Living your Mission: Pros & Cons

Aug 25, 2007 Published under PeaceWorks Business, PeaceWorks Foundation

[I am often asked for career advice by students and friends searching
for what to do with their careers, so I will start sharing thoughts as
the below for those interested - you may find the advice is worth as much as you paid for it]

The obvious advantage of choosing as your job something that you are
passionate about and gives meaning to your life is that you are never
bored, that you get a lot of fulfillment, and that you derive that
very meaning.

A lot of my friends that chose a more traditional path after law
school some times complain about the long hours, lack of fulfillment,
and lack of ‘meaning.’

But there is also a less noticed corollary to each of the above.

Living your mission can be addictive and dangerous because it turns
your job into an obsession and you into a workaholic. It is hard for
you to find as much enjoyment in a lot of otherwise rewarding social
activities when you derive so much fulfillment from advancing your
mission. And so your responsibility as a social entrepreneur is to
force yourself to have some non-work space with your friends and
family – and with yourself, lest the fire of your passion burn you out.

The positive corollary to the negative of having a job that doesn’t
give you as much fulfillment is that you can complement your work with
after-hours hobbies and social activities that will give you

I personally feel very lucky to be able to truly (and not as a
gimmicky marketing fad) combine social and business objectives, which
is unfortunately not as frequently done. I would not change my path
for anything else – what I do with PeaceWorks and OneVoice is what I
would choose to do if I could choose anything in life.

But no one path is superior. As you evaluate your professional path,
it is optimal – indeed important – that you find something you can
ENJOY doing. It would be a shame if you are otherwise miserable at
work, and it is likely to make you perform badly.

But beyond the minimum requirement for your job that it be something you enjoy and care about, finding ‘meaning’ withing your vocation or through outside pursuits is a very personal decision.

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