Sometimes, finding what provides you with meaning is not easy.
If you’re like most travel consultants, you didn’t grow up knowing that you wanted to become an agent—which makes it even more necessary to find a deeper level of purpose in your career.
Finding meaning in what you do is key to getting through tough times—when you’re re-routing clients due to massive hurricanes or grappling with terrorism concerns, a bad economy or a rude customer.
Having spent 26 years in this industry, I have learned that drive and ambition are not what motivate me to carry on when things get rough. I discovered the deeper reason behind my perseverance when I attended a seminar on this very topic.
What I learned was that since we each have unique personalities and value systems, the process of discovering the meaning in what we do isn’t easily resolved without self-reflection and self-awareness.
And we are nothing if not multifaceted. There is the YOU who you think you are, there is the YOu who others see, the YOU who you hope to be and the YOU who you really are!
Here are some questions to help you to begin understanding what provides meaning for you.
If someone filmed you for 24 hours a day for several weeks, what three traits/behaviors do you think viewers would comment on about you?
The theory is that what you do every day, day in and day out, defines who you are. Who you are and how others see you can be very different.
Try not to focus on hobbies but analyze what you think others might observe in terms of your personality and day-to-day behavior. What are your daily routines? What makes you smile? What brings you excitement? What makes you sad?
What activities make you forget to eat and make time fly by?
What we do between sleeping and eating isn’t meant to just kill time. If we forget to eat and are doing something that pushes us enthusiastically past normal hours, this goes against biological impulses and should be viewed as an intrinsic motivator.
Why does what you do matter?
Meaningful work is work that matters—so what is it that you do that matters to you and others? Once you figure that out, remember it can amount to just a small percentage of your daily tasks.
For example, only 20 minutes of your eight-hour workday might provide you with something meaningful.
There is a percentage of my day that involves doing what truly provides me with meaning—and it serves as an internal motivator that drives everything I do in my career. As the physicist Steven Hawking said, “Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it.”
Vacation Agent Magazine published Jennifer Doncsecz’s article “Finding Meaning in What You Do” in their December 2017 issue. The article highlights question to help begin understanding what provides meaning to someone in a profession.