Unlocking the Secret to True Fulfillment: Where Does Yours Lie?
In our fast-paced world today, there's a troubling trend of increasing mental and emotional turmoil among both believers and individuals in the workplace. Many grapple with persistent feelings of emptiness and disconnection. Have you ever paused to ponder why that sense of unfulfilment at work seems to persist? It's a nagging feeling that can take a toll on your emotional well-being. After all, we commit a substantial chunk of our waking hours—around 90,000 of them—to our careers, and it's disheartening to find ourselves still searching for fulfilment in that time.
Startling insights from Gallup's 2022 State of Global Workplace Report paint a concerning picture. Workers across the globe aren't merely dissatisfied; they're grappling with alarmingly high levels of disengagement and unhappiness. A staggering 60 percent report feeling emotionally disconnected from their work, while a disheartening 19 percent describe themselves as outright miserable. An even more significant 79 percent find themselves disengaged. These statistics raise a crucial question: What's behind this unsettling trend?
To tackle this concern, we can classify feelings of unfulfilment into three fundamental domains:
Broken Work Environments: Toxic workplace cultures, strained boss-employee relationships, overwork, and a lack of appreciation from managers contribute to a broken work environment.
Mismatched Talents: Some individuals feel they don't align with their job's demands, which can lead to disconnection and unfulfilment.
Broken Beliefs: We delve deeper into this category, which often goes unexplored. It's the root cause of unfulfilment, involving a belief in what we call the "false gospel of work."
For several decades now, society has woven a deceptive narrative surrounding work, and it goes a little like this: work is the path to ultimate satisfaction; discovering the ideal job guarantees complete happiness; following your passion means you'll never have to toil a day in your life; and, work serves as the defining force for your identity and the realization of your dreams. This misleading ideology has quietly infiltrated our collective psyche, leaving many convinced that work, in isolation, holds the exclusive key to happiness and fulfilment.
To combat unfulfilment, it's essential to uncover the genuine gospel of work. Let's turn to Scripture to illuminate this perspective. Romans 11:36 provides a profound framework for understanding work in its true light: "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."
Breaking down this verse, we discover the following dimensions:
From Him: All work originates from God. It is a divine calling and not a separate, detached endeavor. Recognizing that God calls us into our work gives it inherent meaning and purpose.
Through Him: In our work, we rely on God. We seek His guidance, wisdom, and perspective. We engage in a dependent fellowship with Him within our work environment.
To Him: The ultimate motivation for our work is to bring glory to God. We work not for self-glorification but to manifest God's character, nature, and attributes. Our work becomes a means to display His glory.
Unto Others: By working to manifest God's glory and benefit others, we find fulfilment. Our focus shifts from self-centeredness to other-centeredness, aligning with our innate desire for meaningful, purpose-driven work.
It's crucial to understand that your job, while a significant part of your calling, cannot fully satisfy your entire heart. Our calling is multifaceted, extending beyond our careers. We are called to be disciples, family members, neighbors, and citizens. Each dimension of our calling contributes to our fulfilment. In the quest for fulfilment at work, let's dispel the false gospel of work that promises ultimate satisfaction through career achievements alone. Instead, let us embrace the true gospel of work: one that recognizes the divine calling, relies on God's guidance, seeks to bring glory to Him, and serves others. When we approach our work from this perspective, we can find true and lasting fulfilment, even in the most challenging job environments.
Adrian is the co founder of The Nova Project. He is a speaker, author, bible teacher, filmmaker and entrepreneur. He currently lives in Geneva with his wife Robertha and two sons Levi-Hunter and Luke-Pierce.