Finding Purpose through Connectedness: The First Outcome of We
In the previous blog post, we explored an overview of Dr. Eric George’s new book, We: Ditch the Me Mindset and Change the World. In this post, we examine one of the six outcomes of connectedness—the book’s key philosophy and selling point for readers.
Research suggests that less than 30 percent of college graduates end up working in their major of study. That means that most students today are focusing on a career that won’t align with the realities of the workforce. If this figure suggests anything, it underscores the elusive nature of purpose, the underlying force that explains the intrinsic reasoning behind our work and adds meaning and fulfillment to it. Purpose also remains a core part of Dr. Eric R. George’s new book, We: Ditch the Me Mindset and Change the World. Purpose represents one of the six important outcomes of connectedness, a life philosophy that has enabled George to reach the pinnacle of medicine and entrepreneurship, all while sustaining a healthy family relationship.
What is purpose as defined by George? Why is it so important? And how does connectedness help furnish its existence?
What is Purpose and Why is it Important?
In We, George defines purpose as discovering where to focus our time, energy, and talent on creating value that others find meaningful and beneficial. For George, purpose carries the duplicate role of serving the self while serving the collective. When we discover our purpose, we feel most fulfilled, while we provide the most value by focusing on work that we are most passionate about and capable of performing well.
Importantly, as George illustrates, purpose doesn’t exclusively refer to our life’s work, but whatever activities we find meaningful that provide others value, no matter how long they last. Our purpose could represent a project with a beginning, middle, and end. Or, it could represent a lifelong career.
Discovering Our Purpose
As George writes, discovering our passion takes a long journey of trial and error. Yet connectedness enhances the speed and effectiveness with which we find our purpose. By seeking to connect with others, by investing in our interactions with them, and discovering how we can together create shared value with them, we expose ourselves to more arenas of living and working, which increases our chances for making an educated judgment of where we find the greatest satisfaction and make the most significant impact.
Finding Multiple Purposes
As George writes, we can find multiple purposes in life; no true purpose exists beyond our current experiences and connections to others. What we define as our one true purpose today may change tomorrow, but only if tomorrow we engage in activities that are new to us and interact with new people. Then, we increase our chances for discovering new avenues of life that provide us meaning and fulfillment, which only compliment what we define as our existing purpose.
In We, George presents several examples of the purposes he discovered. He explores his journey to discover his purpose as a physician. As a student at Marshall University, he thought of attending law school to follow the career path of his father and brothers. Yet it was his deep connection with his family that eventually changed his mind. George applied for medical school, recognizing his desire to meet and help people, a path that suited him well. Yet over time George would discover new purposes including entrepreneurship, something he always found fascinating and began learning firsthand after acquiring Omega Hospital. Later, he would discover other purposes that included renovating the Orpheum Theater after Hurricane Katrina brought it into a state of disrepair. Today, George sees himself as the caretaker of the iconic theater, maintaining the venue that provides nostalgia, music, and memories to thousands of New Orleanians and visitors.
While only approximately 30 percent of college graduates eventually work in their major of study, George’s book seems to provide an adequate explanation of why. For one, we may attribute the figure to the long timeframe needed to discover one’s purpose. College graduates are simply too young and/or too inexperienced to accurately identify their calling. Yet we may also point out that few people embrace connectedness, as George defines it, and therefore never discover the potential opportunities hidden in their connections to others. Whatever the case, embracing a mindset of connectedness increases our chances of finding the career or activities that provide us meaning, which helps us experience a life we find abundant.
In our next blog post, we explore the second outcome of connectedness presented in George’s book.
You can pre-order George’s book by visiting Amazon. You can also place bulk orders of 10 or more books by visiting here, the perfect gift for teams or classes.