This might sound a bit backwards, but when you think about it, our employers not only hire us to do a job for them, we hire our employers and our jobs to do a job for us. What do we hire our jobs to do? Why does it matter? By understanding the true nature of what we hire our jobs to do, we can understand the causal relationship between our jobs, job satisfaction and in the end, personal fulfillment.
Growing up, we might have wanted to be a doctor, firefighter or nurse. If you ask yourself why, you might answer with “wanting to help people.” This gives us some insight. When we say we want to help people, what is the motivation? Do we receive value from our own perception of helping someone? Is this feeling of achievement really the cause of happiness? Or could it be the feeling of approval and acceptance that causes us to be happy and fulfilled?
Breaking this down is important because it identifies the core trigger of self-fulfillment–which I believe is our motivation behind hiring our jobs. We may think that “helping people makes me happy”, but I believe the causal relationship looks more like “my perception of me helping someone causes me to think more of myself which causes me to be happy” or “my perception of someones gratitude causes me to feel accepted which causes me to be happy”. These are just examples.
So how does this all factor into the job we hire our jobs to do? It all comes down to value exchange. The most obvious exchange of value is our income, but we can see that we also receive value through meeting emotional needs. In fact, we can even analyze what emotional needs are being met by our income. Is it the act of accumulation that triggers fulfillment? The feeling of accomplishment? The gratitude of loved ones? The answer will be different for everyone.
Given all this, the real question that interests me is: How do we innovate on our jobs?
We individuals need to be clear about the true nature of what we are hiring our jobs to do, because we are not only consumers of our jobs, we are also producers. Employers produce the physical value (money), but we individuals produce the emotional value.
Given this, is there a way we can optimize the creation of value more efficiently? Is there another “product” that will meet our minimum satisfaction level? Is there something that might not resemble a normal job, but creates the same value? At its core, how can we facilitate physical value exchange and personal fulfillment in a better way?
I’m asking a lot of questions and not providing answers because my answers are for me. My answers won’t necessarily work for you. In fact, it’s not the answers that are important–it’s the thought process and self-discovery that really drives the transformation.
The reason why I’m so interested in this is because I have gone through my own transformation–asking these same questions so I can innovate myself. It’s not an easy process and it’s a process that I go through continually throughout my life. The reason I’m sharing this is because sharing this creates value in my life. Not only do I want to help you innovate yourself, but getting feedback and thinking through my thought processes helps me do the same.
I want to help you challenge dogma and bring out the best in you. This is not a selfless act on my part, I want a better world for myself and my family and friends. I believe that as each individual continues to improve himself or herself, great things can happen.
We have big challenges in front of us. Let’s get to work.