about life’s purpose. Instead of blaming external factors, let us introspect to find the answer to one question:

‘Are we sincere enough to tap into our hidden potential and strive to live with purpose?’

Material Desires vs. True Purpose

The individual perception of life purpose is often camouflaged by material possessions like a bigger condominium, luxury sedan, foreign travel, or rewards like promotion and career growth. However, are these purposes, or will they suffice to keep someone motivated forever? Ideally, these are desires, which, after gratification, are no longer relevant in everyday life. As new desires emerge in our subconscious, we pursue them and another cycle of desire begins. In our country, few individuals lean towards philanthropic activities because the concept of reward is often attached to monetary terms.

Let us try to establish a link by answering the questions where we started the discussion:

Figuring Out Life’s Purpose:

Have you ever felt the urge to figure out the purpose of your life beyond creating material affluence or achieving status?

It is pitiful but true that very few people know why they live. Every life has a greater purpose that we often fail to discover until it’s too late. Therefore, friends, before it is too late, start searching for your purpose. This could involve developing new generations by sharing your experiences or engaging in social causes that add value to society. Adopt a ‘Giver’ mindset and surely the environment will change in your favour. A year ago, I interacted with an employee who offered lunch to the underprivileged on his marriage anniversary, exemplifying a ‘Giver’ attitude.

Developing Hobbies and Interests:

Have you developed any hobbies or interests apart from your technical subject?

Introspect and you’ll find answers in your past hobbies that fascinated you or in new interests that you can develop during official transactions. For example, some of us take a keen interest in reading history or publishing books on poetry, which can help escape office gossip and occupational stress.

Investing in Learning and Development:

Have you felt the desire to invest in learning and development without considering any return from the organisation?

It is well-accepted that both the business and social environments are changing rapidly. Consequently, expectations on both professional and personal fronts are also changing. To cope with this fast-paced environment, it is imperative to stay abreast of knowledge enhancement because “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Think beyond organisational training opportunities and pursue pocket-friendly learning exposures. Ask yourself, “Have I added any new qualifications or skills in the last year?” Do not always expect immediate benefits like sponsorship or promotion, as most learning outcomes benefit in the long run by sharpening business acumen and analytical skills.

Expanding Your Horizon

Have you felt the need to expand your horizon if you perceive you are stagnated within the organisation?

Individuals can feel stuck in an organisation without growth due to various reasons. Often, personal perceptions of growth are elusive and based on comparisons with others, which can lead to disengagement and demoralisation. The only way to overcome this is to expand horizontally by learning new things and leveraging previous learning to expand your current job, known as ‘Job Enlargement.’ Zoom out of your existing job, then zoom in—you will see results. Multi-tasking always pays off.

Exploring the Power of Appreciation

Have you explored the power of appreciation?

People are usually hesitant to appreciate others but are overly critical when it comes to criticism. It is a common belief that open and frequent appreciation will encourage self-projection. However, appreciation—whether for a child, colleague, or subordinate—creates a positive vibe, making mutual transactions more delightful. Even developmental feedback can generate positive results if shared as appreciation. Try this at home to test its efficacy on your child. In an organisation, leaders who excel at appreciation gain acceptance and their developmental feedback is well received by subordinates.

In summary, to understand the purpose of life, it is essential to be self-aware and differentiate the purpose from life’s desires. Individuals with higher self-awareness are more likely to positively influence environmental factors, even adverse ones. It’s never too late to develop and tap into your limitless potential to achieve life’s purpose while giving back to society. After all, “The cranes can fly, why not I?”

Kesavan Hariharasubramanian


Dhrubajyoti Majumdar


Author Bio

Dhrubajyoti Majumdar is the Regional Manager (East) for L&T Constructions – Building & Factories IC, boasting over 24 years of experience in the construction and human resources sectors, with more than 15 years dedicated to L&T Constructions. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (equivalent to an MBA) and an Executive HRM certification from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Dhrubajyoti is a certified Harrison Debriefer & Coach, currently serving as the Regional HR Manager for the East region.

In addition to his professional achievements, Dhrubajyoti is an avid writer with a passion for sharing knowledge. He has published 15 articles in various professional and B-School journals, contributing significantly to the academic and professional communities.

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