By Emmanuel Smart
The strong desire to do meaningful and impactful work is in almost everyone. Our kids want to be superheroes – they want to save the day. We can easily get stuck on the same kind of job for many years and the job loses its meaning. Many people wonder if their everyday work has any impact in our world. To manage this gap, we use our spare time to engage in activities that we believe make huge impact in our world.
For many people who don’t have any real spare time, they give as much as they can to nonprofits that are changing the world. We just want to do “good” with our limited time on Earth. We don’t want to spend our days reviewing documents, serving tables or fueling cars. We want to change the world and we want to do it urgently. We don’t want a boring job that doesn’t impact mankind or change the world.
The valet in North America would wonder “how his job is meaningful and purposeful?”. The fuel attendant in Africa will wonder “how he is impacting and changing the world?”. The executive assistant would wonder “how assisting an over paid executive impacts our world?”. We sometimes tell ourselves that we do it for just the money because we believe the work isn’t impactful. Any impact we think of, we belittle as inconsequential. The problem is we lose sight of the big picture because we focus on just our activities. We have never asked ourselves what the world would look like without our everyday work.
Without the valet, many people would have been late to the meeting that changed their life. They would have spent minutes figuring out where to park in busy streets such that they would show up at their meeting confused. Many dads would have missed the best part of the surprise birthday party of their child because they were trying to park their vehicle. Many patients arriving at hospitals will spend time trying to park instead of getting the emergency help they need. The heroes working in the valet business will ever know what the world will look like without them. Is helping the gentleman get to his meeting early enough and in good spirit impactful? Is helping a dad get to his child’s surprise party early enough meaningful? Does helping a patient get to the doctor faster feel meaningful?
Without the fuel attendants in Africa, how will school children get to school? How else will the fire truck and ambulance get fuel to solve emergency situations? Will sick people with emergency have hope without fuel attendants? How else will millions of people get to work and back home to their dear families? How will the world look like if fuel attendants decide to stop working? Would we consider fueling cars of lovers on their first date meaningful? Is fueling the fire truck and ambulance impactful? When we fuel school buses and public buses, does it feel meaningful? When we look at the faces of the mums driving to our pump station to get some fuel so she can drive home to meet her kids, do we see meaning and impact?
The business executive is buried in tons of paper work for a new business project. She is so distracted that she forgets a key meeting that will impact the company’s future. The company employs several hundreds of people. Mistakes from the top can cause job loss. Job losses means families become homeless and in serious discomfort. However, the business executive has an executive assistant that as gotten the car ready and she reminds her of the meeting. Her boss thanks her but beyond her bosses “thank you”, her existence has saved jobs and kept the world going. She is the hero that has saved people who aren’t even aware of their salvation. She has kept families happy. When the kids smile, she is one of the humans behind their smile.
Every day, heroes wake up and head to work. They forget they are super heroes. They forget their super power is the work they do every day and the excellence with which they do their work. They forget that their work is so impactful that our world will fall apart if they seized to exist. They forget they are changing the world by the work they do. They forget that they are the pillars holding our world together. Some of us employ them. Some of us are the heroes. We must not forget. They are chauffeurs. They are police. They are bankers. They are teachers. They are soldiers. They are mechanics. They are doctors. They are me and you. They are the glue holding the world together and they are amazing super heroes. We all have a very important role to play in our world.
(Emmanuel Smart is an accomplished entrepreneur, bestselling author of Make What Customers Want (Create Global Brands), A Sales Man’s Story (Tales Of Sales Success), Letters To My Daughter (A Fathers View On Gender Equality) and EFETURI (There Are Many Paths To Wealth) and arguably Africa’s leading Sales and Brand Growth Strategist and Product Development Expert. Mr. Smart has spent the last fifteen (15) years helping to transform individuals and businesses, teaching strategic selling and brand building, designing and implementing sales systems and led the creation, design and launch of one of the fastest selling cookie brand in Africa – Nibit Mini Snacks. Personal website is smartemmanuel.com)
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