Be Here and Serve’s story: finding fulfillment in a system that seems to work against you

We’re in my living room – my friend Teresa (we’ll call her T), and two other ladies. At the time I had a house full, as we were all going through transition. We’re discussing T’s job, and her frustration at not feeling fulfilled by it.

At this time, T was in a state of total flux. She had tried the “off the grid” experience, which was fulfilling in some ways yet brought challenges emotionally and spiritually in how far she was from friends and family. This current gig was just to get by really, and yet it brought up the many frustrations that work seems to trigger in us. She didn’t know what she wanted to do in this phase of her life, and it was making her crazy.

As she’s telling her story, she asks: what am I supposed to do here? I need to work, but working for a company like this feels so wrong.

I think this is a situation we can all identify with. Sometimes, our work seems so trivial. Maybe we don’t feel like the product or service really matters, or it might be that you feel you could be doing so much more with your life. This, dear friends, is where we can be so hard on ourselves.

This is what I explained to T, and I told her about the concept of work as our outlet of service. We, as human beings, are built to serve. While yes, we have certain talents that want to be expressed within us and will drive us. Ultimately, the purpose of the job we find ourselves in is to be of service. It seems so simple, but this small reframe frees up tremendous creative space in your brain and unlocks a renewed sense of fulfillment – no matter what your job is!

Who are you serving? What kind of positive impact are you having on just one person’s day? It could be a customer, a coworker, or the delivery man. Every positive spark that gets passed on reverberates and grows with each person it gets passed to.

T was thrilled with the change in perspective, and pushed me to think about ways to have this conversation with more people. Her point was that everyone around her was facing the same frustration. As I researched more on job satisfaction and employee engagement, I saw just how right T was. Gallup keeps an ongoing pulse on employee engagement, and the numbers are bleak. Any given quarter, the numbers are between 25-30% employee engagement – which means 70-75% of people in the work force do not feel connected or fulfillment from their job. Now, there are a LOT of factors contributing to this – but that’s for another post. The question in my mind was how can I at least help people feel more empowered and take their power back from the factors at work that they have no control over?

This is where Be Here and Serve was born. Be Here is a timeless concept from eastern tradition that speaks to the power of the present moment. It is the only time and space available to us to take action. And Serve, because service is the highest expression of your purpose. Since that day almost 4 years ago, I’ve had the chance to work with incredible people in all walks of work and service – from graduating seniors getting ready to leave college and start their careers to business owners who have been leading their companies for many years. I continue to be amazed at the power of Service.

In the case of T, she has gone on to hold several jobs since then, and most recently has been working with kids in a much more fulfilling environment. With each job change, more and more of her talents have been tapped into – and this recent role has her feeling far more fulfilled than she even imagined for herself in those dark confusing days. Little did we know, Be Here and Serve would be born out of those very same moments!