Do you know how powerful being connected to purpose can be in your life? The fascinating study I’m going to tell you about will give you a little glimpse into this connection. My hope for you is that if you’ve been feeling a little lost or disengaged, this story will make you decide to do something about it!
For many people, Sunday evenings can be one of their least favorite times of the week. Why? Often, they are dreading going to bed and waking up on Monday to go to a job that is not satisfying or fulfilling. They long for more interesting work or a connection to something that brings them meaning.
While out biking, I was listening to an interview with Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind. He mentioned an interesting study about the connection to purpose that I think helps explain why so many people dread Sunday evenings.
The intent of the study at a University of Michigan call center was to see does self-interest or connection to purpose act as a bigger motivator in making phone calls to raise funds for the school’s programs. The study set the students into three groups:
1. The control group was given basic instructions on how to conduct the calls
2. The second group was given information to read about former students who worked at the call center and how their lives in the work world benefited from the skills they learned at the call center. (how their work helps them)
3. The third group was given information on how the money they were raising would benefit students who received the funds. (how their work helps others)
So how did each group do raising money?
The average amount raised by those who learned how their work helps others was $3,130 versus an average of $1,288 for the other two groups (more than twice the amount!) and the number of pledges for the third group was an average of 23 versus 9 for the other two.
So why did these students do so much better? Maybe it was because they knew their work was helping someone so they came across as excited or passionate when seeking donations. Or maybe this knowledge made them move beyond their nervousness about “cold calling”. In the world of telemarketing, hang ups are the norm but obviously these students kept moving past the hang ups. Knowing the higher purpose allowed them to move past obstacles and be more successful than their counterparts.
Now let me ask you when you are at work each day, do you feel connected to a purpose that inspires you and helps you move past obstacles? If the answer is yes, then you may look forward to Sunday evenings. If the answer is no, think about ways you can bring more purpose into your job.
So what is one thing you can do today? It can be as simple as connecting more with your co-workers or as exciting as deciding to find a new career path.
Whatever it is, just do something because—change is good!