Do what you love, the m(eaning) will follow…

“Your real contribution to the world is who you are inside. Not what you do outside. For what you do has it source in who you are.”
~Deepak Chopra


I bought that book years ago. You know the one; but it wasn’t so simple.

I was forced to back track…

I remember sitting in the car outside the 7’11 where my mother dashed in for some more milk to feed our growing family.

My father and I got to talking, as we often did, about life and work and money. “You want to find a job that makes the best contribution in the world,” he told me.

I thought about that, a lot. Especially given my father’s example: He was a surgeon. So was his father and his father before him. But there was something else my father told me, over and over again: A woman can become a doctor if she really wants to, but she will never be happy or as good as a male physician because her first responsibility is to her own children and to the home and to her husband.

So eventually I gave up looking for “my work” and decided that my best contribution was simply to become a good human. To understand my own psychology. To deal with my past. To be in right relationship–with the Earth, my partner and then with my children. It was a life-consuming goal, but eventually I wanted more. I wanted my work in the world.

“What can I do to make the best contribution?” I asked myself over and over again.

I went to work for a handful of non-profits who were making a difference in the world: with children, with elders, with communities, with global education; and still, I wasn’t satisfied.

Until I changed the question.

What do I love? What do I love to do? What brings me alive? What gives me hope? What makes a difference–inside myself?

Once I found that, the meaning followed, the sense of contribution followed, and then so did the  money.