As you are starting your semester, it is easy to view your homework (or work in general) as being something that is a drag on life.  I used to find myself thinking, “if I could just get through this, then someday I will get to doing something important.”  But what if there was a deeper purpose to what you are learning and to what you are doing?  What if you could find a deep sense of satisfaction, joy, or purpose?  What if the work you are doing is part of your contribution to community?  Your learning, your studying, and your homework is part of your growth, but also our community’s potential growth, and has potential to change the world. This isn’t just the case for those in social services and religion, but even for those in business and technology.  To quote Justin Rosenstein from Asana, with today’s technology we “have a greater capacity to change the world than the kings and presidents of one hundred years ago.”

Though he is not a Christian, I admire much of Justin Rosensteins ethic and sense of community, and purpose, “to help humanity thrive.”  Each moment of your day, everything you do comes down to doing your best in life to contribute to humanity (this reminds me a bit of J I Packer’s Christianity: the True Humanism.)  I personally think this goes beyond work, to even your relationships.  What if each of us was about helping the other thrive? What if we used our gifts, talents, and abilities to help one another be their very best? And what if we actually had enough focus and clarity to see how each moment of our day fit into the larger purpose?

Because of this, my todo list is growing, but not just to prioritize getting things done, but to prioritize the people and the impact that I could have.  It helps me find a pace in life that is both impactful, and sustainable for the long haul.  It is both challenging and inspiring to live that intentionally, but perhaps it is the life worth living.

Here is Justin’s video at Chicago Ideas Week talking about these concepts.